Parents’ Gift to Children: Any Conditions?

03 July, 2018
Q We are 3 brothers and 3 sisters; except me they are all married with kids. My parents managed to buy some land properties within last 30 years. 2 were in my mother name and were gifted to me and my brother 1 each, whereas 1 was through father to the eldest brother. My sisters were not happy and asked for their share too, which my parents have not transferred yet, saying they have the land, but they will not transfer yet to them. I want to know if what my parents did was according to the Islamic Shari`ah; to gift the land among brothers only with their will. Please, let me know the legal stand in this case.

Answer

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:

As for parents’ gifts to their children during their life, that should be equally granted. After parents’ death, the estate must be divided according the inheritance rulings of Shari`ah.


In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:

You confused me saying gift then you said with their will. Is it that mother gave you and your brother these 2 lots of land or they wrote a last will in which they mentioned the same?

A gift in lifetime from a parent to a child is governed by the Hadith of An-Nu`man when his father wanted to give him a gift without giving similar gifts to all his siblings. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) rejected to be a witness to this unjust gift. That was after he asked the father whether he gave similar gifts to all other children.

This action was called by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as injustice. This is why the rule in Shari`ah, as adopted by majority of schools of fiqh, is that gifts in the lifetime of parents must be equal regardless of the gender, males and females.

In case of a gift in a last will, it is not valid to any heir; you both are potential heirs of your parents. This means that inheritance rule must be applied when any one of them dies. The rule then is two shares to a male (son) and one share to a female (daughter).

Almighty Allah knows best.

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

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey