Taking back a gift

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Taking back a gift


no. 275 for the year 2006 which includes the following:
A person entrusted another with a sum of money. When he asked to take it back, the trustee returned it after deducting the value of gifts he had previously given him. Is the trustee entitled to do this?


It is desirable to accept trusts . Allah the Almighty has made it incumbent upon trustees to preserve their trusts and return them to their owners when they ask for them. Allah the Exalted says, Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due. [An-Nisā': 58]

The Prophet regarded betraying trusts among the signs of hypocrisy. He said, "The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted [with something], he betrays his trust."

The ruling
Based on the above and in reference to the question, it is obligatory upon a trustee to return the trust to its owner in full when he asks for it without any deductions. As for the gifts made by the trustee, it is impermissible in Islamic law for a person to take back a gift he made or part of it except with the permission and consent of the donee. An exception to this is a father taking back a gift he gave his offspring. The Prophet said, "It is not permissible to give a gift and take it back, except for a father taking back a gift he gave his offspring" .
Allah the Almighty knows best.


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