The act of proffering property and things owned by us to another is a noble deed in Islam, albeit the law of succession amongst Muslims is infamous with Faraid. Muslims can confer their rights of property or title of the land to their heirs or to whomever they wish to via Hibah. In Islam, giving gifts to relatives is preferred over others, as can be derived from al-Quran, Allah commanded,
“fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights and reverence the womb relationships”. (Al-Quran, chapter 4 verse 1)
In addition, the Prophet PBUH said that:
“Whoever wishes Allah to increase his wealth and prolong his life, let him do an act of kindness towards his womb relatives.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
What is Hibah?
Hibah alias gifts inter vivos is an act of giving away something as a gift to someone else. In Islam, Hibah is when a Muslim voluntarily concede ownership of his or her property to another. At the same time, he or she is still alive, without asking for anything in return or consideration, i.e., iwad. A donor who is the party who intended to make the offer will inform the donee (the receiving party) about his or her intention. Then, the donee will have to accept expressly.
Hibah is encouraged in Islam as Allah SWT commanded:
“….and in giving away one’s property in the love of Him to one’s relatives, the orphans, the poor and the wayfarer, and to those who ask for help, and in freeing the necks of enslaved people, and in establishing Prayer and Hibah means ‘gift’. It is a gift of movable or immovable property that occurs during the settlor’s life. dispensing the Zakah.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:177)
Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH said, “exchange gifts so that you may love one another.” (Narrated in all major books of Hadith under the authority of Abu Hurayrah, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amar, Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, and ‘Aishah). Moreover, “do not underestimate the significance of the neighbour’s gift to her neighbour, even if it is only a sheep’s foot.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Al-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Hurayrah)
The Prophet PBUH practised the act of Hibah as the Prophet used to reward a gift with another one by accepting gifts and rewarding the donor as narrated by ‘Aishah. (Narrated by al-Bukhari on the authority of ‘Aishah)
This evidence undoubtedly proves the legality of the gift.
Whom is it applied?
Hibah is for all Muslims. Nevertheless, Hibah makes for either Muslims or non-muslims provided that the person can think of his or her free Will to accept the Hibah. As in Hibah, the property owners can give their property as Hibah to anyone they want. Moreover, a minor or a disabled person can accept Hibah by having a representative, i.e., Wali Mal accept the Hibah on his or her behalf.
When can Hibah be made?
We can make Hibah at any time, and the transfer will take effect immediately during the grant or the other person’s lifetime.
Muslims can opt for Hibah as it significantly allows the property owners to distribute more of their wealth to whomever they please. It can be family members or non-family members, regardless of their religion. Moreover, Hibah will promote harmony amongst the family members. This is due to the intention of the owner to give the property and land as a gift. Therefore, the said distribution will not be questionable. Subsequently, Hibah assets will exclude the Faraid distribution, and it can protect the rights of our loved ones and deter disputes amongst the family members.