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# What am I liable for if we didn’t distribute the inheritance in accordance to Shari’ah?

I’m writing this email for seeking advice on below mentioned scenario in light of sharia laws of Islam.

Scenario: My parents had total 9 children (6 sons & 3 daughters), I’m the youngest son of all in the family. All of us are married and happily setteled with our individual families. However, one of my brother was expired and his family (1Wife, 3 daughters and 1 son) monthly expenses are shared by rest of brothers including me till date.

A property on my mother’s name was sold at a price of 30,00,000 INR in 2007 and was purchased by me and is with me till date. This amount was divided as follows:

6 Sons 4,00,000 each = 6 * 4,00,000 = 24,00,000

3 Daughter 2,00,000 each = 3 * 2,00,000 = 6,00,000

Hence, total of 30,00, 000 INR

However, I gave divided amount only to 4 brothers and 3 sisters at the time of purchase (2007) and did not give the share of expired brother which is explained below:

The details of given amount are as follows:

4 Brothers * 4,00,000 each = 16,00,000 INR

3 Sisters * 2,00,000 each = 6,00,000 INR

+ My Share  = 4,00,000 INR

Total Amount given is 26,00,000 INR only .

As I was one of the custodian of my expired brother’s family I kept 4,00,000 INR with me but not as a separate deposit.

In 2008, 1st daughter of my expired brother got married and at that time my elder brother asked me to share the amount of 75,000 INR out of 4,00,000 INR as a share of daughter from father side in the marriage expense. However, all other marriage expenses were shared by me and my elder brothers equally as we were the custodians. Hence, the rest amount of 3,25,000 INR was pending with me.

In 2011, 2nd daughter of my expired brother got married and at that time my elder brother asked me to share again the same amount of 75,000 INR as a share of daughter from father side. Hence, the rest amount of 2,50,000 INR was pending with me.

My expired brother’s 3rd/last daughter marriage is scheduled for December 2014. Now one of my elder brother enquired about the total amount (4,00,000INR) and asked me whether I’ve kept this money aside or deposited in the bank. I informed him that I’m ready to give the amount 2,50,000INR whenever you ask since the other amount was already used in 2 daughter’s marriage. However, I have neither kept money aside nor deposited in any bank.

Up on this my elder brother, also a custodian of my expired brother’s family said that it is against the sharia law as I have neither kept the money aside nor deposited in the bank but was using in the daily life expense.

He also said that amount of 1,50,000INR which was paid in 2008 & 2011 for 2 daughters marriage is also incorrect because 75,000INR amount of 2007 is not equal to 75,000INR of 2008. However, he made few calculations as mentioned below and asked me to do following:

Amount of Property in 2007 = 30,00,000 INR

Amount of Property in 2014 = 1,20,00,000 INR

Pending amount of expired brother = 2,50,000 INR @ Rate as per Year 2007

Pending Amount (2,50,000 INR @ Rate as Year 2014) = (1,20,00,000/30,00,000) * 25,00,000

= 10,00,000 INR @ Current Value 2014

Based upon the above calculation, my elder brother also one of custodian of expired brother’s family has asked me to pay total amount of 10,00,000INR

I was neither aware that it is mandatory to keep the money taken under custodianship separate from our daily expense money nor anybody informed me to do so. Everybody might have also thought it is basic sharia law of Islam and I would have known.

I fear Allah (S.W.T) and would like you to advice me what is the exact amount I need to pay.

Answer

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

As-salāmu alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In order for us to advise you on your query, we request some clarity on the following issues:

• Which year did your parents pass away?
• Did your deceased brother pass away before or after your mother?
• Did your mother have any other relatives alive when she passed away? If so, list them.
• When you purchased your mother’s property for 3,000,000 INR, did you purchase this from your mother directly or was this purchased after she passed away?
• Which relatives and family were alive at the death of your expired brother? List them all.
• Did the nieces permit you or the custodians to spend their own share in the expenses of their marriage? Were they aware that you were spending from their stipulated shares and show any signs of consent to it?

It is also important to note that upon the death of your brother, if the only surviving heirs were his wife, three daughters and one son (along with his six brothers and three sister), then his estate must have been distributed to his heirs and not kept entirely by a custodian. After the distribution, it would be permitted for a person to look after the shares of the children as the shares have already been divided amongst the heirs. However, their consent is also required if they have already attained the age of puberty.

It is also necessary to point out that once the estate was distributed between the heirs, the amount given will not change according to the currency of the time. If \$100 were put to the side and were taken out after fifty years, they will remain to be \$100 and not \$300 if the currency has tripled in this time.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

AbdulMannan Nizami

Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, IL, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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