How Should My Father Distribute His Late Mother’s Estate?


Assalamu ‘alaykum.
My grandmother verbally left the property to my eldest sister, but my father will distribute it to his brothers and sisters instead. Is this right? 

He has looked after our entire extended family financially and continues to do so. My sister also thinks they have some magic on him, as he is kinder, nicer, and more obedient to them. Please advise if this is fair and if he is afflicted with magic.


Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Getting Something as a Gift or Inheritance

If your grandmother gifted the property to your sister in her lifetime – meaning she made your sister the owner of it then and there, leaving her to do with it what she saw fit – then the property is hers. The question of whether this was right or fair is another matter.

If, however, she merely stated that your sister was to be its owner after her death, then the property does not belong to her. Your grandmother was trying to give away something at a time when it would no longer be hers. After death, the Shari’a makes a person’s estate the property of their heirs. This is her children in this case. Your sister does not have a right to it. [Maydani, al-Lubab]


Ruling Out Black Magic

Just because your father is nicer or more obedient to his siblings, it does not mean he is affected by magic. Sometimes, people do what you have described because they feel obligated or indebted to the other party. If this entails wronging his direct dependants, he may be manipulated, or he may have a deep emotional need for their acceptance and approval.

People are complicated, as are their circumstances. If you feel there are problems, ask Allah for help, and sit with him and have a conversation about. State how you feel. Do not be confrontational and critical, and do not make it sound like you’re accusing him. Perhaps Allah will facilitate a resolution to all the problems.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.