What Do Grandchildren Inherit?

Question:

What do the grandchildren inherit from their grandfather if their grandfather and father die before the estate is divided?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

When a grandfather dies, as long his sons are still alive, the grandchildren do not inherit anything from him. Only their father (his son) and their uncles and aunts would inherit. Once their own father then dies, his children (the grandchildren) would only inherit whatever the father had inherited from his father (the grandfather).

To illustrate, let us assume that Qasim Ahmad has three sons and one daughter. One of his sons, Khalid, has two sons and two daughters. Qasim dies leaving $20,000 and a house with a large orchard. His wife is still alive, and he leaves a number of grandchildren and a number of brothers and sisters (the great uncles and aunts of the grandchildren).

The inheritance is divided as follows:

Wife (the grandmother): 1/8
Khalid (Son #1, and the father of the grandchildren): 1/4
Son #2 (the uncle): 1/4
Son #3 (the uncle): 1/4
Daughter (aunt): 1/8
Grandchildren: Nothing
Brothers and sisters (great uncles and aunts): Nothing

The $20,000 would be divided based on the fractions above, the heirs would either value the house with the large orchard by themselves and come to an agreement, or it would have to be valued by a government official and divided based on its value.

Now Qasim’s son Khalid dies before the money and the house with the large orchard are divided. He himself also had $50,000 and his own house. Khalid dies leaving his mother, his wife, his two sons, two daughters, his two brothers, and his sister.

Now we add what Khalid would have inherited from his father Qasim to the wealth he dies owning. This will be divided by his own heirs. So, the quarter of Qasim’s inheritance (the 1/4 of $20,000, and 1/4 of Qasim’s house with the large orchard) plus Khalid’s $50,000 and his house are divided in the following way.

Mother (Qasim’s wife): 1/6
Wife (mother of grandchildren): 1/8
Son #1 (grandchild of Qasim): 17/72
Son #2 (grandchild of Qasim): 17/72
Daughter #1 (grandchild of Qasim): 17/144
Daughter #2 (grandchild of Qasim): 17/144
Brothers #1 (son of Qasim, uncle of grandchildren): 0
Brother #2 (son of Qasim, uncle of grandchildren): 0
Sister #1 (daughter of Qasim, aunt of grandchildren): 0

This is just an example. The actual fractions will vary based on the actual numbers of living relatives.

So in summary: the grandchildren still inherit from their grandfather, but only the portion of the grandfather’s wealth that the father originally would have inherited.

Please refer to a local mufti for the calculations of your actual case.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is It Permissible To Leave All One’s Assets to Just One of Your Children?

Question:

Is it permissible to leave all one’s assets to just one of your children?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, this is not permissible. Upon one’s death, all of one’s assets automatically become the property of one’s heirs according to the distribution of the Qur’an. No one has a right to do otherwise, with the exception of giving one third to anyone but a direct heir. [Quduri, Matn al-Quduri]

It is the responsibility of the heirs to ensure this distribution takes place. Anyone who does not will have a very difficult time on the Day of Judgement. This is a very serious matter, and it should be treated as such.

Please consult with a reliable local scholar to learn about the proper division and distribution of the assets.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

 

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.

Can a Muslim Receive Assets From Non-Muslims Via State Law?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

1. When a Muslim dies without a will in America, would state intestacy laws be treated like a wasiyya, which would make it permissible for a Muslim to receive assets from a deceased non-Muslim via state law?

2. When a non-Muslim writes a will and leaves all of his assets to a Muslim, would the 1/3 Wasiyya limit on Muslims be inapplicable, and would this bequest be permissible for the Muslim receive?

Answer:Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

Can A Muslim Inherit From a Non-Muslim Via State Law?

Yes, a Muslim may receive assets from non-Muslims via state law. There is no automatic, Shari’a specified inheritance between Muslims and non-Muslims, but it is permissible to be the recipient as in this case. It can be seen as the state disposing of the assets of the deceased, and therefore, permissible to accept.

The one-third limit to bequests only applies to Muslims in general, to a non-Muslim who makes a bequest in a Muslim land, or if the recipient is in a Muslim land with heirs of the deceased. In these situations, a limit will apply, unless the heirs – Muslim or otherwise – waive it. It is not a concern in non-Muslim countries. [Kasani, Bada’i al Sanai’]

 

Please see a related answer:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/inheritance/is-writing-a-will-wajib-in-non-muslim-countries/

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

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.

