In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.
What many people do not understand is that for some people, receiving gifts is their primary love language. It’s the thing that makes them feel loved most deeply. If you’re married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on Eid, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days.
The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it’s the thought that counts. This could be a store-bought bracelet or a beautiful rock you pick up on a hike or a watercolor you paint. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your love to your spouse. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.These kinds of gifts demonstrate that you’ve been paying attention, and that you really see who your partner is and what he or she loves.
I am talking to you, Muslim Husbands!!!
Although gift-giving works both ways, but I would say that the Muslim husbands need to pay more attention in this respect.
I don’t know why but it seems that the average Muslim husband finds it hard to give a gift to his wife. Maybe it’s because men are always confused about the choice of gift, i.e. what would be an appropriate gift that would express their love towards their wives.
Men don’t always understand how the women think, or what moves them. Or perhaps it’s because the husband thinks that a gift should have a heavy price tag to show that he really loves her! So, I will try to ease things up for the husbands through this article.
The Best Advice >>> Listen!
When it comes to gift-giving, at least, here’s a big hint for you:Listen.
Women will tell you what they want, if you pay attention. Next time you’re passing a shop window and she says, “Oh, look at those shoes, those are lovely,” make a note of it. Next time you’re watching a travel show and she says, “Wouldn’t it wonderful to see Niagara Falls someday?”, pay attention.
Women drop hints like this all the time. And when I say make a note of it, I mean literally. Keep a small notebook in a private place, and every time she drops a little hint, write it down. That way you’ll never be short of gift ideas.
The Islamic Perspective!
Gift-giving is one of the acts that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) recommended us to do. It was narrated that Aaishah (RA) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) would accept gifts and reciprocate for them.” [Narrated by Bukhari]
Also, Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: “And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you , take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.” [An-Nisaa: 4]
‘Mehr’ is an obligatory condition in marriage in Islam, whereby the groom offers a gift to the bride. Islam encourages the giving and taking of gifts, but these gifts must be of one’s own free will and choice, and not something which are demanded by the receiver or custom.
Returning the Favour!
The one who receives the gift should also respond in kind to the favour. The Prophet said:“Whoever does you a favour, respond in kind, and if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind.” [Abu Daawood]
Say Jazak Allahu Khayran!!
One good way to respond is to say ‘Jazak Allaahu khayran’ (may Allaah reward you with good). Usaamah Ibn Zayd said:
The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever has a favour done for him and says ‘Jazak Allaahu khayran’ has done his utmost to thank him.” [At-Tirmithi]
Exchanging of gifts definitely strengthens the bond of love between spouses. The Prophet (SAWS) said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Al-Bukhaari]
The Sunnah of Rasul Ullah (SAWS)!!!
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived a simple life, so he gave his wives simple and practical gifts. All the wives were given two grinding stones, a water pitcher, and leather pillows as marriage gifts. Some also received a mahr (bride-gift of money).
Even taking your wife on a trip is a kind of gift.
On most of his (SAWS) travels, journeys and expeditions, the custom of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) was that he would draw lots amongst his wives, and take one of his wives along with him on his travels.
Aisha (RA) said: “Whenever Allah’s Messenger (saws) intended to go on a journey, he used to draw lots among his wives and would take with him the one on whom the lot had fallen. Once he drew lots when he wanted to carry out a Ghazwa, and the lot came upon me (Aisha).” [Narrated by Bukhari]
Some Practical Gift Ideas
It seems that a big hurdle that stops men from giving gifts to their wives is the question:“What should I give as a gift?”“What would make her happy?”
If you are the average husband and can’t think of what you can give to your wife as a gift, here are some gift ideas that most women would love. I’ll start off with the ones that cost nothing at all (or very little), and move on to ideas that will require you to break out the wallet:
1. A picnic. Plan it well, with good food, a comfortable blanket, and some books or games to pass the time as you relax in the shade.
2. Make a card. Don’t just buy a Hallmark card. Make your own, draw a flower on it, and write something loving and heartfelt. It will only take you a couple of hours, no longer than it would to shop for something, and she will keep it forever, I guarantee it.
3. Take your wife someplace that has meaning for the two of you, like the first place you met, or the first house you lived in. Alternatively, take her to her childhood home or playground and let her share with you her reminiscences and memories.
