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Delay in Distributing the Inheritance

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Tahsin Alam


Assalamu Alaikum.

A man died leaving behind his sons, daughters, and wife as heirs. And a Clothes Shop and a house as his property. Since the children were young (Eldest son was around 10 Years old), His Brother (children’s uncle) took charge of the shop and used to spend on his brother’s family.

After approx. 8-9 Years, He handed over the shop to the eldest son. The eldest son also used to spend on his family for the next 10-12 years. Then after the eldest son got married and after 2-3 years of marriage, he moved out of the house and started living separately. Similarly, other brothers moved out of the house after their marriage and started their own business.

The eldest son used to give some nominal fixed amount to his mother who was staying in the old home for the next 10-12 years. (Mother assumed the son his giving monthly expense for her from his side, the elder son is saying it was her profit share from the shop). Now for the past 12-15 years, the eldest son is not giving any share to anybody. Also when asked, he says he will do after some years. Since the house has been sold and all the heirs have got their share.

Now the main problem is the eldest son has not maintained any accounts/Profit and loss statement of the shop. Another brother who is in the same business and started the business 25 years ago, is also holding similar worth properties of the elder brother, based on his estate he is claiming an amount which is very high according to the elder brother. Hence this matter is pending for the last 50 years.

Following were the suggestions were given by various people:

Evaluate the current property of the eldest son, let him keep 1/3 of it, and remaining should be divided among the heirs [Eldest son not ok with this formula]

From the initial amount which was present when the eldest son took charge. Assume 1/3 of it was given to elder son and on remaining amount have 20 – 25% yearly profit till today. And claim that amount. [Eldest son not ok with this formula]

Check how much worth gold in grams could have brought with the initial amount then, Compare that gold in grams in today’s rate and divide [ Others are not ok with this formula]
Request you to kindly answer the following, please.

Is it permissible to delay further inheritance share, and till what extend of time?


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The estate will be distributed according to the number of heirs that were alive at the time of the death of this man. Please list all the relatives of the deceased at the time of his demise which includes (if the deceased has) a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brothers, sisters, granddaughters, and grandsons.

Bear in mind to mention whether the deceased has brothers or sisters from only their mothers’ side or from their fathers’ side as well (i.e. half brothers or sisters).

Unnecessarily delaying the distribution of the inheritance is a reprehensible act, as it delays a person from receiving their due rights given by the Shariah. 

Only Allah SWT alone knows best.

Written by Maulana Tahsin Alam

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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