Message No : 1Sr.No : 183/722
Question By : Mohamed


I live with my father, three years ago my father decided to distribute the house between my self and my brother. In the presence of our local mufti we agreed a settlement between myself and my brother. It was decided that I keep the house and pay the agreed cash amount to my brother.

Since then my brother has changed his mind and wants to renegotiate.

I have 5 sisters, my father did not consult them and decided to pay each one a cash sum. The amount he paid to my sisters is less that what he gave us. At the time my sisters were aware of his decision and now after three years they are objecting to what he did.

My questions are as follows:

1) As the property was given to me, am I the owner and can this be taken away from me now or not.
2) Is my father allowed to change his mind, for something he has given to me 3 years ago infront of witnesses even though it was not done as per Sharia.
3) Do my sisters have a right to object to what my father did after 3 years.
4) Is my brother allowed to renegotiate to something he has already agreed to 3 years ago.

Please advise ASAP


Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuho
Dear Brother in Islam,
The answer to your questions are as follows:

Islam furnishes a parent absolute authority to use his property during his lifetime. He is permitted to give his property whomsoever he likes when he does not want to harm his heirs or deprive them of his property. But if he intends so, he will be sinful.

Whatever a parent gives his child in lifetime is gift not heritance. And he should give equate gift to every child. This is because, the share of every child whether body or girl is equal in gift. And the gifted thing will be the property of child when he/she takes possession over it. After that the parent is not allowed to take the gift back according to Hanfi school of thought. The Prophet of Islam (SAW) is reported as having said, ¡°There is no revocation in gift when it is for relations within prohibited degree¡±. (I¡¯laus-Sunan 16: 106)

There are some conditions for a gift to be valid. One of them is possession. If someone gives a gift to a person but does not let him take possession over it, the gift will not be valid and remains the property of giver. A person gives some clothes to his friend, for instance, in a locked box but does not give the key then the gift is not complete unless the key is also given.

It is not clear from the statement mentioned in the question whether your father made you the owner of the property or not. However, the property given to you will be yours and cannnot be taken away from you if your father had made you the owner of that property and you had also taken possession over it. But if he gave you the property verbally and did not make you the owner of it, then your father is the owner of that property. And after his death it would be distributed amongst the heirs who would be alive at that time.

2) If your father had made you owner of the property and you had taken possession over it then he is not allowed to take it back. (Aalamghiri 4: 387) But if he did not let you take possession over the property then he is owner of it and has absolute right to do whatever he likes.

3) None has right to object whatever your father had given you making you its owner.

4) Though your bother should not renegotiate to the matter he has already agreed, is permitted to settle the matter with your consent. If you agree to renegotiate then there is no harm to do so. And these kind of cases should be solved by mutual understanding so that the conflict should not take place between the members of the family.

And Allah knows the best,

Certified by

Mufti Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Markazul Ma¡¯arif, Mumbai¡ª3

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