Fatwa ID: 03071
Answered by: Maulana Irfan Ali
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah
There has been a small dispute in regards to the sharing of inheritance of my late father. The deceased left behind three houses and a large sum of money. The properties were registered in various names over the course of the years pertaining to different reasons. The one property in which my father and mother resided in has been put after his demise solely in my mother’s name, the other properties are in my brother's names and the sum of money is in another brother’s account.
My mother asked my father after he’s suffering of a stroke in regards to the properties and money to which he’s reply was they have houses and he has the money, during his lifetime even though the houses wherein different names he took charge of the income from the properties. Later stages as my father was diagnosed my mother asked the same question but was told don’t ask me. My question is will the houses and the money be shared according to Islamic ruling or will the properties be established to those whom they are registered to as with the money.
In The Name Of Allah, The Most-Merciful, The Most Kind
Islamic inheritance is a major factor in which a lot of quarrels and oppression takes place. The vast majority of Muslims are falling in this trap of depriving the rights of other family members. One should be very careful in matters of distribution of inheritance. The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him mentions Whoever deprives a deserving inheritor shall not enter paradise. (Mishkaat Chapter of Inheritance Hadith no 3078 pages 177 volume 3 Maktabatul Bushra)
In regards to the question, I will break it down into three sections and provide the answer.
The first section is regarding the transferring of the properties into different names due to various reasons then them staying in the names after the deceased's demise.
The transferring of the properties for different purposes such as tax avoidance or claiming benefits does not establish ownership from an Islamic perspective even if it is on legal paperwork. Likewise, the transferring of money, property or gifting taking place during the deceased's illness which leads to his demise (Maradhul Wafaat) will not establish ownership from an Islamic perspective. (Fatawaa Rahimiyyah page 296 vol 10 Darul ishat print)
The second section regarding your mother questioning your father's assets and he’s response gives no clear indication of the transferring of the ownership of the properties to anyone of his children. Furthermore, as mentioned above due to him being in Maradhul Wafaat, even if he did gift any items it will not be established.
The third section is the property on Freer Road which has been transferred into your mother’s name, 50% will be distributed amongst legal heirs. Yes if the children wish to give the property to their mother by everyone’s agreement that can be done. (Fatawaa Mahmoodiyah p. 94 vol 30)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Irfan Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham