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Search Fatawaa

Subject : Employee Gifts are Considered a Kind of Stealing

Fatwa Number : 2977

Date : 17-09-2014

Classified : "Hibaa"Donation, Grant

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Is it permissible for me to accept gifts from my students, and is there a difference between an expensive gift and a cheap one, and does this fit the saying: “ Exchange gifts to love each other in Islam “ ?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah. Blessings and peace be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon his family and companions.

 It is unlawful for an employee to accept gifts whether they are expensive, or not. Al-Bukhari reported that Allah's Apostle employed an employee (to collect Zakat). The employee returned after completing his job and said: "O Allah's Apostle! This (amount of Zakat) is for you, and this (other amount) was given to me as a present." The Prophet said to him: "Why didn't you stay at your father's or mother's house and see if you would be given presents or not?" Then Allah's Apostle got up in the evening after the prayer, and having testified that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and praised and glorified Allah as He deserved, he said: "Now then ! What about an employee whom we employ and then he comes and says: "'This amount (of Zakat) is for you, and this (amount) was given to me as a present'? Why didn't he stay at the house of his father and mother to see if he would be given presents or not? By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad's soul is, none of you will steal anything of it (i.e. Zakat) but will bring it by carrying it over his neck on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Dawood reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “A person who is hired to do a certain job in return for a certain wage isn`t entitled to take anything other than that, and if he does, then it`s unlawful. “ It was also reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Gifts Received for Occupying a Certain Position are Prohibited.” {Ahmad}.

We advise you not to accept these gifts in order to alienate yourself from differentiating between students since a soul could incline to the one who favors it with a gift, and so it becomes a matter of injustice to other students. It could also become a reason for getting accused by the parents of the students and the school`s administration of taking sides at the expense of the ones who didn`t offer gifts. This is in addition to burdening the other students with buying gifts so as to compete with their classmates in inclining the heart of their teacher, and thus the latter gets into a non-stop cycle which he shouldn`t have got himself into in the first place.

Instead of accepting gifts, it is possible to accept a small celebration held by the students in honor of their teacher, where all of them take part. Besides  other ideas which are more useful and more abiding by the rules of Islamic law since we fear that the teacher may become like a state employee taking gifts from the public. Therefore, we advise you, in case you have already taken some gifts, to give them back to the students by addressing them in good words, or to put them in the classroom, or at the school so that students would realize that you haven`t benefited from them.

As regards the Hadith: “Exchange gifts to love each other in Islam” it is about the gifts that aren`t intended for taking sides. And Allah Knows Best.



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