Q: I was adopted by my mother’s sister. I know I cannot inherit in my adoptive fathers estate. He gave me a sum of money whilst alive. He also gave me (by word of mouth) with my mother and husband as witnesses, his house. This was years before his death, and he subsequently did not say anything to the contrary. The house is big, and on several occasions when maintaining it became a bit much for him, he suggested we sell it. We did not, nor did I want the house legally in my name, in the event of me pre- deceasing him, (it might leave my adoptive mother without a home) hence we did not sell. My father has now passed on. He has left another property which is in the process of being sold. This was a property he inherited from his brother and sister. He has also left a car worth about (R12000) money in a oasis fund (R 70 000) and 25000 in the bank. My mother was an equal partner in his business from which both the 25 000 and the 70 000 have accrued. I am the executor of his will which states everything goes to my mother. We want to ensure that we are not going to cause him any punishment and want to give what’s due to his nieces and nephews. He has nephews and nieces from his brothers and sisters sides of the family. How do we ensure the correct Shar’ee execution of his estate?


A: Since your step father and his family continued to live in the house, the gifting was invalid. Hence the house will be included in his estate and will have to be wound and distributed among his heirs according to the stipulated shares of inheritance.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

( وتتم ) الهبة ( بالقبض ) الكامل ( ولو الموهوب شاغلا لملك الواهب لا مشغولا به ) والأصل أن الموهوب إن مشغولا بملك الواهب منع تمامها وإن شاغلا لا فلو وهب جرابا فيه طعام الواهب أو دارا فيها متاعه أو دابة عليها سرجه وسلمها كذلك لا تصح وبعكسه تصح في الطعام والمتاع والشرج فقط لأن كلا منها شغل الملك لواهب لا مشغول به لأن شغله بغير ملك واهبه لا يمنع وتمامها كرهن وصدقة لأن القبض شرط تمامها وتمامه في العمادية وفي الأشباه هبة المشغول لا تجوز إلا إذا وهب الأب لطفله قلت وكذا الدار المعارة والتي وهبتها لزوجها على المذهب لأن المرأة ومتاعها في يد الزوج فصح التسليم وقد غيرت بيت الوهبانية فقلت ومن وهبت للزوج دارا لها بها متاع وهم فيها تصح المحرر وفي الجوهرة وحيلة هبة المشغول أن يودع الشاغل أولا عند الموهوب له ثم يسلمه الدار مثلأ فتصح لشغلها بمتاع في يده (الدر المختار 5/ 690-692)

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)