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What is the ruling on not winding up an estate and depriving someone of their inheritance?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
Re: Inheritence Dispute My Grandfather had 2 sons and 2 daughters. He was a farmer and had many acres of agricultural land. He died leaving no official will 38 years ago. He had 3 wives during his lifetime. From his 1st wife he had 1 daughter – My mother. She demised after childbirth. From his 2nd wife he had 2 sons and 1 daughter. She demised during his lifetime. He remarried a widower with 2 daughters. Those 2 daughters married his 2 sons from his 2nd marraige. When my grandfather died, he was only survived by his 3rd wife. His parents and grand parents had passed away by then. Q-HOW SHOULD THE ESTATE BE DIVIDED INTO SHARES? For many years whilst my mother was alive, she tried unsuccessfully to wind up the estate. This was not done since she and her brothers never agreed on a value – she always felt that she was getting short changed. To add to this problem – She was in South Africa and her brothers in India. This arrangement suited my uncles perfectly, because for the past 38 years since my grandfathers death, they have looked after the estate and have enjoyed ALL the fruits from it financially and otherwise. Because my mother was in South Africa – She did not recieve anything annually. A significant portion of this money – was subsequently reinvested in buildings, stock exchange and land. Q-WHAT IS THE RULING ON DELIBERATELY NOT WINDING UP AND ESTATE AND DEPRIVING SOMEONE OF THEIR INHERITENCE? FOR THE PAST 38YRS, IT HAS SUITED THEM NOT TO WIND IT UP SINCE THEY ENJOY THE FRUITS OF THE LAND Q-HOW DO WE FINALLY AGREE ON A VALUE FOR ANY ITEM WHEN THE 2 PARTIES DO NOT AGREE ON ANY PRICES? SHOULD WE GET AN OUTSIDE EVALUATOR? Q-I DO NOT WANT THE MONETRY VALUE OF WHAT MY UNCLES THINK THE LAND IS WORTH. I WANT THE PERCENTAGE OF LAND-AS I THINK IT IS THE FAIREST SYSTEM. AM I ENTITLED TO THIS? Q-AM I ENTITLED TO ANY PART OF THE SUBSEQUENT INVESTMENTS MADE WITH THE PROFITS FROM THE LAND OVER THE LAST 38 YEARS. HAD MY MOTHER RECIEVED HER SHARES, SHE WOULD ALSO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INVEST IT. BUT DUE TO THE CURRENT SITUATION, SHE RECIEVED NOTHING. My mother is now late and i want to finally finalize this matter. The brothers have subsequently split the entire estate between them. Q-WHAT IS THE RULING ON MY UNCLES EXCLUDING MY MOTHER FROM THIS? THEY SAY THAT SINCE SHE HAS NOW PASSED AWAY, SHE DOES NOT NEED HER SHARE. Q-AM I, AS HER CHILD, ENTITLED TO HER SHARE? Q-CAN YOU SUGGEST ANY INTERVENTION THAT CAN FORCE MY UNCLES TO FINALLY WIND UP MY MOTHERS ESTATE. looking forward to your shariah compliant reply As salaam ua lai kum


(Fatwa: 935/899=B)

The 2 sons, 2 daughters and 1 wife will be legal heirs of your grandfather. According to the Quran, the entire property of your grandfather will be distributed in 48 shares; 6 shares will go to his widow, while each son will receive 14 shares and each daughter will receive 7 shares. Your uncles are wrong as they are misusing the property and are not giving the right to their sisters. Try to solve the matter by panchayat.

Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.