Hadith on Kindness: The Prophet did not want to hurt his feelings

Al-Sa’b ibn Jathamah reported: He presented the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, with a wild donkey as a gift when he was at Al-Abwa, or Waddan, and the Prophet returned it to him. When the Prophet saw the look of disappointment on his face, he said, “Indeed, we have only returned it because we are performing the pilgrimage right now.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2434, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2066

Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Al-Nawawi said, “In this tradition is the recommendation for one who does not accept a gift to offer an excuse and apologies to the giver, as kindness to assure his heart.”

Source: Sharḥ al-Nawawī ‘alá Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2066

عَنِ الصَّعْبِ بْنِ جَثَّامَةَ اللَّيْثِيِّ أَنَّهُ أَهْدَى لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حِمَارًا وَحْشِيًّا وَهُوَ بِالْأَبْوَاءِ أَوْ بِوَدَّانَ فَرَدَّهُ عَلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ فَلَمَّا أَنْ رَأَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا فِي وَجْهِي قَالَ إِنَّا لَمْ نَرُدَّهُ عَلَيْكَ إِلَّا أَنَّا حُرُمٌ

2434 صحيح البخاري كتاب الهبة وفضلها والتحريض عليها باب قبول هدية الصيد

2066 صحيح مسلم كتاب الحج باب تحريم الصيد للمحرم

قال النووي وَفِيهِ أَنَّهُ يُسْتَحَبُّ لِمَنِ امْتَنَعَ مِنْ قَبُولِ هَدِيَّةٍ وَنَحْوِهَا لِعُذْرٍ أَنْ يَعْتَذِرَ بِذَلِكَ إِلَى الْمُهْدِيِ تَطْيِيبًا لِقَلْبِهِ

2066 صحيح مسلم بشرح النووي كِتَاب الْحَجِّ أهدي للمحرم حمارا وحشيا حيا