What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: If a father divides his property amongst some of his children but does not give it to the rest, then what is the Islamic ruling?

Questioner: Abdul Qadir from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If a father divides his property during his lifetime amongst his offspring and gifts it to them, he should divide it equally amongst all sons and daughters; he should not give more to some and less to others without a valid reason, nor should he differentiate between sons and daughters[1]. If he deprives even one person by giving more to another without a valid reason, he will be sinful. Yes; if there is someone amongst his offspring is given more due to being more pious, righteous and virtuous or serving the religion of Islām more, then there is some leeway in this regard. However, totally depriving someone is not correct, but if the father has divided the property amongst some and deprived the rest – and those who have been given it have accepted it and taken ownership of it – then they have become the owners of said property but the father doing so is incorrect.

Just as it is stated in the narration of the respected Nu’mān Ibn Bashīr – may Allāh be pleased with him,

“وعن النعمان بن بشير أن أباه أتى به إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: إني نحلت ابني هذا غلاماً، فقال: «أكل ولدك نحلت مثله؟» قال: لا قال: «فأرجعه» . وفي رواية …… قال: «فاتقوا الله واعدلوا بين أولادكم»”

‘His father (the respected Bashīr – may Allāh be pleased with him) brought him in the blessed court of the Noble Prophet ﷺ and requested that “I have given this son of mine a slave.” He ﷺ asked whether he had given all of his children the same, and when he replied that he had not, he ﷺ told him to take him back. It is mentioned in another narration that he stated, “Fear God and act equally with your children.”’

[Mishkāh al-Masābīh, vol. 1, p. 261][2]

Likewise, it is stated in another narration,

“من قطع ميراث وارثه قطع الله ميراثه من الجنة يوم القيامة.”

‘If anyone deprives an heir of his inheritance, God will deprive him of his inheritance in Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.’

[Mishkāh al-Masābīh, vol. 2, p. 926][3]

By depriving some and giving all of the wealth to some, the father will be sinful; it is stated in Durr Mukhtār,

“وَلَوْ وَهَبَ فِي صِحَّتِهِ كُلَّ الْمَالِ لِلْوَلَدِ جَازَ وَأَثِمَ”

[Durr Mukhtār, vol. 5 p. 696]

Whereas, if he gave more to a child due to him/her being more religious as a Muslim, then this is permissible – just as it is stated in Fatāwā Tātarkhāniyyah,

“وعلی جواب المتأخرین لا بأس بأن یعطي من أولاده من کان متأدباً”

[Fatāwā Tātarkhāniyyah, vol. 3 p. 462]

[1] A daughter will receive half a share to that of a son.

[2] This is also narrated in Sahīh al-Bukhārī, Sahīh Muslim, Sunan al-Nasā’ī, Sunan Abī Dāwūd.

[3] This is also narrated in Sunan Ibn Mājah.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0844] Can a Father leave some of his children out of their inheritance?

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