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Inheritance 6

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.org.au
Mohamed bashir died on 5/11/2011. He left behind:

1. Wife – Sakina M.Bashir
2. Daughter – Azmina who had one son Asif from her first marriage and the son has been brought by us since he was 3 years. All the expenses for him i.e school fees, medicine etc has been borne by Mohamed Bashir.
3. Daughter – Habiba. She has four children, two sons and two daughters.
4. Mohamed Bashir didn’t have any sisters, but he had one brother Sadruddin who passed away before him. (3 years before him). Sadruddin has one son and two daughters.

The inheritance Mohamed Bashir left behind:

1. Some money in bank and some shares.
2. Have a shop which was run by both of us. i.e Mohamed Bashir & Sakina
3. 53 grms of Gold
4. One flat in Memon Flats which we are occupying. This flat is in our joint name i.e Mohamed Bashir & Sakina. And was purchased in Dec. 1997
5. He also had a flat near masjid Ali which is occupied at rental income of 10,000/= Kshs. This flat was purchased by us in August 1996 and is in Azmina, Habiba and Sakina’s name.

There is a will which states that everything to be divided equally between his daughters(azmina & habiba) and wife (sakina). This was dated April 1995.

Before he passed away he had told habiba his daughter that:

a) The flat near masjid ali is for habiba and azmina ½ equal shares, but the share for azmina is to be divided and half of it goes to azmina and half goes to asif ( M.Bashir’s grandson and azmina’s son)
b) The flat in Memon Flats which we are occupying is for your mummy. He said both he i.e Mohamed bashir and sakina had paid towards its purchase.
c) The proceeds and any profit from the shop to be equally divided between 3 of us. i.e Azmina, Habiba and Sakina.

Answer:

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

Firstly, Mohammed Bashir’s funeral expenses (not including extravagances) and debts (including the legal costs) are to be taken care of from his estate. Then, in accordance with his bequest, 25% of the flat near Masjid Ali will be given to Asif (his daughter’s son) (Note that the consent of the heirs is not required for this bequest to be carried out, as the consent of heirs is not required for a bequest in favour of a non-heir if the amount bequeathed to him is not more than a third of the estate.) Thereafter, the remainder of the estate of Mohammed Bashir will be divided into 24 equal shares and distributed to his heirs as follows:

– 3 shares will go to his wife
– 8 shares will go to each of his two daughters
– 5 shares will go to his nephew (brother’s son)

The other relatives of Mohammed Bashir will not inherit from him.

As for the other bequests that Mohammed Bashir made (i.e. in a will in 1995 and in the presence of Habiba before his death), since they are in favour of his wife and daughters – who are his heirs – they (the bequests) will only be permissible and carried out if his heirs (his wife, daughters and nephew) give their consent. If some heirs give consent and others don’t, then the bequests will only be carried out from the shares of the consenting heirs. Note that a minor (non-baaligh) heir’s consent is not valid. Hence, if Mohammed Bashir’s nephew is a minor, these bequests cannot be carried out from his share. Also note that the consent given by an heir in the lifetime of the legator is not valid. The consent must be given after the death of the legator. Also, since Mohammed Bashir bequeathed twice (once in 1995 in a will and the other in the presence of Habiba before he died) and since his first bequest was general whereas the second one was specific, the first bequest – that his entire estate is to be divided equally between his wife and two daughters – will apply to everything other than those things specifically mentioned in the second bequest.

Note 1: Our answer above assumes (based on the informaion provided in your query) that the flat near Masjid Ali was the property of Mohammed Bashir and that he legally put this flat in his daughters’ and wife’s names without intending to make them the owners thereof. If however he gifted this flat to them and made them the owners thereof in his lifetime, then please clarify this.

Note 2: As for the flat in Memon Flats, since both Mohammed Bashir and his wife paid for it, they are joint owners of this flat; and they each own the flat in proportion to how much they each contributed towards the total cost (for example, if M. Bashir paid 60% of the total cost and his wife paid 40%, they will each own 60% and 40% respectively). Hence, the heirs of Mohammed Bashir (including his wife) will only inherit from his share of the flat, not from his wife’s share. [1]

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza
14/6/2012

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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