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Asalam o alaikum, i have 3 sons and 1 daughter, i have distributed my inherittance after keeping my share to all the children in my life so that there will be no major dispute in my children, my 2 sons are having steel business while one son was having a factory making variuos products, at the time of distribution the machinery was calculated at the actual cost ( the cost at which it was purchased) what i want to know is that either the machine i had calculated was right ?? or i should have calculated the machine at the price at which we could have sell the machine ( means the current market price ) like for instance that we had bought the machine @ us$ 100000 but now the machine value is us$ 20000, if we want to sell it ( plaese also keep in mind that the machines are 5- 15 years old also but are still in production ), plaese advise as per the Sharia that what prices i should have calculated the machines regards, A Ayub.

الجواب حامداومصليا

Your intention of protecting your children from any diputes over inheritence is truly admirable but inheritence only takes place after one's death.

Whatever one distributes among his children during lifetime is not considered to be inheritence. Rather, it is a form of gift and when a gift is being given to children during one's life, it is preferred that it should be given on equal terms i.e.. there should be no gender discrimination in determining the share of each recipient.

In answer to your question, the current value of the the machinery should be considered and not the purchase price. Sometimes, the purchase price will be less than the current value and sometimes more.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Ikram ul Haq

Fatwa Center of America

1 Rabiul Awwal 1432/ February 4 2011