Q: I need your Fatwa as regards the following:First, a person had more than one son and he paid the marriage expenses of the older sons. He has another son who is about to marry and one more who is still young.
Is it permissible for him to bequeath a sum of money to pay for the marriage expenses of the unmarried sons whether or not they are adults?
Second, if he bought cars for all his older sons, whether they live with him or are far away, is it permissible for him (Part No. 16; Page No. 201) to bequeath some money of the same value as the car to his son for whom he has not yet bought one, whether or not he is an adult?Third, if he has sons who live far from him and they are financially independent and other sons who live with him, serve him and help him, is it permissible for him to bequeath some money to those who serve him in return for their sacrifices and service? Is it also permissible to do the same with wives if he has more than one wife?Fourth, there is no doubt that the belongings a person leaves behind, whether they are effects or real estate, belong to all the inheritors; however, it hurts one to imagine that the belongings which his wife and underage children depend on in their life, will be sold or deducted from their inheritance.I am very concerned about this. I think that it is better not to sell inherited objects such as furniture, cars and food and other belongings for the benefit of the underage children and their mother who takes care of them because the adult sons are financially stable. (Part No. 16; Page No. 202) They have good jobs and received a good education; whereas, the underage children are young and are in need of kindness, mercy, education and training. They should be saved from suffering two evils at the same time; their father's death and living in a house less than the one they used to live in which will have a negative effect on them. Also, the property may be estimated at a certain price and be deduced from their shares of inheritance of their father's bequest.I hope Your Eminence will consider this subject from all dimensions and aspects and issue a Fatwa that you think will free us of responsibility and maintain all that is good.
the basic ruling in this matter is treating children with justice. The religious evidence on this includes:
On the authority of
Al-Nu`man ibn Bashir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Treat your children justly, treat your children justly, treat your children justly.
Abu Dawud and
wife of Bashir said to her husband: Donate a slave to my son and let the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) be a witness to it. He went to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said: The daughter of so-and-so (his wife) asked me to donate my slave to my son. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Does he have brothers? He said: Yes. He (peace be upon him) said: Have you given to each of them as you gave to him? He said: No. Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (peace he upon him) said: Then take him back; this is invalid and I can only bear witness to what is just.
(Part No. 16; Page No. 203)
It is also narrated by
Abu Dawud on the authority of
Al-Nu`man ibn Bashir in which Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
Do not make me a witness to injustice, your children have the right to receive equal treatment.
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered parents to be just to their children and this order necessitates that it is obligatory to treat children justly. This is substantiated by the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), "It is not valid", his saying,
"I can only bear witness to what is just",
"Do not make me a witness for injustice"
as well as the other narrations to the same effect.
if he gave something to some of them but did not give anything to the rest, he has to take back the gifts. What confirms this is the Hadith narrated by
Al-Nu`man ibn Bashir:
His father brought him to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said: I have given this slave of mine to my son. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Have you given to each of your sons (a slave) like this? He said: No. Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (peace he upon him) said: Then take him back.
Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
In the narration of
Muslim, he said:
My father gave me Sadaqah (voluntary charity) but
`Amrah bint Rawahah (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) a witness to it. So, my father went to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said, 'I have given Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to my son from `Amrah bint Rawahah, but she ordered me to make you a witness to it, O Allah's Messenger!' Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) asked, 'Have you given (the like of it) to each of your sons?' He replied in the negative. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, 'Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children.' My father then returned and took back his Sadaqah."
(Part No. 16; Page No. 204)
Al-Bukhari related a similar narration with the use of the word 'gift' instead of Sadaqah (voluntary charity).
it is permissible for the father to give gifts to his sons who serve him and take care of him in return for their service. This does not mean that he gives preference to them over their other brothers provided that what he pays to them is equal to the same charge given to other people who offer the same service whether on a daily, monthly or yearly basis.
if the person dies, his offspring inherit him each according to his legal share of the legacy. It is not permissible for the Muslim to bequeath some of his inheritors more than their legal rights; neither from the legacy nor from other money. This is according to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
Allah has appointed for everyone who has a right what is due to him, and no bequest must be made to an heir.
(Part No. 16; Page No. 205) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.