Define Gift under Muslim Personal Law and also describe its kinds?

Gift Under Muslim Personal Law
Gift Under Muslim Personal Law

(1) Introduction

Gift is an English term while hiba is an Arabic term. Usually these terms are intermixed with each other. However, reality is that these two terms are different from each other: transfer of one’s property to another without any consideration is called gift. On the other hand, transfer of right of property to another without consideration or exchange is called hiba, Hiba is used for gift under Muslim law.

(2) Definition

Hiba can be defined as transfer of ownership in which transferor does not receive any consideration for such transfer. In other words, hiba is unconditional transfer of property when one person makes such transfer to another person immediately and without any exchange or consideration and such transfer is accepted by or on behalf of that person to whom such transfer is made.

(3) Explanation

Following points are important for explanation of gift under Muslim Personal Law:

  • (a) Essentials of gift
  • (b) Kinds of Gift
  • (c) Essentials Of gift

 (a) essentials of gift:

Followings are main essentials of gift:

(a-i) Declaration by donor

There should be a clear and unambiguous intention of donor to make gift.

(a-ii) Acceptance by donee

It is essential of hiba that donee should accept declaration of donor. It means that hiba is void if donce does not given his/her acceptance. However, legal guardian can accept gift on behalf of a minor.

(a-iii) Delivery of possession

For hiba, it is also necessary that there should be delivery of possession.

 (b) Kinds Of Gift

Followings are main kinds of gift:

  • (b-i) Hiba-bil-iwaz
  • (b-ii) Hiba-ba-shart-ul-iwaz
  • (b-iii) Hiba through medium of trust
  • (b-iv) Hiba during marz-ul-maut
  • (b-v) Simple gif
  • (b-vi) Areeat
  • (b-vii) Charity


Hiba means gift and Iwaz means consideration or return. Therefore, hiba-bil-iwaz is a gift with an exchange or a gift for consideration.


When gift is made with some condition or stipulation for return, transaction is called hiba-ba-shart-ul-iwaz.

(b-iii) Hiba through medium of trust

Hiba can be made through medium of trust. However, it is necessary for such hiba that trustee should accept hiba and possesion should be delivered to trustee.

(b-iv) Hiba during marz-ul-maut

Hiba can be made during marz-ul-maut. Such hiba is applicable to one third of property after deducting loan-money and expenditures of funeral ceremony of deceased donor. However, such hiba can be applicable to more than one third of property when all heirs of deceased donor verify it.

(b-v) Simple gif

When donor makes gift of some property to donce without any consideration, such gift is called simple gift.

(b-vi) Areeat

Grant of license to take and enjoy usufruct of a thing is called areeat. Such grant of license can be resumed at option of grantor.

(b-vii) Charity

Sadaqah can be defined as that gift, which is for religious objects. In such kind of gift, delivery of possession is necessary..

(4) Conclusion

To conclude, it can be stated that gift should always be unconditional. When hiba is made with a condition, which obstructs its completion, such gift is valid but such condition becomes void.

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