Is the Name on a Title Deed of a House Considered Ownership, or is it Subjected to Inheritance?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


This question is specifically about the family home and inheritance. When my father was alive, the family home was solely in his name. Before he passed away, he changed the ownership of the house such that it belonged to him and our mother in equal portions, and if one of them passed away, the remaining part would go to the survivor.

My father passed away, and the house became the property of our mother under UK law. Should the half that my mother received be considered part of my father’s assets and, therefore, subject to the distribution rules? The matter is actually more complicated, but the character constraints prevent me from elaborating.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

A house belongs to the person who has invested in it. If your father gifted equal shared ownership of the house before he passed away, it has to be known by the family or documented unless you follow your mother’s word in the matter.

From the fiqh point of view, a house will belong to the person who had invested in purchasing the property. Changing the title deed of the house will not make the additional person an owner, Islamically, when the intention is not to gift the property to the added person. However, if the house is gifted to another Islamically, they will become the property owner. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

It should also be remembered that anyone else who qualifies to inherit may relinquish their right and consent to their parent taking ownership of all the leftover wealth. However, this is something that is purely optional on their part; hence they should not be forced into accepting this. Each and every individual who is entitled to his/her share of inheritance must consent willingly to relinquish his/her right. At times, people are forced into giving up their right of inheritance, which is clearly wrong and sinful.

In your case, as you mentioned, the matter is complicated; you will need to sit down as a family with a reliable local scholar and Mufti and consult and sort the issue.


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.