1) My brother and I used to work for private individuals. Most if not all of our earnings we gave to our parents who used it for running our home. We have a big family and we lived together. Alhamdulillah, my brother and I are now partners in an electrical shop and we live separately. Now there are three homes; my parent’s, my brother’s and my home. Even though we try and account for the expenditure of each home, at times there are items not accounted for, e.g. some items taken from the shop, usage of the vehicle, petrol money is from the shop, etc. but this is an understanding between us that if something is not accounted for, we have forgiven each other because all our homes are one home.
a) Is this arrangement permissible?
b) Will we be held accountable in the court of Allah for the surplus we have used even though it is understood (urf) and have forgiven each other?
c) Do we have to be scrupulous to the cent?
2) My father passed way in January this year. By mashwarah we valued the house and I have to pay each sibling and my mother their share according to Shariah.
a) What do I do with that share which I have been forgiven; my mother and a few of my siblings have forgiven their shares.
b) If one of the siblings has offered a higher price for the house, does he/she have the right to buy the house? (I was told to buy the house mainly because of the renovations and extensions done to the house).
3) I am now in debt but Insha Allah, by your duas, I will pay all who are due.
a) Do my siblings have to pay zakat on the amount due to them even though one year has not passed and do they pay zakat after a year even though I have not yet paid?
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh
May Allah Ta’ala reward you and your brother’s consideration to fund the running of your parent’s household. Allah Ta’ala has promised barakah in rizq for those who serve their parents. We can be hopeful that this barakah will also help pave way for you to repay your debts, Insha-Allah.
Answers to your queries:
1) Surah 24, Verse 61 (of the Holy Quran) in particular, applies to this query. Before answering your question proper, this brief information would be nice and would make you understand your answer better; there was a custom among the Arabs at the time of Nabi r where people would eat freely in the houses of close relatives. There was absolutely no formality among them, and no one would ever mind this habit, rather, they would encourage it and feel happy about it. Not only that, sometimes the relatives used to bring poor, sick or needy persons and feed them at houses of others, on which the host would feel happy. According to custom (urf), they would not seek special permission for this, as there was general consent among them to follow the tradition. This practice was condoned by Rasulullah r and was considered permissible.
The jurists coming thereafter deduced from the above practice that, if in any era, such an understanding occurs between anyone, where the owner has no problem with this type of arrangement of taking from one another, the owner suffers no displeasure but in fact, is pleased to have such an arrangement, this would also be acceptable and completely permissible.
Nonetheless, the scenario and arrangement between you and your brother is a practice similar to the practice of the Arabs. Now, since there is such an understanding between the two of you, it goes without saying that here too, there is no need to be scrupulous to the Cent. The little extra taken by each partner will be fine and permissible.
2) May Allah Ta’ala fill your father’s Qabr with noor, and may Allah Ta’ala grant him the most sublime and lofty positions in Jannat, Jannatul Firdous, Aameen.
Our understanding of your second query is that; upon the demise of your father, all the heirs have willfully and happily consented to sell the house to you. We base our answers on this understanding.
a) From the outset remember that the house now falls under a purchase sale agreement, you being the purchaser, and the heirs, collectively, the sellers. Hence, the share which your mother and the other siblings have forfeited belongs to you. They have basically gifted you the money which you owed to them. You are at liberty to keep the amount for yourself or to dispose of it elsewhere. We greatly suggest you keep this forfeited amount for personal use and to settle your outstanding debts.
b) All the heirs of the house are jointly, the owners of the house. Once they all agree, they are at liberty to sell the property to whomsoever they wish, irrespective of whether the offer for buying the house is a higher or lower amount, than that which you offered.
c) In principle, after reaching maturity (buloogh), zakat is paid after one lunar year, to the exact date. Whatever assets are acquired in the interim of this lunar year will automatically be added to the total assets and zakat paid on the total net assets on the elapsing of the one lunar year. Zakat will also have to be paid on the any amount owed to you (credits) as long as they are recoverable debts. For example: if Zaid became baaligh on the first of Ramadhan, his Islamic zakat year starts now and his zakat will now be due the following year, on the first of Ramadhan. In your case, the outstanding amount due to each heir should be added to their assets, and zakat be paid on this outstanding amount also despite them not being in possession of the money.
We hope we have satisfactorily answered your query. If there any ambiguities, please feel free to contact the Darul Ifta.
And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Ml. Zeyad Danka,
Student Dārul Iftā
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā, Madrasah In῾āmiyyah