Praise be to Allaah.
The way in which we address
this problem will be based on an attitude of kindness, generosity and
chivalry, and on the basis of what we would like to think of you, that you
are generous, decent and of noble character, because our great religion
teaches us to be kind, uphold ties of kinship and respond to good treatment
in kind, because she is your sister who grew up with you and you share ties
of kinship with her, and she has great rights over you with regard to
looking after her, managing her affairs and striving to make her happy. So
it is better for you to be kind to her and give back what she gave up for
you, and to respond to her first act of kindness with one that is even
greater, and to let her off so that Allaah will let you off on the Day of
It was narrated that Abu
Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: “Whoever agrees with a Muslim to cancel a transaction,
Allaah will forgive his sins on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by Abu
Dawood (3460) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
According to a version
narrated in al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi: “Whoever agrees with one
who regrets it to cancel the transaction, Allaah will forgive his sins on
the Day of Resurrection.”
Ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam said:
Agreeing to cancel a transaction for someone who regrets it is an act of
kindness that is enjoined in the Qur’aan. End quote, quoting from
al-Mannaawi in Fayd al-Qadeer (6/79).
Rather, we say to you: It
would have been better for you to return to your sister what she had given
to you as soon as you realized that she regretted it, and you should not
have forced her to say that to you in words, so that she would not feel
embarrassed or awkward.
Ma’mar – who was one of the
best of the Taabi’een – said:
One of the worst acts of
kindness is when you force a person to ask (for what he needs) when he feels
shy before you, so your act of kindness will not make up for the pain of the
shyness that he went through. It would have been more appropriate for you to
find out about what your brother needed and send him what he needs, and not
force him to ask. End quote.
This is how it should be
among siblings, for their joy is one and their grief is one.
Always remember the great
reward that you will have with Allaah if you do what your sister wants and
give back that which she regrets giving, and relieve her distress, and
continue to be kind to her and uphold ties of kinship with her, especially
since she regrets giving it up because she is in difficulty and is facing
poverty. In that case you should offer her help and give her that which will
relieve her hardship, and reward her for her initial giving up of her share
to you. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Is there any reward
for good other than good?” [al-Rahmaan 55:60].
The reports quoted above
were quoted from ‘Uluw al-Hammah by al-Sayyid al-‘Afaani (2/612-651,
But if she initially gave
it up because of shyness due to the fear of blame in a society that
mistreats women with regard to inheritance, or for fear that her brothers
might sever ties with her if they thought that she was insisting on her
rights, then in that case it is haraam for you to consume that wealth, and
it must be given back to her. The fuqaha’ have stated that whatever is taken
due to shyness is haraam wealth.
It says in al-Mawsoo’ah
The Shaafa’is and Hanbalis
state that if wealth is taken due to shyness, such as if he asks someone
else for wealth in front of people and he gives it to him due only to
shyness, or he gives it to him out of shyness, and the recipient knows that
the giver only gave it to him out of shyness, it does not become his
property and it is not permissible for him to dispose of it, even if the
recipient did not ask for it. What matters here is the knowledge that the
one who gave his wealth gave it out of shyness, not out of generosity and
not for something in return.
Hence if he joins people
whilst they are eating, and they ask him to eat with them, but he knows that
it was only because they felt shy, it is not permissible for him to eat
their food. End quote.
To sum up: You should
return to your sister that which she gave up to you, so as to preserve love
between you and uphold the ties of kinship.
We ask Allaah to compensate
you with something better.
And Allaah knows best.