I recently received many wedding gifts but some of them do not conform to the Sunnah. For example, some of them have pictures of animate objects, some of them are statues, silver-plated cutlery, etc. Is it permissible for me to give these away to non-Muslims or should I throw them out ?
Also, is it allowed to give away a received gift ? For example, I received several salad bowls and I do not need them all. Is it permissible to give away some of them as a gift to someone else ?
Jazakum Allah Khairan
Praise be to Allaah.
The teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is to blot out pictures and to destroy statues, because of the hadeeth of Abu’l-Hayyaaj al-Asadi, who said: “ ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to me, ‘Shall I not send you with the same instructions that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] sent me with? Do not leave any statue without eliminating it or any raised grave withour levelling it.” (Reported by Muslim, 1609). So it is OK to break pictures of animate objects and get rid of them. As for the silver-plated vessels, it is not permissible to use them because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who drinks from a vessel of silver is gargling fire from Hell into his stomach.” (Reported by Muslim, 3846). The ruling on items that are plated or coated with gold and silver is that same as the ruling on items that are made of gold and silver. With regard to giving away gifts that have been given to you, there is nothing wrong in doing so, because a person takes possession of the gift when he receives it, and he is permitted to dispose of it by selling it, giving it away or giving it to charity and so on. And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid