How Should My Mother’s Inheritance be Divided?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


My mom died recently (may Allah grant her Jannah). She distributed all her jewelry among her children, according to Sacred Law. But she loved her heavy gold beaded stringed chain, and it’s left behind now. She willed it to be distributed so that all her children get an equal number of gold beads.

One of my nieces wants to buy the chain as a whole according to the current gold rate and says that the money can be distributed among children. So what about our mom’s will because it’s not being followed? My mom has other grandchildren as well. Although none of them showed interest, is this the right thing to do?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

May Allah greaten your reward, perfect your consolation, forgive your deceased mother, and bless her soul with the highest abode in Paradise.

Except for bequests of up to one-third of the total wealth (to non-heirs only), believers have no say about what happens to their possessions upon death. Sacred Law dictates how inheritance should be distributed and to whom. Any last will and testament that does not conform to Sacred Law should be ignored, and Allah knows best.

With regard to the necklace in question, your niece may purchase it, and the money should be added to the estate and then divided strictly according to Sacred Law, not equally among everyone, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.