A father was persuaded by his son to buy some land. The son paid 95% of the money and the father paid the rest. The son registered the land under the father's name. A building was erected on the property. The father and son shared the expenses. The son had 3 brothers and 4 sisters. They did not contribute anything to the land or the building. After the father died, the son's younger brother sold some property belonging to the family, and built the second floor. How should this building and land be divided? Should it be equal between all the brothers and all the sisters getting half of the brothers? Or does the son who paid for the land get extra?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
In the afore mentioned scenario there are three issues which need to be addressed:
1. The land
2. The first floor of the house
3. The second floor of the house
We will look at these issues individually.
The first question, which needs to be dealt with, is in regards to who is the legitimate owner of the land. The reason why this needs to be clarified is because sometimes a father and son may purchase a property and one may give the other ownership of the property as a gift even though one might have spent more than the other in purchasing the land.
In a situation like the above one will have to determine who owns the plot of land. By merely having the fathers name registered on the property does not make him the rightful owner of this property. (Fatawa Rahimiyah P531 v10)
If it turns out that the father was the rightful owner of the house then all the sons and daughters will inherit a share from the plot of land. Thus, the inheritance will be distributed in the following way:
(8) 4 sons 4 daughters
2 each 1 each
The plot of land will be valued at its current price (See Fatawa Rahimiyah P510v10) and split into 12 parts with each son receiving two shares and the daughters each receiving one share.
If it turns out that the father had in fact given his share of the land to the son who he had purchased the land with, this will be considered as a gift to the son hence it is not a possession of the father and the heirs will not receive anything.
If it turns out that neither gave their share of the land to the other, then the 5% of the land the father purchased will be valued at its current price and split into twelve parts with each son receiving two shares and the daughters each receiving one share as was shown in table number one.
The first floor of the house
Like above one will have to determine whether one gave the house to the other as a gift. If it was given to the father, then the house will be distributed into 12 shares and split up amongst the heirs as shown in table 1.
If it was given to the son as a gift, the house will not be distributed as inheritance amongst the heirs.
The second floor of the house
The rule of inheritance will not apply in this situation.
The science of Inheritance is a difficult subject to understand. If you are not sure on any part of the aforementioned fatwa, then do not hesitate to contact me.
Only Allah Knows Best.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham