Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
During the holiday season, I see many charities that are asking for donations of toys, hygiene products, etc., as Christmas gifts for less fortunate families. Is it wrong, as a Muslim, to give to these causes since they are advertising as Christmas gifts?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
As Muslims, we regularly give things to charity; throughout the year, we sometimes donate to Muslim charities and local charities for the needy and vulnerable. One way of coming out of this is to donate-as per habit of one – to a local charity to help and support needy neighbor families, as it is our duty as Muslims, too.
Also, one can donate things generously before the festive season to avoid giving them during it. [Fatawa al-Hindiyya]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) said The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to say, “O Muslim women, do not look down on any gift for your neighbor, even a sheep’s hoof.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Ibn Rajab reported: Umar ibn al-Khattab, (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The best deeds are to fulfill the obligations of Allah, to be cautious of the prohibitions of Allah, and to have an honest intention before Allah Most High.” [Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Jami’ al-‘Ulum wa al-Hikam]
Generally, as Muslims, we do not give gifts to others of other faiths during their religious festival. However, if we provide customary yearly habitual assistance during their festive season and coincide it this way, it will act as a neighborly gift. As mentioned in the above hadith, we have to fulfill our obligations to Allah (Most High) and have an honest intention in all that we do and strive in this world.
I pray this helps with your questions.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.
He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.
He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.