Musahafah is an act of worship. Nabi ﷺ said that there are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands with one another, except that they will be forgiven before they part. Therefore, to place money in one’s palm and to hand it over whilst shaking the hand of another Muslim, is against etiquette. We should not contaminate this act of worship with a worldly deed. For example when we go to Makkah Mukarramah/Madinah Munawwarah and meet a cleaner there, often, we intend to give him a bit of money as a gift.
Now if we put a note in our hand and hand it over to him during musahafah, then the next time we see him, we may want to simply make musahafah this time but what will he think when he sees you approaching? He will assume that there is another note coming his way. And this time when you shake his hand without passing a note on, he will feel disheartened. So now the worship of musahafah is forgotten, the fact that our sins are erased is forgotten, because we contaminated it by giving notes. Therefore, it is against etiquette to crumble a note and pass it over during musahafah.
A hadyah (i.e. gift) should be given out of love with no strings attached. Once, Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه came to Pietermaritzburg to give a speech at a madrassa. After the speech, the organisers brought an envelope with money inside and gave it to Hazrat. Hazrat refused to accept it. So he said that please accept it; it is a hadyah. But he still refused to accept. The person became insistent and he even attempted to put the envelope in Hazrat’s pocket. At this point, Hazrat became upset so he pushed his hand away and firmly refused.
As we walked back to the car, Hazrat said to me that even if there was one million rands in that envelope, I would still not have accepted it. Because although they say it is a hadyah in reality, they are compensating me for my time and petrol, they are giving it to me because I did a speech. Therefore, this is not truly a hadyah, if it was, then why did they not give it another time, why all of a sudden did they choose to give it today?
They gave it to reimburse Hazrat, whereas a hadyah in its true sense is gifted out of sincere love only. This also means that we should not expect anything in return either. Often when people say that you should not have gone to the trouble of giving me a hadyah e.t.c, we tend to reply that it’s fine, it’s no trouble, just make dua for me. With regards to this, Hazrat Ml. Thanwi رحمة الله عليه said that we should not seek duas at this time as that indicates an expectation, which one should not have at all.
Furthermore, when giving a hadyah we should take the time to present it properly with humility. It is a sign of pride to assume that our hadyah is so great and worthy of accepting, that we can give it anyhow and anywhere. Be humble, we should not consider ourselves great. Go to his house if possible and gift it to him. Hazrat Ml. Yunus Patel رحمة الله عليه would instruct us to never give him islaahi letters in front of a crowd. Hazrat would say that if you do, how will I explain the envelope to everyone in the crowd? They will assume that you are paying me a monthly subscription for being your Shaikh!
So to perfect our character, we must learn and adhere to these adaab/etiquettes. Only then will we be able to display good manners in all situations, like a believer ought to.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
Above is an extract from a Dhikr Majlis delivered by Hazrat on 13/2/2017. To listen to the full audio, please click here.