Is It Permissible for Parents to Distribute Wealth before Their Death?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Is it permitted under Shari‘a for my father-in-law or mother-in-law to transfer wealth to my sister-in-law but not to us and to say that we will get it after their death?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are well. Thank you for your important question.

Yes, it is permissible for parents to distribute wealth before death. Legally, they are free to give away any portion of their wealth to whoever they would like, but it’s severely disliked. However, the Prophetic sunna in wealth gifting during one’s lifetime has to be done equally between the children.

Distribution of Gifting of Wealth

Some jurists are of the opinion if some children are more religious than others, it would be permissible to prefer them in gifting more than others, and if all are equal, it would be disliked preferring one over the other. But if one does not intend to harm others, there is no problem in gifting this way. Some are of the opinion; men can be given double than women. One of the wisdom in this can be seen when we realize that the financial obligations of a family are upon the man and not the woman.

Nu‘man ibn Bashir (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Fear Allah (Most High) and do equal treatment of women.” [Muslim] [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Your Case

In your case, you can request with wisdom and respect that they give you a portion. Maybe they are gifting your sister-in-law now as she might be in need or not get a share or a lesser one after their demise.

In matters of wealth gifting, distribution, and inheritance, it is always advised one contact a reliable local scholar as the matter is connected to our elders and parents, and there can be more detail and context to a family matter.

Given the considerations in such cases, we urge you to please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation.

Related: Transferring Property to Children in One’s Lifetime

Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersGuidance?

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.