Being Just Between Male and Female Children Is in Relation to Gift Not Inheritance
Fatwa No: 447067


As per Surah Nisa, the male gets twice the share of female. Can a parent violate this command by gifting all property equal between a son and daughter?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we say that the noble verse was revealed regarding inheritance and not regarding an effective gift during one’s lifetime. Therefore, whoever dies and leaves behind a son and a daughter, the inheritance should be divided between them for the male a share of two females, as Allah Says (what means): {Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.} [Quran 4:11]

Therefore, if the father or the mother makes a will before his/her death that the estate will be divided equally between his/her son and daughter, then there is absolutely no consideration for his/her will.

The instruction of Allah is more appropriate and has more right to be fulfilled; no human being at all no matter who he is has the right to order the division of the inheritance in contradiction to what Allah the Almighty has legislated in His Book. Allah Says (what means): {Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented?} [Quran 42:21]

Allah also Says (what means): {Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know. Indeed, they will never avail you against Allah at all.} [Quran 45:18-19]

If the son wants to renounce some of his share in the inheritance to his sister when he is an adult, rational, and in sound mind, like if he renounces a quarter of his share to her so that her share will be equal to his, then there is nothing wrong with this.

The part (share) that he renounces for her is considered a gift from him to her, and the rulings of a gift apply to it, and it is not inheritance for the daughter from the estate.

Likewise, if the mother or father gives his son and daughter his property during his lifetime while he is not affected with an illness which is feared to cause his death, then this is a gift and not inheritance. So, if he divides this gift between them equally, then there is no harm on him in doing so.

The view that we adopt here in Islamweb is that being just between the male and female children in relation to the gift – not in relation to the inheritance – is achieved but gifting them equally (exactly the same portion for each one) for the Hadeeth: “Be equal among your children when gifting them; for if I were to favor anyone, I would have favored women.” [Sa’eed ibn Mansoor and Al-Bayhaqi] Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him ruled in Al-Fath that its chain of transmission is good.

For more benefit on the wisdom why a man has twice the share of a female in inheritance, please refer to Fatwa 85193.

Allah Knows best.

Related Fatwa