Answered by: Mufti Eunus Ali
I need to know the Islamic rulings on an inheritance matter. My father passed away in 1990, he owned our family home. Following British law, the whole house was transferred to my mum.
My mum passed away recently and she had made a will and the house has been transferred accordingly (my sister and I now own the house).
Just to give you an outline of my family, When Mum and Dad married they both had children from previous marriages,
Mum had 2 daughters and 1 son,
Dad had 3 sons and 1 daughter.
My mum and dad had 2 daughters from their marriage, my sister and myself.
Before my Dad married my mum he divided all his assets between his 3 sons and 1 daughter and started a clean slate financially, I have been told that he always told my mum that the house will be yours when he passes.
I understand the house should be divided according to sharia law. The question I have is ‘according to Islamic law how should the house be divided?’.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Firstly I would like to mention that the mere transference of the name on a property will not make that person the owner of the property Islamically.
Also, it is not permissible for a person to make a ‘will’ whereby a bequest is made for an heir/s. This will only be permissible when consent is acquired from every heir.
Therefore, although the house was transferred into your mother’s name she will not be considered the sole Islamic owner of the house as Shariah has stipulated shares of the estate of your father for his offspring’s and hence they also own a share of the house Islamically.
Before we can move on we will need to calculate the shares that the heirs of your father are entitled to. If his estate has not been distributed as of yet, it will need to be calculated first.
The estate of your father will be divided in this manner according to the information you have provided:
The 3 sons will receive 19.44% each of his estate.
The 3 daughters will receive 9.72% each of his estate.
The wife (meaning your mother) will receive 12.5% of his estate.
(Note: the children from your mother’s previous marriage will not be entitled to your father’s estate)
Now moving on to the distribution of your mother’s estate, as she was only entitled to 12.5% of the house only this would be distributed amongst her heirs even though she may have left a will behind stating that the whole house should be given to you and your sister. This is because according to Islam she was not the owner of the whole house.
According to the information you have provided her estate will be distributed according to the below:
The 1 son will receive 33.33% of her estate.
The 4 daughters will receive 16.66% of her estate.
(Note: the children from your father’s previous marriage will not be entitled to your mother’s estate)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Eunus Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Fatawa Rahimiyyah, Volume 10, Page 296, Darul Isha’at
 Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah, Volume 6, Page 109, Darul Kutubul Ilmiyyah