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Asking heirs to forfeit their inheritance


Nasihah (Advice): Continuous Goodness for the Believer

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “The position of a Mu’min (believer) is unique; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah Ta’ala and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him”. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith #: 7692) 



Question and Answer:

Q.My uncle has given his sons and daughters properties a few years ago as gifts in his lifetime. Now he is asking them not to claim from his  inheritance when he passes away  because he  has already given them their  inheritance and the children must leave the entire estate to his wife. Is this correct?

(Query published as received)


  1. As you have stated, the properties that your uncle had given to his children in his lifetime are gifts and belong to them. These properties will not form part of your uncle’s estate upon his demise. Whatever your uncle owns at the time of his demise will form part of his estate and has to be distributed according to the Islamic Law of Succession and Inheritance amongst all his rightful heirs.

It is not correct for him to instruct his children to forfeit their inheritance on account of him giving them certain assets in his lifetime. The properties that he has given them in his lifetime are not inheritance. These are gifts. Inheritance only comes into effect after a person passes away. The children of your uncle are legitimate Shar’ee heirs and have the full right to claim their shares of inheritance upon his demise.

Yes, if after the demise of their father, the children wish to cede their shares to their mother without any coercion, they may do so. Alternately, your uncle may gift whatever assets he wishes to his wife in his lifetime as he has gifted his children.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed


Mufti Moosa Salie



Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) 

Council of Muslim Theologians
223 Alpine Road, Overport

Durban, South Africa
Tel : +27 (0) 31 2077099
Fax : +27(0) 31 2074163
Website : www.jamiat.org.za


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