Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Give gifts to one another, for gifts take away malice.” (Mishkat)
Every culture and religion propagates exchange of gifts between one another. As an evolving ape the custom of exchanging gifts is to portray a sense of belonging to a group/herd and acceptance therein, further strengthening the bond of a cohesive group.
We as individuals are special, and when we receive a gift from someone it is to celebrate and respect that uniqueness and to associate that we mean something and have a place in someone's life, and that we are loved. The power of gift giving and receiving cannot be underestimated. It is probably the best way to show affection and affinity to one another.
If one attaches importance to a gift, it is important, if no thought is attached to something then the most expensive bauble means nothing. Thus its the thought that counts. In today's world no one can actually give another something that cannot be bought by themselves, but if one puts a little thought into the gift, it ends up being rather special and close to the receivers heart.
Being fortunate enough to be loved by some very special people, recently I was given gifts by two friends, which shows their affection and consideration for me.
The Purple Orchid- SW and I are running around town on and off and not actually being able to find a Purple Orchid. Bless my friends heart, I did end up getting this lovely flower finally.
The Homer- PP being a sweetheart that she is, made this super cool Homer bust singing the Homer tune that is my perpetual ' space out' tune.
I have been trying my hand at some calligraphy, and I believe that its an extension of my person if I were to give it as a gift. Hence my recent personalised gifts include a Punjabi religious calligraphy text, a Sanskrit calligraphy text and A verse from the Quran -Nurun Ala Nur ( Light Upon Light)which I made as a birthday gift for a friend whose name in English means light.
I was told one time that the best gift one can be given is Flowers, Perfume and Books. On and off I have received either of them, but one thing that does remain constant in the lead up to when the wrapping actually reveals the gift. The glee is difficult to contain and almost child like. And why shouldn't it be? Shouldn't one show appreciation and gratitude to the though put into by someone giving the gift?
A gift/ hediye/tohfah need not be an object, rather it can be the gift of love, understanding, a sympathetic ear, or just to let someone know they are not alone and can be relied upon. It is a symbol of gratitude, and how many times do we actually show gratitude for all the gifts we have taken for granted? We have been given the Gift of health- we stuff ourselves silly with junk. Gift of youth- and we make the mistake to think it will last forever, Gift of family- which we cannot get rid of soon enough and would rather wile our time in fruitless pursuits, Gift of Intelligence- which we do not explore to its limit and dumb it down to blend in, or just be plain lazy.
Most of all, at this given moment we have the gift of time. No matter how fleeting it might be, one ought to cherish it, and show one's gratitude to people who have contributed positively to our life.
Most Importantly to thank Allah (SWT) , who loves his children more than 70 mothers, and who one ignores to thank each and every day for all that he has given us, is still giving us and will keep giving us. My ultimate favourite sura from the Quran is Surat ar-Rahman (Arabic: سورة الرحمن) the 55th sura of the Qur'an which states "Then which of your Lords blessings would you deny?"
It is a life long process to make up for all my digressions and ingratitude but I want to thank Allah (SWT) for the best gift ever. The gift of parents who are simply perfect, and who are Allah( SWT) extension in my life, for which I am eternally grateful.♥