Maliks Muwatta Book 37, Hadith Number 4C.

Section : Bequests to Heirs and Right of Possession.

Yahya said that he heard Malik say, “This ayat is abrogated. It is the word of Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, ‘If he leaves goods, the testament is for parents and kinsmen.’ What came down about the division of the fixed shares of inheritance in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted, abrogated it.”

Yahya said that he heard Malik say, “The established sunna with us, in which there is no dispute, is that it is not permitted for a testator to make a bequest (in addition to the fixed share) in favour of an heir, unless the other heirs permit him. If some of them permit him and others refuse, he is allowed to diminish the share of those who have given their permission. Those who refuse take their full share from the inheritance.

Yahya said that he heard Malik speak about an invalid who made a bequest and asked his heirs to give him permission to make a bequest when he was so ill that he only had command of a third of his property, and they gave him permission to leave some of his heirs more than his third. Malik said, “They cannot revoke that. Had they been permitted to do so, every heir would have done that, and then, when the testator died, they would take that for themselves and prevent him from bequeathing his third and what was permitted to him with respect to his property.”

Malik said, “If he asks permission of his heirs to grant a bequest to an heir while he is well and they give him permission, that is not binding on them. The heirs can rescind that if they wish. That is because when a man is well, he is entitled to all his property and can do what he wishes with it. If he wishes, he can spend all of it. He can spend it and give sadaqa with it or give it to whomever he likes. His asking permission of his heirs is permitted for the heirs, when they give him permission when authority over all his property is closed off from him and nothing outside of the third is permitted to him, and when they are more entitled to the two-thirds of his property than he is himself. That is when their permission becomes relevant. If he asks one of the heirs to give his inheritance to him when he is dying, and the heir agrees and then the dying man does not dispose of it at all, it is returned to the one who gave it unless the deceased said to him, ‘So-and-so – (one of his heirs) – is weak, and I would like you to give him your inheritance.’ So he gives it to him. That is permitted when the deceased specified it for him.”

Malik said, “When a man gives the dying man free use of his share of the inheritance, and the dying man distributes some of it and some remains, it is returned to the giver, after the man has died.”

Yahya said that he heard Malik speak about someone who made a bequest and mentioned that he had given one of his heirs something which he had not taken possession of, so the heirs refused to permit that. Malik said, “That gift returns to the heirs as inheritance according to the Book of Allah because the deceased did not mean that to be taken out of the third and the heirs do not have a portion in the third (which the dying man is allowed to bequeath).”

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