4. Write her a poem. Take your time and try to write something sincere and personal.
5. Bake your wife a batch of chocolate chip cookies. This is a much nicer than just buying chocolate, and is an especially sweet gesture if you don’t know much about cooking and have to work at it. Just make sure the cookies are edible!
6. Do you know how to cook? Cook her dinner, or bake a pie or cake, or some special sweet from your culture.
7. A nice dress or skirt, hijab scarf, a classy overcoat or jacket.
8. Take her shoe shopping. Women always love shoes! Women are notoriously choosy about their shoes, however, so don’t try to pick out a pair on your own unless you know your wife’s tastes and size very well.
9. A new purse or handbag. This is a rather personal choice for a woman, so make sure you retain the receipt so she can exchange it for something more to her liking.
10. A nice belt. Some women like belts and handbags even more than clothing, and love to have belts in various colors to complement their outfits.
11. A new Quran with a wooden Quran stand, and handmade dhikr prayer beads for tasbeeha.
12. Dinner at a nice restaurant. Someplace you would not go every day.
13. A beautiful flower vase, with fresh flowers in it.
14. A potted plant. Not something ordinary in a plastic pot, but something unusual like a bonsai, or a beautiful orchid, in an attractive ceramic planter.
15. Is she a collector? If there’s any type of art or craft that she likes or collects, get her one. Does she collect coins, stamps, glass figurines, home decorations? Get her one.
16. A weekend trip somewhere. Even if you’re not ready to go right now, make the reservations or by the tickets and let her know.
17. A new watch.
18. A pair of women’s designer sunglasses.
19. If she likes gadgets, how about a new smart phone, a slim digital camera to fit in her purse, or even a laptop computer?
20. If she’s a working woman, how about a new briefcase? This tells her that you value and respect her work.
21. A set of natural bath products like soap, shampoo, bubble bath.
22. Perfume oils. It helps if you know what she likes. If you don’t, check what she’s already got. Smell them and get to know the scents so you can pick something similar. But honestly, every husband should know his wife’s favorite perfume.
23. A tea set, meaning tea pot, tea cups, and a collection of herbal teas.
24. A scented massage oil along with three handmade coupons saying, “Good for one massage on demand from your loving husband.” 🙂
25. A gourmet basket with some of her favorite food treats, such as chocolates, cheeses, strawberries, or whatever you know to be her favorite tastes.
26. An iPod that you have pre-loaded with Quran recitation by her favorite reciter, some of her favorite nasheeds, some good radio shows, etc. This is a wonderful gift for a woman who commutes, or who spends time every day on a treadmill, or even just to listen to while working or doing chores. This gift will take some money and some time to put together, but will give her hours of pleasure.
27. Jewelry. It doesn’t have to be terribly expensive.
What NOT to get a Muslim woman as a gift!!!
It is equally important to know what NOT to give to your wife as a gift!
1. Anything for cleaning the house, such as a vacuum cleaner, broom, mop, etc. This is like telling her that you see her only as a maid. Those things should be part of the normal household expenses, not gifts.
2. Groceries. True, if you don’t normally do it then the gesture is nice, but it’s too prosaic.
3. A sexy nightie. Not that this is un-Islamic, but it just seems a little tacky to me. It’s like it’s more for you than for her, if you get my meaning.
4. Anything that is really about you more than her, like a CD of your favorite band, a game box, a flat screen TV, etc. If you think that you might end up using it more than her, then chuck it and keep looking.
So all husbands out there, I have handed you over a “powerful recipe of love”. I hope that you make good use of this recipe and after having such a big list of gift ideas, are not stopped due to choice of gifts any more.
Just for a moment, try to remember when was the last time when you gave a gift to your wife? Was it months ago? Or even years ago?
If that’s the case, don’t delay; go ahead and give your wife a nice gift today!!!
To the Success of Your Marriage!
Irfan Ullah Khan
Happy Muslim Family
P.S. Still here…? I said go and find a gift for your wife!!!
P.P.S. I believe that this article is equally beneficial to wives as much as it is to husbands. What do you say?
Happy Muslim Family, I-10, 44000, Islamabad, Pakistan