Taken from “Discourses On Islami Way of Life” By Justice Mufti Taqi Usmani (Hafidullah) [Darul-Ishaat]
Let Love Be The Criterion Of Give and Take
There is one reciprocation which has been recommended to us by the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam. The iver may not expect a return but he gives only out of love and affection to seek the pleasure of Allah. The Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam has said about it: “Exchange gifts and grow mutual love.”
Therefore, if anyone gives with this saying of the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam in mind and he has not even a distant expectation of receiving return then his giving is a source of blessing. The receipient also holds no such idea (like niyota) and feels not coompelled to show a return gesture but wishes to be able to reciprocate brotherly feelings. Such a reciprocation is Mukafat which is applauded and recommended by the Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam.
Do Not Try To Equal Return Gift
The mukafat implies that no attempt is made to equal th return gift in terms of value. The one who reciprocates will believe that the gift was given to him according to the means of the giver and he would return the gesture according to his own means. Thus, if some one gives us a precious gift, it is not necessary for us to return a gift equally precious but we may give a gift which we can afford that person will not mind because he had given the gift to please us, and our intention in reciprocating is also to please him. We must satay within our means and not borrow money for that or resort to unfair means like bribery, etc.
To Praise Is Also A Form Of Reciprocation
In fact, the hadith tells us that if anyone cannot give a return gift then it is open to him to priase the benefactor and reveal his favour to other people. He may speak highly of that man and thus please him.
The Way Of Doctor Abdul Hayy rahimahullah
My Mentor, Doctor Abdul Hayy rahimahullah used to say that if any one brought a gift in expression of his love then the recepient must, at least, display pleasure so that he is convinced of approval. It was the habit of my mentor that he accepted a gift with deep pleasure and used to say “Brother” this is what I like and what I needed!” or, “I like it very much. In fact, I was thinking of buying it.” The giver naturally felt elated at his gift being accepted, and at the same time it also showed his observance of the direction of the Hadith. To conceal the gift or not appreciate is to be ungrateful.
To Present A Gift In Secret
Once someone brought gift for Mawlana Doctor Abdul Hayy rahimahullah, but gave it to him quietly while shaking his hands, because this is one way to present something. The Mawlana asked him what it was and he said that it was a gift he liked to giv ehim. The mawlana remarked then why give it stealthily for neither you nor I have stolen it but you are ofllowing a saying of the Holy Prophet salalahu alayhi wa salam. Why then conceal it? There is no harm in giving it in the presence of other people. For it is an expression of love. Anyway, a gift is an expression of love whether it is small or large and when anyone gives you anything you must reciprocate, or at least shower praise on the giver.