Distributing property between the brothers equally or according to their investment into the family
The situation we discussed on the phone is as follows:
When the brothers put all their money and savings into the “family pot” it will be considered Islamically to be a gift. There are many virtues with regards to giving gifts. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, "Exchange gifts and mutual love arises, shake hands and enmity will fall away" (Ibn Asakir)
When the brothers then decide to distribute the wealth and property they are in reality asking for their gift back. To ask for a gift back is impermissible in the following seven situations;
- From relatives.
- Husband and wife relationship.
- To take or accept a reward after accepting the gift.
- The gift has left the ownership of the person whom the gift was given to.
- If the giver or the person the gift was given to passed away.
- If the gift has perished.
- If the gift has increased in nature, such as a piece of cloth and the person has dyed it. (Al Ikhtiyar p.51 v.3)
However, if the giver and person whom the gift was given to are happy to return it back then it will be permissible. Similarly, if the Qadhi (Islamic judge) was to pass a judgement for the gift to be returned then it will be permissible to return the gift back to the giver. (Hidayah p.290 v.3)
The conclusion we can come to is that the property should be distributed equally, however, if some brothers object and want a exact refund of what they have invested into the family, then as long as the other brothers agree it will be permissible to distribute the wealth according to how much the brothers invested into the family. (Fatawa Rahimiyah p.279 v.10)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham