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My maternal grandmother wants to leave her house to my two cousins, without considering my unmarried aunt.(mother’s sister) My aunt is a spinster, and has cancer.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

My aunt needs a place to stay as she has nobody. She can’t live with her sister and nephews, and the nephews (my cousins) are married, and have their own children. The house is not big, and my elder aunt is very troublesome. She causes fights and makes life unbearable for everyone in the family. Most of the family people avoid our grannie’s house to avoid problems. Although my aunt stays with my mum, I don’t feel it’s right, as my father does not have to care for her. I also feel that the laws of purdah are not strictly adhered to. My aunt has breast cancer, although she is not bedridden. She likes cleanliness, and my cousins and their children are not too particular about this. My elder aunt has her sons, and even though she is a widow, and has been for most of her life, her sons are both employed, and they can surely care for her. My grannie is fond of my cousins because they grew up with my grandparents when their father passed away decades ago. What rights does my aunt have? Can she demand a private place in the house for herself, such as a separate cottage or something? My mother’s family consists of two brothers and four sisters. My uncles are well-off. The elder uncle is wealthy, and the younger, who is the youngest in their family, is not so well-off. Please advise

Answer

The details furnished are a bit confusing. Nonetheless, we will attempt to answer your query.

The aunt should be taken care of by those who would inherit from her. It is the favour of your father to take care of her and it is not his duty. Hence, she cannot demand anything from him. Your uncles should provide her with accommodation and meals, etc.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Muhammad Kadwa
FATWA DEPT.

CHECKED AND APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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