ipod, gift giving, bonus checks – current realities

Q:

As Salaamu Alaikum,

1.) It seems that the youth today are into video games, ipods/iphones, and other things of that nature.  What are some of the best gifts to give, other than these things?  This is mainly for the purpose of keeping a strong Islamic presence in the home, but also something the youth would enjoy.

2.) What are some of the best gifts that we can give adults?  (e.g. parent, spouse, friend, etc.)  What would be considered appropriate and would be considered something we should stay away from, that we normally might not think about?

3.) My boss gives an annual bonus around the time of Christmas.  He does not call it a Christmas gift, but everyone knows that it is a Christmas gift.  Should I not accept the bonus money?

Thank you for you time to answer this question. JazakAllahu khair
Wa Salaamu Alaikum

Time: Thursday May 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

1) Certain things cannot be escaped from in modern times. If you are not going to give our youth certain things that remain familiar to them and their peers, they going to get it secretly. Often noticed, they are going to use there friends ipod, cell phone and be subtle about such matters. Parental obligation requires us to teach children values to such an extent, that even when they have a product, they are able to utilize it as morality demands.

The old phones (the one we plug into the wall)  may have been viewed as corruptible for our grandpas generation, for our kids it may be cell phones that we deem as corruptible.

Each generation has had its challengers. Parental/adult strength is in teaching children the correct values so as to effectivly help them deal with current realities.

2) Give people what they like. Give them that which causes them to reflect and become better people. Give them what you can comfortably afford. If i like to sleep, give me a pillow. If i like water, give me a drawing of a river or ocean. This way you help me reflect on the Greatness of a Creator and also fulfill an aesthetic function. If a person likes fragrance, give them oils that are natural, in the process supporting the environment and helping a person become more conscious of their environment. If a person is unemployed, offer to pay their phone bill, etc. Be practical in what you give! (derived from hadith.) Recycling gifts do not always work!

3)It is not for you to define the event. Certain events have in them the potential of being coincidental. Regarless, you can accept this bonus. Bonuses are not based on Christmas as much as they are based on success and hard work, numeration of this is generally called a Christmas bonus. When companies do not produce as desired, we have known cases in which they have been eliminated or reduced to the extent deserved. (It is the systems way of making you work to the extent of making the company a million dollars and thereafter gift you a token $1000.)

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

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