Ruling on the gifts a suitor gives to the woman on certain occasions, such as `Ashura' and Rajab

Q: What is the Islamic ruling on certain customs that take place here in (Part No. 16; Page No. 176)  Egypt, for example, an engaged man sending some gifts to his fiancée on religious occasions, such as Rajab, Sha‘ban, Ramadan, the Day of ‘Ashura’ (10th of Muharram),‘Eid-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) or ‘Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice). Is doing so obligatory, supererogatory, or wrong?

A: Exchanging gifts between people is one of the means that create love and affection and remove hatred and ill will from the hearts. It is, therefore, encouraged by the Shari‘ah (Islamic law). The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to accept gifts and give gifts in return. Based upon this teaching Muslims act, all praise be to Allah. But if a gift is associated with an unlawful reason, this is not permissible, such as gifts given on the Day of ‘Ashura’, Rajab, birthdays, or other newly-invented matters in the religion, as this falls under supporting what is wrong and participating in Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, and Companions.