A father transferred land titles in his lifetime to his sons to avoid taxes, how should that land be distributed after his death?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

You re requested to please go through the below scenario in light of sharia and give answers to below questions:
Scenario:A person-X has three sons, one daughter and a wife.To save government taxes in Pakistan, a person-X transferred his Ancestoral land among his three sons (namely A,B,C) and himself in four pieces.All pieces are not equal and there is a minor variation in size of everyone’s land.Land was cultivated by person-X and possession was not given to any son. Also, income of land was not divided among sons.
Recently, one piece of land of Son-A became expensive because a cellphone tower was installed on it.As, land ownership was in name of Son-A of that piece of land, so, all money of tower went into his account.
Following are the queries:
1. After the death of Person-X, how should the land be distributed according to Islam?Should they divide only father’s piece (25% of original land)? Or, Should they divide all land (including the land transferred to them by father)?If they divide only left over land of father, everyone would get unequal land and market price would be different.
2. How should the rent of tower be distributed?Does it belong to Son-A only, as land of tower was in his name? Or, does it belong to all sons?Note: In Person-X’s life, he inquired about the rent of tower from Son-A, but Son-A kept the money to himself by saying that land was in his name, and this tower and agreement belongs to him.
Regards,Saadi Saadi

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Please clarify the incident between your father and brother. You state your father put the land on your brother’s name only for taxation purposes. You further state that the income was not given to your brothers. You then mention that your brother took the income from the cell phone tower and did not give it to your father. Your brother told your father that the land is on his name, therefore he is the owner of the land and entitled to the income. Did your father object to this or accept it? You may respond to [email protected] (Reference – Nadeem)

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Nadeem Moulana

Student Darul Iftaa
Kentucky USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.