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[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.33 –:– The Description of Giving Gifts and Treating Your Children Equally

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

The Description of Giving Gifts and Treating Your Children Equally

Humayd Ibn Abdurahman and Muhammad Ibn Nu’man: One hadith

[33] And from Malik he said Ibn Shihab narrated to me from Humayd Ibn Abdurahman Ibn Awf and from Muhammad Ibn Nu’man Ibn Bashir that they related to him that an-Nu’man Ibn Bashir said that his father Bashir brought him to the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) and said, “I have given this son of mine one of my slaves.” The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) said, “Have you given each of your children the same as this?” He said, “No.” The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) said, “Then take the slave back.”



Al-Muwatta (Yahya’s narration 2/751,752 hadith no.1511, book 36, chapter 33, hadith no.39) at-Tamhid (7/223), al-Istidhkar: (no.1439)

Transmitted by Bukhari (no.2586) and Muslim (9/1623) from the hadith of Malik.


1) If any person assigns their children gifts equally and justly before they become ill (before they die) then it is allowed. Gifts given in the state of illness are wasiyah (part of the will). Putting the authentic hadith into consideration Hafidh Ibn Abdul Bar writes, “The wasiyah is invalid for the inheritors”

2) It is better and more virtuous to give equal gifts to all the children (sons or daughters). If some of the children are given more gifts compared to other children then according to some scholars this is allowed with the condition that the other children agree and there is no dissension between them however it is better to give them equally.

3) A man wanted to give some of his children virtuous gifts compared to other children so a Qadhi (Judge) Shuraikh declared this to be incorrect and rejected his testimony. (Mussanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (11/221-222) hadith (no.30989) and its chain is authentic, Sa’id Ibn Hayan at-Taymi is reliable (thiqah)

4) This hadith alludes to another hadith which clearly establishes that asking for a gift to be returned is not allowed except by a father as they are allowed to take gifts back from their children. (Sunan Abu Dawud: (no.3539) and its chain is authentic, Sunan at-Tirmidhi: (no.1299), and he said “Hasan Sahih” and Ibn al-Jarud authenticated it: (no.994) and Ibn Hibban, al-Ihsan: (no.5101[no.5123]) and Hakim (2/46) and Dhahabi). According to some scholars the same ruling also applies to the mother. [Trans Note: This is one evidence for the father having precedence and more rights over the Mother over their children]

5) If both evidences (ie in terms of the chain [sanad] and text [matn]) are authentic then presenting a general non specific evidence against a specific one is incorrect.


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