Can We Choose to Split Inheritance Shares Equally?

27 November, 2020
Q Can I write in my will that my gold will be distributed equally between my son and daughter? The person making Islamic will is saying he will not do that as it's not according to Shariah. Also my husband would like to distribute the house equally.


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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

There is nothing wrong with distributing the shares of inheritance equally as long as you do so while making it known to your children.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Distributing shares equally

Islam allows you to distribute the shares of inheritance equally as long as you do so while making it known to both of your children.

After all, the reason why Islam gives double shares to men is that a woman has no financial responsibility. If she is married, her husband is the provider. If she is not married, then her father and in the absence of the father, the brother is supposed to take on that responsibility.

We all know that no brother would take on his sister’s financial burden; even if he wants to, he may not be able to do it for one reason or another.

So, why not distribute the shares equally, when it is made known to the children in advance, and accepted it.

If a person wants to relinquish his shares and give it all to other heirs, whether sister or brother, why would it be objectionable in the Shariah?

Once you have made it clear to your children and they are pleased with it, the person cannot raise any objection. It is wrong on his part to insist otherwise.

Parents’ gifts to children

If you still don’t want to go that route, you have another choice. You can distribute the shares equally now while you are alive. In which case, it falls in the category of gifts.

As far as gifts during the life-time are concerned, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) warns against any discrimination among children.

Once a man appeared before the Prophet (PBUH) asking him to witness a present to one of his sons.  The Prophet (PBUH) asked him, ‘Did you give a similar gift to every one of your children?’ He said, ‘no.’, then the Prophet told him, “You ought to treat them equally. Since you are not doing so, I cannot be a witness to an unfair action.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Almighty Allah knows best.