You Must Give Your Grandparents their Rightful Shares of their Son’s Estate
Fatwa No: 426529

Question

Assalam alaikum,Unfortunately my father passed away recently and now it's only me,my mother and my sister. Our father was the sole breadwinner of the family,after he left the only thing we have now is a land and a house which were both under my father's name. Me and my sister are quite young and have not even completed school yet. When he was there he made it very clear that he did not want to give his property to anyone but my mother. According to the law though we will have to give a part of his property to his parents which actually my father was completely against because my grand parents always had a lot of money and they would secretly give away all the money they would get through selling there properties to their daughters. Both their daughters are married and have a good source of income. He couldn't write a will as his condition was not good even though he wanted to.Someone told us that we would be punished if we didn't give his parents their share but we desperately need that money and they are actually pretty well off.What do we do?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is incumbent on you to give your grandfather and grandmother their rightful shares of their son’s estate, and what your father said is not to be taken into consideration. Even if he had written a will to disinherit his parents, it would be an invalid will wherein he transgresses the Limits of Allah. Moreover, the bequest made in favor of his wife and daughters is a bequest made in favor of heirs, which is not valid under the Sharee‘ah, as evidenced by the statement of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “Allah has given each person his due share of the inheritance, so no bequest is to be made in favor of an heir.” [At-Tirmithi and Abu Daawood] The version cited by Ad-Daaraqutni has the following addition: “...unless approved by the heirs.” So if your father bequeathed his estate to his wife or to you (his children), it is a bequest made in favor of an heir; it cannot be executed except with the consent of his parents. If they do not consent to it, then they must be given their rightful shares, whether they are rich or poor, and whether you are rich or poor. So fear Allah and do not deprive them of their rightful shares of the inheritance; this is considered devouring people’s wealth wrongfully and disobedience to Allah, The Exalted. After declaring the rights of the heirs in the verses about the distribution of inheritance, Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {These are the limits [set by] Allah, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted by Him to gardens [in Paradise] under which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein; and that is the great attainment.* And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment.} [Quran 4:13-14]

Allah Knows best.

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