A man gifted a spacious land that includes many farms to his sons, to the exclusion of his daughters. He was fully responsible and competent when he did this. After his death, the documents remained with his sons and they did not distribute them. Is it permissible for any of the partners to prevent the others from examining these documents and knowing their content?
What this man did is not permissible, though some scholars regard this gift as having valid consequences. But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has prohibited unfair gifts. One must not be unfair with his children. When Bashir, father of al-Nu`man, asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to bear witness to his gift, he said, “I do not bear witness to injustice.” It is not permissible to give gifts to some of his children to the exclusion of others. He should have distributed his property among his children according to their shares in inheritance. He could have given the male a double share of that of the female. There is nothing to disallow this. But it is not permissible to exclude the daughters totally. Therefore, if this case is taken to a Hanbilite judge, he will invalidate it. The Malikites and the Shafi`ites validate such a gift; but the Hanbilites do not, and this is closer to the text and more proper. As for the documents, all the heirs have a right to have them. Thus, the judge before whom the case is submitted should demand the heirs who possess these documents to bring them, because no one has the right to possess them to the exclusion of others. Allah knows best.