Gift giving promotes a happy and healthy relationship between two people. Regardless of the relation between them, when one gives a present to the other, it makes them feel special and closer. Therefore it is important to select gifts that are meaningful and representative of something for the giver as well as the receiver.
A recent discussion between me and my friends about giving Islamic gifts to each other for birthdays and other special occasions led me to think as to why is it that these types of presents are so important to us. When I was growing up, my parents always stressed that we get small religious artifacts for all occasions, but I never thought that the reason behind it was to promote the concept of Islamic gifts between me and my siblings. So when one of my friends said Islamic gifts, I asked her what do you mean by that, aren’t all gifts Islamic? She told me that her parents never bought religious things for them, and only when she grew up she realized the importance these items have in a person’s life.
Being a born Muslim and belonging to a relatively religious family, I now realize that the things that we took for granted were not the same for other families. For Eid festivals, my father always used to get me and my brother Islamic gifts such as Islamic posters, jewellery and stickers with Quranic Ayah, whereas for birthdays, the gifts included interesting and informative Islamic books. These things provided us with loads of information about our religion in a fun and entertaining way, and we looked forward to these occasions to receive great Islamic gifts that would further enlighten us about Islam.
Now that I am older and have a son of my own, I want to impart the importance of Islamic gifts to him as well, so I have been following my parent’s tradition and have been giving him small Islamic items for all the important occasions. He is still very young so I try to get him things that are interesting and appeal to the young ones as well.
Today there are numerous toys available that prove to be great Islamic gifts for children which were not available when we were young. An Islamic storyteller that I got for my son when he was 2 years old was so much fun that even I used to enjoy hearing the stories of the different prophets and their lives. This year I bought him an Islamic laptop that teaches Arabic counting and words to children aged 4-6. It’s a great and interactive way for children to learn these things and what better to learn about than their own religion!