Q. Where I work, it is a predominantly Chinese / Taiwanese company. Every year, in an effort to make them feel welcomed and appreciated, the local (Trinidadian) staff would exchange gifts with each other and the foreign staff. It is something we do every year to create good working relations with our foreign staff. Is the exchange of these gifts haraam?
Also, at Christmas time, my company gives the staff gifts as a token of their appreciation for the work we have done for the year. Is accepting the gifts haraam because they give us them around Christmas time?
A. With respect to the exchange of gifts, this is allowed and it is not haram.
With regards to the gifts given by the company, if these are given specifically on the occasion of Christmas, then it will not be proper to accept. However, if these are given at the end of the ‘work year’ as a token of appreciation to the staff, then it is allowed to accept as long as the gifts are not of haram products. In this case, it does not matter whether it is around Christmas time or not.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan