Bequeath a third to adopted child.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalmualikum Warahmarullah

May Allah guide me amd you.

I read your answer regarding adoption of child in Islam. But now a days there is a trend in people adopting orphan or other children in good spirit but also to avoid distribution of their wealth to others post his/her death to deny rightful waris(per Sheria Laws) claiming it after his death.

As per my reading in some Ahdiths, a momin cannot donate or assign in his Will more than more than 1/3rd of his total wealth to charities and/or to adopted children or others such that people who are supposed to be getting this post his death are not denied their right to his/her wealth/properties.

I will appreciate your elucidation on this so that all are guided to right path.

May Allah bless us.


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Bequeath a third to adopted child

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 11-14:

11      Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters two or more their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one her share is a half.  For parents a sixth share of the inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children and the parents are the (only) heirs the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth.  (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit.  These are settled portions ordained by Allah and Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.

12      In what your wives leave your share is a half if they leave no child; but if they leave a child ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts.  In what ye leave their share is a fourth if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts.  If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants but has left a brother or a sister each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone).  Thus is it ordained by Allah and Allah is All-Knowing Most Forbearing.

13      Those are limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the Supreme achievement.

14      But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger, and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.


The legal heirs or the ‘ashaab ul-faraidh’ of any believing deceased whose share of inheritance is specifically prescribed by Allah Subhanah are:

  1. The father of the deceased
  2. The mother of the deceased
  3. The spouse of the deceased
  4. The son/s of the deceased
  5. The daughter/s of the deceased.

….and the share of these listed ‘ashaab ul-faraidh’ can never ever be compromised.


Malik related from Ibn Shihab from Amir ibn Sad ibn Abi Waqqas that his father said, "The Messenger of Allah (saws) came to me to treat me for a pain which became hard to bear in the year of the farewell hajj. I said, 'O Messenger of Allah (saws), you can see how far the pain has reached me. I have property and only my daughter inherits from me. Shall I give two thirds of my property as ‘sadaqa’?' The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, 'No.' I asked 'Half?' He (saws) said, 'No.' Then the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, 'A third, and a third is a lot.’”


Shariah Law dictates that the absolute maximum one is permitted to bequeath of one’s wealth in a will to be distributed to someone or something (other than one’s legal heirs) after one’s death, is one-third.


Thus if the legal heirs can bring themselves to accept that the wealth in its entirety belonged to their deceased loved one, and if he had so willed, he was well within his rights in his life to gift his wealth to whomsoever he pleased!  Allah and His Messenger (saws) have given the right to the believers to bequeath a third of their wealth through a will to be given to anyone they wish other than their legal heirs (be it a charity, or to his friends, or to his adopted children, etc.)….and the balance two-thirds is the right of his surviving legal heirs.  


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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