Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
I work in a hospital where annually a secret santa event is held where fellow doctors buy each other gifts anonymously. Is it permissible to participate in such an event if one has the option to abstain?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
It would be permitted to participate in this event.
This is (i) a social event that involves (ii) gift-giving anonymously. Being of a purely social nature, the basis is that such an event is in itself permissible provided there is nothing impermissible occurring in it. The activity of giving gifts – whether anonymously or otherwise – is also permitted and praiseworthy in our religion.
Consequently, there is nothing wrong in taking part in such an event.
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.