Transferring Property to Exclude Other Children Permissible?

13 September, 2021
Q Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. Is transferring property to one child out of five children permissible? I am asking because my mother is planning to do so. Jazakum Allah khayran.


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

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:

1- Transferring property to one child is not allowed as this is against the rules of Allah.

3- Parents in Islam are ordered to deal justly and fairly with their children.

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

Transferring property to one child is not permissible, for such an act is simply unacceptable in Islam.

Parents in Islam should deal justly and fairly with their children and refrain from all words, actions, or behavior that seem discriminatory in one way or another towards any one of their children.

The seriousness of this matter is clear when we consider how important Islam considers justice. For justice, according to the Quran, is central to Allah’s creation and order of things.

To upset this natural order and balance is a most heinous sin. People call this practice zhulm (injustice or oppression).

There is perhaps no sin in Islam worse than zhulm in diverse forms. The most glaring of these forms is shirk. Shirk means associating partners with Allah, the Creator and Cherisher of all beings.

It is due to the crucial nature of justice that Allah orders the faithful to be just:

{Allah enjoins justice and excellence (in all things) and charity to kinsmen, and forbidden indecency, wickedness and oppression. He admonishes you so that you may take heed.} (An-Nahl 16:90)

Allah has thus forbidden all forms of injustice. We read in a hadith qudsi (sacred hadith) that Allah said,

“My Servants! I have forbidden injustice upon Myself and declared it forbidden upon you as well, so do not commit injustice!” (Muslim)

Since the first and foremost place to realize the beautiful values and ethics of Islam is nowhere but home itself, the Prophet was ever keen to remind the parents of their responsibility towards their children.

Thus, he not only ordered them to deal with their children justly but also warned them against any words or actions that may amount to be discriminatory.

He said, “Fear Allah and deal justly towards your children!” (Al-Bukhari)

Once one of his Companions requested him to witness an offer of a present to one of his sons.

The Prophet asked him, “Have you given a similar gift to all of your children?”

When the man replied, “No,” he told him, “Go and find someone else to witness this act, for I cannot be a witness to an act of injustice!” (Muslim)

The Ruling of Transferring Property

In light of the above, your mother’s action is deplorable. If she has already transferred her wealth to one of her children, depriving the rest, then she is definitely guilty of a major offense in the sight of Allah.

Therefore, it is imperative that she be reminded of her unjust act and be forewarned of the consequences so that she takes all due measures to rectify the situation immediately.
May Allah inspire us to be fair and just in words and deeds. Ameen.

 Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.