Date : 12-03-2017

Question :

A man has divided his lands among his children. Does this require witnesses? Should this be recorded in written form? Is ownership transferred to the children on the spot, or after registration at the Lands Department? Is it the right of any of the children to relinquish his share after the death of the father?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Whatever property the father gives to his children in his life is considered a (Gift). However, equality is recommended when gifting children, but it isn`t obligatory, be it a charity or a grant. This is provided that no injustice is done to any of the children nor is any deprived from their inheritance since the Prophet(PBUH) said: "Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children."{Agreed upon}.

When the father decides to divide his property among his children in his life, it is preferable to record this in writing and to have witnesses to that, then disclaim that property at the Lands Dept. in order to prevent any dispute. Allah, The Almighty, said: " And call to witness"{Al-Baqarah/282}.It is the right of every child to accept the gift or turn it down. If the latter happens, then the gift goes back to the father if he is still alive, and to his heirs if he isn`t.

Moreover, the gift isn`t binding and remains owned by the father unless he officially disclaims it at the Lands Dept. However, he has the right to back out on that gift before it is officially transferred to his child, and he could even reclaim it if the child hasn`t disposed of it in any way, such as renting or selling.

Finally, the Fatwa Dept. doesn`t recommend that a father divides his property in his life since Allah, The Almighty, has appointed for everyone who has a right what is due to him. And Allah knows best.