Can a husband give all his wealth away to charity after his death even though he has dependants upon him

Fatwa ID: 01277

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

My brother has no children and he is wealthy. He prays, fast and gives a lot of donations. He made a will to give all his wealth after his death to charity; even he has wife and siblings. Please note that he is not giving his wealth now while he is alive but he is giving it after his death by writing it in a will. Please let me know if that halal?

Answer:

Bismillah

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Inheritance is the order of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and it is Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) commands which comes into effect at the time of the deceased’s death and not their unlawful wishes.

To deprive someone of his or her share of the inheritance is a grave sin and one will be punished in the hereafter.

In a hadith the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had said, “If anyone flees (plans devises to avoid the payment of) the inheritance, Allah will forfeit his inheritance of paradise on the Day of Judgement.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Regarding your question, if your brother makes a will whereby he gives all his wealth to charity after death, then such a will in Islam would be considered void and no one would be allowed to comply with the terms of the will. Instead up to one third of the wealth and estate would be given to charity and the remaining two thirds will be distributed between his wife and other siblings.

If your brother is intending to give all his wealth away to charity whilst alive, the jurists have said that giving all of one's property in sadaqah is permissible provided the donor is fit, patient, and steadfast, not in debt, nor has dependents for which adequate support from him or her is obligatory. If he does not fulfil these conditions, then his or her action will be considered disliked. (Taqrir Abu Dawud p.128 v.3)

Saaiduna Jabir raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated: “While we were with the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “A man came with what was like an egg of gold. He said: ‘O Prophet of Allah! I obtained this from buried treasure, so take it. It is sadaqah, and I do not possess anything other than it.’ The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) turned away from him and he (the man) then approached him from the direction of his left side. The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) then turned away from him again and he approached him from behind. Then the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) took it and threw it at him. If it had hit him, it would have injured him. Then he said: ’One of you comes with all his property to make sadaqah, then after (giving all he had) he sits (by the road) begging from the people. Sadaqah is given by the one who is rich.’ "(Sunan Abu Dawud p.242 v.1)

From the crux of the aforementioned information we can derive as your brother has dependants on him i.e. wife and siblings, even during his lifetime he would not be allowed to give away all his wealth. 

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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