Category: Inheritance
Fatwa#: 19087
Asked Country: India

Answered Date: Nov 22,2010

Title: According to Islam if the property is in mother’s name, can she give it to anyone or does she have to distribute it equally among all the children?

Question

According to Islam if the property is in mother’s name, can she give it to anyone or does she have to distribute it equally among all the children? My mother says she wishes to give two parts of the property amount to my elder brother and 1 part to me and 1 part to my sisters. Is this permissible? Please advise. My mother says that she wants 1/3rd of the property to go to my brother because he has spent his money on all my sisters marriages and has been helping them since the age of 17. Is that right?

Answer

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

If any wealth or property belongs to your mother, she is at liberty to give any percent or share to any person she chooses as long as the distribution takes place during her life. Also, since such a distribution is considered as a gift (hibah), the person to whom it is given must take possession of it during her lifetime. However, if she wants to give a gift to one or more of her children, she should maintain complete equality among the children to avoid ill feelings in the family. Rasulullah (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had also expressed his dislike for such inequality.

Nu‘mān ibn Basheer mentioned that his father intended to give him a gift despite having other children whom would not receive a similar gift.  When his father requested the Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to witness the gifting, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked, “Did you also present your remaining children with a similar gift?”  His father replied in the negative.  The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then stated;

 فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ، وَاعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ أَوْلاَدِكُمْ. قَالَ: فَرَجَعَ فَرَدَّ عَطِيَّتَهُ. و في رواية لمسلم قَالَ: فَلاَ تُشْهِدْنِى إِذًا فَإِنِّى لاَ أَشْهَدُ عَلَى جَوْرٍ.

Fear Allah and observe equality amongst your children.”  In another narration mentioned by Imām Muslim, he said, “Do not call me to witness this gifting.  Indeed, I do not bear witness to inequality.”  Bukhārī and Muslim

On the contrary, if she intends this distribution to take place after her demise, it will not be permissible as the Shariah has already stipulated the shares of inheritance for all inheritors. If she changes the shares stipulated by the Shariah for her inheritors, she will be sinful.

And Allāh knows best.

Muftī Yusuf Ibn Yaqub
Washington, DC (USA)

Concurred by:

Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)

Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)

 

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  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
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