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Inheritance Distribution to Grandchildren When Parent’s Have Passed On.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

A deceased father had 3 daughters and 1 son. Now, all these children of the deceased have died as well. There are a number of grandchildren that remain alive.

The issue is when the deceased father died, only the son was given inheritance of all the assets and property. The daughters were all deprived according to the culture in the subcontinent. My questions are as follows:

  1. Are only sons entitled for inheritance or daughters too?
  2. In the olden days, all family members would help in the farming fields that belonged to the father. In accordance to this understanding, the son invested the properties and assets of the father by buying and selling, thus increasing the father’s assets. Who has the right in these properties? Are the daughters and sons entitled to these new assets and properties?
  3. Some of the above investments were attainted through interest and usury. Is there any Islamic right in the properties and assets attained through interest and usury-based transactions?  
  4. When the father died, only the son took the property and assets as inheritance. None of the daughters were given the inheritance. When the son died, only his children, meaning (the initial deceased’s son’s children) benefited, no other grandchildren. What is the Islamic ruling in this situation?

Answer:

 بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allāh, Most Merciful, Most Kind

Thank you/ Jazāk Allāh Khayr for contacting Darul Ifta Birmingham with your question.

In response to your question related to inheritance, kindly note the following:

When a father dies leaving behind 1 son and 3 daughters as his heirs, the inheritance is to be disturbed as described below, after fulfilling all funeral expenses and outstanding financial obligations of the deceased:

Son 40% of deceased’s assets and property
Daughter 1 20% of deceased’s assets and property
Daughter 2 20% of deceased’s assets and property
Daughter 3 20% of deceased’s assets and property

In Islam, both males and female children are entitled to inheritance. To only distribute inheritance to sons/ males is unislamic and also unjust. This would fall under taking the rights and wealth of others.

Also note that when family members all work together to support the father to grow his assets, the assets and property remain the fathers. Simply helping a family member grow their assets does not make one a co-owner to the property. Yes, this is certain that upon his death, both male and female children are entitled to the inheritance.

Interest is forbidden in Islam and it is sinful to conduct interest-based transactions. However, assets and property obtained through interest-based transactions will still establish ownership. In the described scenario, such assets will be included in the inheritance and distributed to both male and female heirs.

Regarding the grandchildren, kindly note that islamically, shares of inheritance depend on who is alive or not. This is a case by case situation. In some scenarios, grandchildren may be entitled while in other situations they may not, depending on who remains alive at the time of a person’s demise. – (See: Mukhtaṣar Al-Qudūrī, Dar Al-Kutub Al-’Ilmiyyah, page 245) [1]

In the scenario you have described, a son and three daughters have now passed away who were entitled to a share from their father’s estate, which was not distributed correctly to them. In such a situation, the children’s allocated portions will be given to their heirs now, meaning the rightful portions of the son and three daughters are now given to the grandchildren (the children of the son and three daughters) and anyone else who may be an heir to the deceased persons. Meaning, the now living grandchildren are entitled to their parents’ shares in their grandfather’s estate. It should also be noted that these shares to which they are entitled to does not represent their share in the grandfather’s estate. Rather, it is their parents’ share of their own father’s estate. – (See: Al-Mawsūʿat Al-Fiqhīyyah)

In your particular situation, it seems it would be difficult to precisely pin point what exactly the assets and property are, since two generations have passed away. In such a situation, all the grandchildren should get together and try and distribute amongst them based on what their parents would have been entitled to from their father. Therefore, in the described scenario, the distribution of all existing property that is assumed to have initially been the ownership of the deceased father should be allocated as follows, with the principle that males get double the portion of what females get:

All existing properties of the father All grandchildren of son share 40%
  All grandchildren of daughter 1 share 20%
  All grandchildren of daughter 1 share 20%
  All grandchildren of daughter 1 share 20%

“[For inheritance] Allāh instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.” – (Qur’an 4:11) [2]

The Prophet Muḥamamd (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If anyone deprives an heir of their inheritance, Allāh will deprive them of their inheritance in paradise on the day of resurrection.” – (Mishkāt Al-Maṣābīḥ 3078) [3]

“And whoever betrays, [taking wealth unlawfully], will come with what they took on the Day of Resurrection [for judgment before Allāh]. Then will every soul be [fully] compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged.” – (Qurʾān 3:161) [4]

“That they took usury though they were forbidden and they devoured people’s wealth wrongfully; we have prepared for those amongst them who reject faith a grievous chastisement.” – (Qur‘ān 4:161) [5]

“Umm Salamah (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported on the Prophet’s authority about two men, who brought a dispute before him regarding inheritances, but had no proof beyond their claim. He said, “If I give a decision in favour of one respecting what is rightly his brother’s I am allotting him only a portion of hell.” Thereupon both the men said, “Messenger of Allāh, this right of mine may go to my brother,” but he replied, “No, rather go and divide it up, aiming at what is right, then draw lots, and let each of you consider the other to have what is legitimately his.” – (Mishkāt Al-Maṣābīḥ 3770) [6]

Only Allāh knows best


[1] المجمع على توريثهم من الذكورعشرة: الابن وابن الابن وإن سفل والأب والجد أب الأب وإن علا والأخ وابن الأخ والعم وابن العم والزوج ومولى النعمة ومن الإناث سبع: البنت وبنت الابن والأم والجدة والأخت والزوجة ومولاة النعمة – مختصر القدوري

[2] – النساء ١١ يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلَادِكُمْ ۖ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ

[3] عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ قَطَعَ مِيرَاثَ وَارِثِهِ قَطَعَ اللَّهُ مِيرَاثَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ – مشكوة المصابيخ ٣٠٧٨

[4] وَمَن يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ – ال عمران ١٦١

[5] وَأَخْذِهِمُ الرِّبَا وَقَدْ نُهُوا عَنْهُ وَأَكْلِهِمْ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ ۚ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا – النساء ١٦١

[6] وَعَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي رَجُلَيْنِ اخْتَصَمَا إِلَيْهِ فِي مَوَارِيثَ لَمْ تَكُنْ لَهُمَا بَيِّنَةٌ إِلَّا دَعْوَاهُمَا فَقَالَ مَنْ قَضَيْتُ لَهُ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ حَقِّ أَخِيهِ فَإِنَّمَا أَقْطَعُ لَهُ قِطْعَةً مِنَ النَّارِ فَقَالَ الرَّجُلَانِ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ حَقِّي هَذَا لِصَاحِبِي فَقَالَ لَا وَلَكِنِ اذْهَبَا فَاقْتَسِمَا وَتَوَخَّيَا الْحَقَّ ثُمَّ اسْتَهِمَا ثُمَّ لْيُحَلِّلْ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْكُمَا صَاحِبَهُ – مشكوة المصابيخ ٣٧٧٠ 

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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