Can a father deprive his children of the inheritance?

The religion of Islam has attached a great importance to the inheritance law. In both in the Holy Quran and in hadiths, the situation of someone who leaves an inheritance, how they will act, who deserve an inheritance, in what way and how much inheritance they will receive have been indicated in detail. The question of inheritance has taken hold of a significant place among the Islamic Sciences. Scholars have written separate books about the law of inheritance, this matter has been treated separately in the books of canonical jurisprudence, there have been subtle calculations with regard to the sharing of inheritance for not to cause any injustice.

Those who do not act attentively in the matter of inheritance and therefore cause disagreement between the heirs are both held responsible religiously and cause damage to the ties of kinship, which is supposed to continue between heirs.

The first important task in the matter of inheritance lies within the responsibility of the one who is to leave an inheritance.

To cause hatred borne between heirs by giving away the large amount or the most valuable properties to a single child or to leave the most of the property to a person or an institution while still alive or by bequeathing, gives rise to serious disagreements or fights between the heirs.

The command of the Quran in this respect is quite clear. after deduction for any bequest that may have been made or debt; neither (bequest or debt) intending harm (to the rights of the heirs in such ways as declaring fictitious debts or bequeathing more than one-third of ones estate). A commandment from God. God is All-Knowing (of all your intentions, actions, and outcomes), All-Clement (not hasty to punish the errors of His servants). (An-Nisaa Surah, 4:12)

In the other verse following this one, those who obey Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH) and act within the boundaries that Allah has permitted are given good tidings, which is eternal bliss. These are the bounds set by God. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger (by remaining within these bounds); God will admit him into Gardens through which rivers flow, abiding therein. That is the supreme triumph. (An-Nisaa Surah, 4:13)

In a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad warns not to share the inheritance in a way to victimize the heirs: Allah Almighty has given each share-holder their dues. Therefore there can be no (unjust) testament in favor of one of the heirs. (Tirmidhi Hadith Book, Wasayaa 5:2122; Nesaî, Wasayaa 5, 6:247).

In order for someone to be deprived of the inheritance, first, what is considered decisively is if s/he has committed apostasy. Ones being sinful or neglecting some religious duties does not require him/her to be deprived of the inheritance.

Someone giving such a punishment to his children is not a positive way of disciplining. On the other hand, no matter how much wealthy those who deserve the inheritance might be, this wealth cannot be a reason to keep them away from the inheritance.

Someone, however, may have the use and disposal of his property. However, as we stressed above, he must not give rise to any injustice.


It is possible to act as follows in this matter: A person may make a will one third of his/her property to be given to someone s/he has determined. Thus, he does the good deed in his/her thought. S/he leaves the rest of his/her property to the heirs.



Source: Mehmed Paksu, The Questions That the Modern Age Puts

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