Giving a gift to a non-Muslim

Q 4: What is the ruling on giving a part of the meat of Udhiah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims) to non-Muslims as a gift? Some scholars view that it is permissible. In our country, we live side by side with non-Muslims in the same quarter. Actually, we do not know what is the ruling on giving them a part of the Udhiah's meat as well as a part of our charity.

A: It is permissible for a Muslim to give gifts to his non-Muslim relative or neighbor like food, clothing or the like even if it is a part of the Udhiah. Doing so is charity if they are poor, as a kind of keeping ties of relationship, fulfilling neighborhood duties and bringing people together. Allah (Exalted be He) says: But if they (both) strive against you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. He also said: Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered Asma' bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them all) to treat her mother kindly though she was an unbeliever at that time. Moreover, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased (Part No. 16; Page No. 259) with him) gave a garment as a gift to his unbelieving relative. Furthermore, there is no Shar`y (Islamic legal) evidence that prohibits doing so. Thus, the basic principle in this regard is permissibility. However, no category of non-Muslims is to be given a share of Zakah (obligatory charity) except Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum (those whose hearts are inclined to Islam). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.