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Ruling on Wealth Given by Child to Father and Ruling on Claiming it

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling of Sharia on the wealth a child gives to his/her father, claiming it while the latter is alive or dead, and the wealth that one of the spouses gives to the other?

Answer:

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

The magnanimous Sharia has made an independent financial liability for each responsible Muslim where the father, the child-male or female-or the husband and the wife; each has their financial liability and private property. Being a father, a child or a spouse doesn`t justify transgressing against private wealth and this is attested to in the fact that the father and the child give the Zakah of their wealth independently and they inherit each other, so had each not been financially independent, these rulings wouldn`t have been applied.

There are three cases as regards what a child gives to his/her father, a husband to his wife or a wife to her husband: 

First: Compulsory maintenance. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: " Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what God has given him. God puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, God will soon grant relief." {At-Talaq, 7}. In this case, the person liable to give maintenance-after meeting the legal conditions stated in Sharia-can`t take it back from the recipient himself or from his/her estate after his/her death.

Second: Gift. When a gift is handed to the recipient, the giver isn`t allowed to take it back and this is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. Their evidence on this is that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah's Apostle (Blessings and peace be upon him) as saying: "One who gets back the gift is like one who eats vomit." {Related by Muslim}.

Third: Loan. The loaner has the right to claim his money from the loaned. He can do this during the latter`s life time or-after his death-from his heirs if he left an estate.

Fourth: The money is paid as part of the capital in a partnership or a Mudaraba*; in which case a partner has the right to claim his share in the capital as well as the profit, if any. However, if there is loss, then he may investigate the reasons behind it to see if there is/not any act of negligence on the part of one of the partners.

Due to the diversity of the aforementioned cases, the fathers and the spouses-during their lifetime or after their passing away-must preserve the rights of their children and spouses. This can be done by writing down whatever amounts they take from them as a loan or for a partnership so as to leave no room for dispute and conflict. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: " O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties:…" {Al-Baqarah, 282}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

 

*It is a partnership contract in which one party provides the capital, whereas the other party (known as ‘Mudarib’) provides labour and expertise in running the partnership.

   

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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