Is It Permissible to Reject a Gift?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it permissible to reject a gift from a hypocrite or someone who has wronged you even if you have forgiven them?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. I hope this finds you in the best of states.

The general advice in regards to gifts, is that one should not rejects gifts without a valid excuse, even if the gift is something very small. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Accept invitations, do not refuse gifts and do not beat the Muslims.’ [Musnad Ahmad].

However, there are instances when one may choose not to accept the gift.

Accepting and Rejecting Gifts

The acceptance of a gift is dependent on the recipient accepting it, either by physical or verbal indication, and as such, the law does not legally compel a person to accept a gift from another, irrespective if the person has blameworthy character traits or not (though in the Shafi’i school, it does forbid giving gifts to someone who one strongly suspects will use the gift to commit sin [Tuhfa]).

One would need to use their own discrepancy and judgement as to what would be the best course of action in the individual situation at hand.

For example, if you feel by accepting the gift that the giver may take advantage, and it may lead to any form of harm, embarrassment, demeaning, or other compromising position for you, then not accepting the gift would be the better choice.

If, however, you feel that the person is being sincere, and by rejecting the gift it might make matters worse, then as long as you don’t feel any harm or vulnerability will come to you by accepting the gift (emotional or physical), then accepting it may be preferable. And Allah knows best.

May Allah grant you all the best.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.