Giving More Share of Inheritance due to A child’s devotion
For example, there is a family with an illustration as follows:
Mr. Danang has three sons, and two daughters. They all have married and live separately, but the youngest son Adi who still live at his parent house and help Mr. Danang to work on his rice field.
Is it alright for Mr. Danang to give more share of his inheritance to Adi, as a reward for his hard work in helping his parent on the rice field?
All praises be to Allah, and peace and prayer of Allah be upon His messenger.
First, there are three forms of the transfer of wealth from parents to their children:
1. Through inheritance
The transfer of wealth through inheritance will only be valid after the parent passed away, and it should be distributed according to the standard guidance of inheritance distribution that has been written in the Qur’an.
2. Through livelihood
The living or livelihood is provided by parents to fulfill the main needs of their children and it is obligatory for them to provide it. Since this living is given to meet the main needs of the children, the amount given to each child might be different, according to their needs. For example, a freshman in university will need more of the living compared to a kindergarten pupil. A chronically ill child will need more of the living to fund the treatment compared to a healthy child, etc.
And children who get less of the living should not demand any compensation from their parents. For example, one of the children was sick and the treatment costed a hundred millions. After they entered adulthood, other child shouldn’t demand their parent to give the share of inheritance of the sick child to them, since it was a part of livelihood.
Bequest is a gift from parent to their children outside of the main needs of the children that become the burden of the parent.
For this third form of transfer, parents must be fair to all of their children, even between boys and girls, according to the strong opinion in this matter. The reason is a hadith from An Nu’man Ibn Bashir.
Nu’man once told that his father, Bashir, ever came to the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and reported, “I’ve given a slave to this child of mine (Nu’man).” The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- asked,
أعطيت سائر ولدك مثل هذا؟
“Fear Allah, and be fair to your children.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).
[See: “Syarh Riyadhus Shalihin”, by Ibn Uthaymeen, 6/535 – 536]
What is the solution for the case in question?
Below is the explanation given by Dr. Sa’d Al Khatslan, when he was asked,
“Is it alright for one of heir to get more of the inheritance, as a compensation for his hard work?”
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله، وبعد:
فلا يخلو أن يكون الورثة –المشار إليهم في السؤال- أولاداً أو غير أولاد، أما إن كانوا غير أولاد، كأن يكونوا إخوة مثلاً فله أن يخصَّ بعضهم بهبة أو عطية أو هدية أو غير ذلك؛ لأنه لا يجب العدل بينهم.
All praises be to Allah, peace and prayer of Allah be upon His messenger. After that:
Heirs – as mentioned in the question – might be from children or non children, such as siblings. If he is a sibling, then the near death may provide grants, gifts or any property to one of his siblings, because there is no obligation to be fair to each of them.
أما إذا كان الورثة هم أولاده فلا يجوز تخصيص بعضهم بهبة أو عطية؛ لقول النبي –صلى الله عليه وسلم- لوالد النعمان بن بشير لما أراد أبوه أن يخصه بهبة: “أعطيت سائر ولدك مثل هذا؟” قال: لا. قال: “فاتقوا الله واعدلوا بين أولادكم”، … صحيح البخاري (2586)، وصحيح مسلم (1623)، وصحيح حبان (5106)، وغيرهم.
But if the heirs are his children, then parents are not allowed to grant something to one of his children without giving it to the others too, based on the saying of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- to Nu’man’s father, when he wanted to grant a special gift to Nu’man, “Did you give the same to all of your child?”. Bashir replied, “No.” Then the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Fear Allah, and be fair to all of your children.” (Narrated by Bukhari, no. 2586, Muslim, no. 1623, Ibn Hibban no. 5106, and others)
Then he gave a solution:
أما إذا كان بعض أولاده يعمل مع والده فإن هذا لا يقتضي تخصيصه، وإنما يعامل معاملة الأجنبي تماماً، فيعطيه ما يعطي الأجنبي من أجرة المثل لو قام بمثل عمله من غير محاباة. والله أعلم.
And if there is a child who helps his father to work, this shouldn’t be the reason to treat him differently to get a grant from his parent. But he should be treated as other person, thus he deserves to get standard wage as others, if he does the work (helping his parent) not because of his own willingness.
Author: Ustadz Ammi Nur Baits
Article of www.Syaria.com