Transactions & Dealings >> Inheritance & Will

Question # : 7151

United Kingdom

Assalamu alaykum, I am writing to you on a personal matter in relation to an inheritance claim. I wish to find out from you, what the Sharia guidelines are in relation to rights and responsibilities when distributing a late person?s assets. In summary this is the situation: ? My mother and father divorced when I was 2 years old. ? My father never paid any maintenance towards my upbringing. There was no connection with him whatsoever because he made no effort. ? My father then married a woman who had 4 children from her previous marriage. My father then had 3 sons with his second wife. His sons are all adults now. ? In January 2007, I discovered that my father had cancer. Despite the fact that I had no contact with him, with the blessing of Allah SWT I went to see him in hospital several times. My father passed away in April 2007. I also took part in his funeral. My father was permanently in hospital from January 2007 until his passing in April 2007. ? I have received confirmation that my late father did have a Will. The Will does not mention me, it was also signed 5 days before he passed away when he was in a very serious condition in hospital. The Will would have been taken to him to sign in hospital. One of my father?s brother?s was a Trustee of the Will along with my father?s wife. One of the witnesses to the signature was another brother of my father. ? I have now heard that my late father?s wife has now remarried for the third time. Her new husband and I assume his children are living in my late father?s home. ? The likelihood is that some of my father?s assets may have been transferred to either his wife, sons, brothers, sister or step children. I am writing to you to ask for a fatwa based on Sharia to cover the following issues: ? What is the family is obliged to do under Sharia? What does the Qur'an say? ? Who has rights to my late father?s estate and who doesn?t? ? What should be my entitlement under Sharia and what are the rules about not complying? ? Is the Will valid under Sharia because it was signed 5 days before my father passed away when his health condition in hospital was very serious due to cancer? ? If the family has already transferred or used some of the money, what should they now do? ? How do you suggest this matter be approached and dealt with in a fair and just manner? ? Are there any other matters/ considerations that I should be aware of? I look forward to receiving your ruling and wisdom as a matter of urgency. May Allah SWT continue to bless your work and efforts. Wa-alaykum salaam.

Answer : 7151

Published on: Sep 8, 2008

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 1563/209=B/1429)


You should have attached the will-letter along with the questions so that we could have known for whom he made the will. If one has written his will for his sons and daughters, then it is invalid and should not be implemented. The Hadith says:

لاوصية لوارث

There is no will for one's own heir i.e. it is invalid.

Therefore, the property will be divided among all the heirs after the death of father. You and the three sons born to your stepmother i.e. you four persons will be entitled to the inheritance. And the four children whom your stepmother has brought with her will have no right in the property of your father. This is the Islamic ruling.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

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