A Brief of Islamic Law

Persons Who Have No Right of Disposal Or Discretion Over Their Own Property

  1. A child who has not reached the age of puberty (Bulugh), has no right of discretion over the property he holds or owns, even if he is able to discren and is mature, and the previous permission of his/her guardian does not apply in this case and the subsequent permission is also a matter of Ishkal. However, in some cases a non-Bàligh is allowed to make, a transaction, like when buying or selling things of small worth as mentioned in rule. A girl becomes Bàlighah upon completion of her nine lunar years, and a boy is Bàligh when stiff pubic hair grows, or when he discharges semen, or as commonly held upon completion of fifteen lunar years.

  2. Growing of stiff hair on the face and above the lips may be considered as signs of Bulugh, but their growth on chest and under the armpits, and the voice becoming harsh etc. are not the signs of one's reaching the age of puberty.

  3. An insane person has no right of disposal over his property. Similarly, a bankrupt (i.e. a person who has been prohibited by the Mujtahid to dispose of or have discretion on his property because of the demands of his creditors) cannot dispose his property without the permission of the creditors. And a feeble-minded person (Safih) who squanders his property for useless purposes, has no right of disposal or discretion over his property, without the permission of his guardain.

  4. If a person is sane at one time and insane at another, the right of discretion exercised by him during his lunacy will not be considered valid.

  5. A dying man in his terminal illness can spend his own wealth on himself, on the members of his family, his guests and on other things as much as he likes, provided that, it is not considered to be extravagance on his part. Also, he can sell his property at its proper value, or hire it. But if he gives away his property as gift, or sells it at a lower price than usual, it will be valid only if the property gifted or sold cheap is equal to or less than 1/3 of his estate. And if it is more, it will be valid only if the heirs allow, and if they do not, then whatever he spent in excess of 1/3 of his estate will be considered void.

Rules Regarding Agency (Wikalah)

  1. Wikalah means that a person delegates somebody a task (like concluding a transaction), which he himself had a right to do, so that the other person may perform it on his behalf. For example, onemay appoint another person to act as one’s agent. For the sale of a house, or for a marriage contract. Since a feeble-minded person does not have right of discretion over his property, he cannot appoint an agent (Wakil) to sell it.

  2. If a person appoints a person in another city as his agent, and sends him power of attorney, and he accepts it, the agency is in order, even order, even if the power of attorney reaches the agent after some time.