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Ruling when the Wife`s Heirs Claim her Deferred Dowry upon her Death

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
My brother, his wife and their children died in a traffic accident. Do the heirs have the right to claim her deferred dowry?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. If a person died and left an inheritance, but was indebted, his debts must be paid off first. If anything remained from the inheritance, it must be divided among the eligible heirs. Allah, The Almighty, said: "after any bequest that he may bequeath, or any debt."{An-Nisa`/11}. The wife`s deferred Mahr(dowry) is a debt upon her husband, to which she is entitled upon her divorce, her husband`s death, or hers, as stated in article (43) of the Jordanian Civil Status Law: "If a dowry was named in a valid contract, it must be given in full upon the death of any of the two spouses." In conclusion, the wife`s heirs are entitled to claim her deferred dowry before the division of the inheritance since it is a debt to which her husband is liable, whether she died before or after him. Article(42) of the Jordanian Personal Status Law/2010 stated: "If no specific date was assigned to the payment of the deferred dowry, it is considered deferred until divorce takes place or any of the two spouses dies."And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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