كتاب المدبر
The Mudabbar

Malik said, "The generally agreed-on way of doing things in our community is that any setting-free which a man makes in a bequest that he wills in health or illness can be rescinded by him when he likes and changed when he likes as long as it is not a tadbir. There is no way to rescind a tadbir once he has made it.

"As for every child born to him by a slave-girl who he wills to be set free but he does not make mudabbara, her children are not freed with her when she is freed. That is because her master can change his will when he likes and rescind it when he likes, and being set free is not confirmed for her. She is in the position of a slave-girl whose master says, 'If so- and-so remains with me until I die, she is free.' " (i.e. he does not make a definite contract.)

Malik said, "If she fulfils that, that is hers. If he wishes, before that, he can sell her and her child because he has not entered her child into any condition he has made for her.

"The bequest in setting free is different from the tadbir. The precedent of the sunna makes a distinction between them. Had a bequest been in the position of a tadbir, no testator would be able to change his will and what he mentioned in it of setting free. His property would be tied up and he would not be able to use it."

Malik said about a man who made all his slaves mudabbar while he was well and they were his only property, "If he made some of them mudabbar before the others, one begins with the first until the third of his property is reached. (i.e. their value is matched against the third, and those whose value is covered are free.) If he makes the mall mudabbar in his illness, and says in one statement, 'So-and-so is free. So-and-so is free. So-and-so is free if my death occurs in this illness,' or he makes them all mudabbar in one statement, they are matched against the third and one does not begin with any of them before the others. It is a bequest and they have a third of his property divided between them in shares. Then the third of his property frees each of them according to the extent of his share.

"No single one of them is given preference when that all occurs in his illness."

Malik spoke about a master who made his slave a mudabbar and then he died and the only property he had was the mudabbar slave and the slave had property. He said, "A third of the mudabbar is freed and his property remains in his possession."

Malik said about a mudabbar whose master gave him a kitaba and then the master died and did not leave any property other than him, "A third of him is freed and a third of his kitaba is reduced, and he owes two-thirds."

Malik spoke about a man who freed half of his slave while he was ill and made irrevocable his freeing half of him or all of him, and he had made another slave of his mudabbar before that. He said, "One begins with the slave he made mudabbar before the one he freed while he was ill. That is because the man cannot revoke what he has made mudabbar and cannot follow it with a matter which will rescind it. When this mudabbar is freed, then what remains of the third goes to the one who had half of him freed so as to complete his setting-free entirely in the third of the property of the deceased. If what is left of the third does not cover that, whatever is covered by what is left of the third is freed after the first mudabbar is freed . "

USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 40, Hadith 3