Transactions & Dealings >> Inheritance & Will

Question # : 27802


11th October 2010 / 2nd Zul Qadah 1431 Assalamou alaikum Respected Mufti sahib, I live in England, United Kingdom. I am a widow, my husband passed away nearly 3 months ago. I have 9 sons and 2 daughters. My husband?s mother is also alive. My late husband was the owner of two houses. Some months prior to his death, my husband made me a joint owner in one of these properties. Upon the instructions of my late husband, a solicitor completed the legal paperwork and we both signed various documents in the presence of witnesses. After the death of my husband, my children requested a scholar to explain the rules of Islamic inheritance so we could distribute my husband?s wealth according to the Shariah. When the discussion arose about the joint ownership of one of the houses, the scholar was of the opinion that this transfer of joint ownership was not valid because it seemed to him that this was only done symbolically and not as a genuine gift. However, beside the legal paperwork there is no other document available to support or negate the intention of the deceased. The scholar also said that even if the above gift was genuine, this kind of gift is faasid because of the following rule of Hiba: ومن وهب شقصاً مشاعاً فالهبة فاسدةٌ، فإن قسمه وسلمه جاز ) الهداية شرح بداية المبتدي,ص225,ج3, الناشر المكتبة الإسلامية) Which in essence says, if the item is such that if it is divided it can still be of use, then it is not permissible to give it without dividing it. Such items are ?a plot of land, a big house...?. See Bahishti Zewar (link below) page 66 point 5 I would be grateful if you would clarify (a) whether a house in the UK falls within the category of divisible property; (b) whether according to the Shariah I am the rightful owner of 50% of the house which was in joint ownership between myself and my husband. Jazakallah

Answer : 27802

Published on: Nov 6, 2010

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 2662/H=1046/th=1431)

If your husband made you the owner in the name of gift and donation and later on he did not give your share in your possession, only the paper work and verbal formalities were made, and in that state your husband died, then the said house did not come into your possession, rather all the house remained as the property of deceased (your husband) and after his death, it became his inheritance. Now you would be entitled only for your legal share i.e. one eight part. You will not be entitled for any share due to gift etc. The said Alim was alright. This ruling is everywhere may it be Britain or any other country.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

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