My wife does not visit friends and family because she wants to take presents but they are beyond my means; what do you suggest?

Question: My wife does not visit our relatives or my friends’ wives, because she dislikes visiting them without taking presents with her to give them. Unfortunately, the presents she thinks of are not cheap, and my financial state does not allow me to buy such presents. What would you suggest?

The answer: This kind of thinking results from the influence of worldly cultures, which have prevailed over the life of people and made them forget their religious culture. The worldly life always exhausts people, separates them from each other, and deprives them of their happiness and joy. It was so and is still so, but people still do not take lessons.

Islam has emphasized the necessity of interconnection with relatives and good friends. As for presents, they are recommendable because they deepen the interrelations and bring the hearts closer to each other. However, it is not right to give up necessities and social obligations just for luxuries.

It is not necessary for a present to be materially expensive, because a present has its moral meaning. A brave one, who will get a great reward from Allah, is he who breaks the idol of ignorance resting inside the souls and tries with high confidence to derive a good principle by giving a greater moral value to a present than its material value. A visit with smiles and nice words and some chocolates for the children is much better near Allah than a visit with carrying presents that overburden the backs, exhaust the selves, and empty the pockets! Rather it will have no reward from Allah because the gift was bought just for pride and showing off.

In a word, our society is in terrible need of a moral and cultural revolution to overturn many thoughts, one of which is “either to go with expensive presents or give up interrelations and mutual visits completely.”