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Can a father distribute his property unequally among his children according to Islamic law?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
My question to you is when father wants to distribute his properties in-following manners, how he has to act.
(1) Can he give his entire property and assets to anyone other than his children even though if he had his own kids? Is there any limit for this?
(2) If he has 2 sons and 2 daughters can he distribute his properties and assets among his one son and two daughters only, leaving the other son without any assets of his parents?
(3) Suppose the properties and assets which he owns now, also has a part of his father’s ancestral property in that case how he has to divide. Kindly give your fatwa based on the Quran and Hadith.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 4/4/N=01/1435)

(1-3) It is unlawful and sin to give whole property and wealth to some children or to someone else as gift (hiba) and deprive some children or all of them completely without any Shariah reason. Hadith sternly warns about it.
عن أنس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من قطع ميراث وارثه قطع الله ميراثه من الجنة يوم القيامة رواه ابن ماجة’ ورواه البيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن أبي هريرة (شكوة شريف ص 266 مطبوعه مكتبه اشرفيه ديوبند)
The ruling is same for all the property whether bought with one’s own earning or received from forefathers as inheritance. It should be noted that though it is unlawful and sin but if the property and land etc was given into the complete possession of the mauhub lahu (legatee) then he shall become the owner of that gifted land and property.
If someone intends to distribute his property among his heirs in his lifetime he should keep as much property as he intends with himself and also should give his wife as per the capacity. And then he should distribute the remaining property and land among his all children equally whether male or female and give it into their complete possession and make them its owner. It is the best option. however, if he distributes it among all his children as inheritance then it is also lawful. In this case the wife should be given eights shares and each son equal to the share of two daughters.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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