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Inheritance, etc

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mahmoodiyah

Question:

Assalamualaikum,
Dear Mufti  Sahib,
My father has some agriculture land and residential house. Few years back he sold some of agriculture land and bought the adjacent residential houses from our relatives to make the existing house 3 times bigger (4 equal parts). My father has 4 sons and 3 daughters. All married and have kids. At that time, he registered his this all residential house/land in the name of his 4 sons. Later, we all (4 sons) gave him the “Full Power of Attorney” including selling and etc. He asked about this as that time only one of his son was living with the father and all other were in far locations. No problem from the son’s side as we all think that this is our father’s property and he can do what ever he wants.
Recently, my father decided to give share to the daughters as well from these houses. When you make pieces of the land in 7 persons, it will not be useful to anyone and someone has to buy from other or sell to other), he asked us to buy the share of sister so that he can give this money to his daughters. Also, one of the brother is not interested to live in that city, he also offered his share for sale to the rest of 3 brothers.
Currently, I live in Saudia and my father asked me to buy these shares. I send some money to him with the intention to obey the father not to buy the land, as he was worried for his Aakhirah. Now two of the sons are living with him. Someone has told him that do not divide this in your life and promise to pay the sisters after he goes to from this world, Also that your daughter in laws may not respect you anymore after they have the house.
Q.1. Question to you is that what is right? Some muftis says, he can give to anyone anything in his life while others say it should be equally distributed. Some mufti has said leave the things as it is. What is right thing to do and what my father should be doing? Remember all the residential houses) are registered in the name of all 4 sons but there is no division or partition done. Actually, these are 3 house adjacent to each other. One house is of 1 canal (with very less construction) and the other 2 of half canal each (with normal rooms and etc). So total land is 2 canals (40 marlas). In two houses two of the sons are living and in the 3rd one, my parents are living.
Q.2 . One more problem is that two the house are below the road level and when heavy rain happens all the house become flooded. The ground level needs to be raised. Now my father is asking money to the sons to raise the ground level of the house and needs about 2 lakh Pakistani rupees. What to do in this case, as I feel this is not my property, why should I spent the money on it and may be the other brothers might be thinking that way too.
What is the advice and hokum in this case?
Please advice at the earliest, so that I can make and convey my point of view according to Deen.
Jazaka-Allah Khairan


Answer:

Prior to Maradhul Wafaat (the illness which leads to a person’s death) whatever wealth the father gives to his children over and above their necessities is Hibah (a gift). When handing out gifts to ones children it is most appropriate to give all (sons and daughters) an equal share. However if one wishes to distribute the entire estate then there would be concession to distribute it according to their respective shares i.e. the son will receive double the amount of the daughter. But by distributing it in this manner the wife will suffer a great loss since she will be left without a home.

You are well acquainted with your situation and that of your brothers whereby you can determine the manner in which your mother and sisters will be treated after your father’s death or what the behaviour will be towards your parents if the estate is distributed while he is alive. We cannot say anything conclusive with regards to this. Nevertheless, our advice to you is that you, your brothers and father should not act in a manner contrary to Shari’ah nor should you abuse the rights of the parents, children and sisters. This should be explained to your farther and brothers as well and thereafter you should all discuss the matter at hand and come to a decision which will allow each one to receive a suitable share, even if it means that a few individuals will have to forego their personal interests.

With regards to the houses which require renovations, you should bear in mind that by renovating them you will eventually receive a share in it. If you desire living in these houses than you should have them renovated and spend on them according to your share in them. However, if you have no intention of living there and your parents are not in need of a new home then it will not be necessary upon you to undertake the expenditure of the renovations. If you wish to earn your father’s blessings then it would be advisable to spend voluntarily. 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf

Darul Iftaa

Jameah Mahmoodiyah

Springs

13 August 2004

26 Jumaadul Ukhraa 1425

 

This answer was collected in 2012 from the website of Jameah Mahmoodiyah, South Africa. The original website no longer exists.

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