Revocation Of Gifts Under Muslim Law

Introduction

Gift under Muslim Law once done is final and irrevocable, it cannot be taken back by the donor from the donee.

Gift under Muslim Law is called HIBA. It means declaration by the donor to the donee that he/she is giving his/her property to the donee without anything in return.

Although there is a tradition that indicates that the Prophet was against the revocation of gifts.

The Muslim Law givers have reached the subject of revocability of gift from several angles.

It is well established and developed rule of Muslim Law that all voluntary transactions, including gifts, are revocable. Revocation of gift means taking your thing back which you have gifted.

The Muslim Law givers also classify revocation of gifts under the following two heads:

  • Revocation of gifts before the delivery of possession, and
  • Revocation of gifts after the delivery of possession.

Revocation of gifts before the delivery of possession:-

Under Muslim Law all gifts are revocable before the delivery of possession is given to the donee, the donor can revoke the gift if it is not gone into the possession of the donee.

The fact of matter under Muslim Law is that no gift is complete till the delivery of possession is made and therefore it is clear that when the delivery of possession hasn’t been made or transferred the gift is incomplete, whether or not it is revoked, it will not be valid till the delivery possession is made to the donee.

Read: Grounds For Nullity Of Marriage In India

The revocation of such gift merely means that the donor has changed his mind and does not want to complete it by the delivery of possession.

For revocation of such gifts, no order of court is necessary.

Thus a donor may take back the thing which he has gifted before the delivery of possession to the donee.

Revocation after the delivery of possession:-

Mere declaring of revocation by the donor, or institution of a suit , or any other action is not sufficient to revoke a gift. Till the decree of a court of law is passed revoking the gift.

The donee is entitled to use the property in any manner, he can even also alienate it.

It seems that once delivery of possession is done, all the gifts after delivery of possession can be revoked with the consent of the donee.

Otherwise, where gifts are revocable, revocation can be made only by a decree of the court.

The revocation of gift is the personal right of the donor and a gift cannot be revoked by his/her heirs after his/her death. A gift can also not be revoked after the death of the donee.

According to Hanafi school, a gift can be revoked even after the delivery of possession:

  • When the gift is made by one spouse to another.
  • When the donor and the donee are related within the prohibited degrees.
  • When the donee or the donor is dead.
  • When the subject matter not gift is no longer in possession of the donee it means that he may had disposed it of by sale, gift or where he had consumed it or where it has been lost or destroyed.
  • When the value of the subject matter has increased.
  • When the value of the subject matter is completely lost.
  • When the donor has received something in return.
  • When the object of the gift is to receive religious or spiritual benefits or merit such as sadaqa.

The Shia law of revocation of gifts differs from Sunni law in the following respects:-

  • Gift can be revoked by mere declaration on the part of the donor without any proceedings in a court of law.
  • A gift made to a spouse is revocable.
  • A gift made to the relation whether within the prohibited degrees or not is revocable.

Conclusion

Thus the above mentioned two heads are the ways on the basis of which revocation of gifts is done.

Read: Judicial Review Under Indian Constitution

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Summaiya

Content Writer, Law Corner, B.A.LL.B(Hons), 5th Semester, Unity Law and PG college

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