How Do I Divide My Estate Amongst My Children?

Question:

If someone gives his property to his children and then has more children, do the new children also get their portion of the property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If someone gives his property to his children and then has more children, the new children do not get a portion of the old property because it is no longer their parent’s.

For example, a man has three sons and three houses. He gives his three houses to his three sons and the property is legally transferred to their names (or they or their legal representatives take complete physical charge of the property). At this point, the properties no longer belong to the father. [Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi]

Thereafter, he has another son, and then the father dies. Should the new son have his portion of the properties that were once owned by his father but are now the property of his brothers? No. Inheritance only applies to the property and wealth that one actually has upon death.

Okay, so what about being fair to each of one’s children in gifts? Again, that only applies to property that still belongs to one. Once one has given property away, this no longer applies.

Now, if it was merely a promise/agreement that he would give them the property, but no valid gift contract (hiba sahiha) occurred, and (importantly) no legal or physical transfer of ownership happened (the title deeds were not changed for example), then the property would remain as the father’s property and would be divided between all of his heirs upon death.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Is Writing a Will Wajib In Non-Muslim Countries?

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. In western counties such as the United States, where Islamic inheritance laws are not implemented by the states unless written in a will, would the ruling of writing a wasiyyah be wajib or fard (as opposed to mustahabb which is mentioned in Hanafi texts) since without writing a wasiyya, we can be sure that one’s assets will not be distributed according to Islamic inheritance guidelines?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

 

What Is a Wasiyya?

In general, a bequest (wasiyya) in the Hanafi school, only relates to financial matters, such as dispensing with a third of one’s estate by giving it to people or charitable causes. This is mustahabb. Other forms of bequests can deal with appointing representatives to look after minors. [Zayla’i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq]

When a person dies, after his funeral costs and debts are paid from his estate, all he owns becomes the property of his heirs. It is their responsibility to ensure everyone is given their right; this would be wajib for them.

If however, a country’s law prevents them from distributing it without the express permission of the deceased in a will, then making it possible for them to be able to do so would also become wajib on one before death. A legal principle states “What a wajib cannot be done without also becomes wajib.”

Therefore, it would be necessary to empower the heirs or another of authority to carry out the distribution according to the dictates of the Shari’a. If this means leaving a will then so be it.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[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.

Does Islam Promote Squatter’s Rights?

Question: In Islam, is it valid to take other people’s property who do not use their property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

In Islam, there is no concept of squatter’s rights: one cannot simply live on someone’s uninhabited property and then take the property for oneself. “Rights,” as the legal principle reads, “are not lost with the passage of time (al-taqadum).”

That said, if it is unquestionably clear from the context and the custom of the land that the owner does not mind that one stays on their property, and it is unquestionably clear that the owner does not want the land, then one may take property as one’s own by taking the normal steps that denote ownership. This could be by changing the locks, building, putting up fencing, or registering the property in one’s name.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Share of Inheritance Will We Get In This Scenario?

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum. Mr. S. had married Mrs. M. in 1929. In 1930 their only daughter KB was born. After her birth, the mother of the baby KB died, and her father remarried to another lady W. W gave birth to four sons and five daughters within a span of 32 years. Now two sons & three daughters are alive. All other sons and daughter’s family members are alive now. The only first daughter’s family (sons and daughters) are alive.  So what will be the inheritance law or law of succession for the eldest daughter’s family in Hanafi Law?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

There is a general rule in inheritance, which is that grandchildren do not inherit in the presence of one’s children. This would mean that if a child with children passes away, then those grandchildren will not inherit if there are direct children of the deceased.

Having said this, I urge you to consult a reliable local scholar as there are details needed that are not mentioned in your question above. There are some points we can discuss, however.

KB was entitled to 3/4 of everything her mother left behind if her parents were not alive. If so, her husband would have got 1/4, her maternal parents 1/6 each, and KB the rest.

I assume you are asking about the estate left behind by Mr. S, who is the father of KB, and the nine other children. If so, only the wife and the living sons and daughters will inherit. His wife would get 1/8 and the rest would be divided amongst his children: each male getting twice the share of each female.

However, this is based on dividing the estate right after the passing of Mr. S. Otherwise, all his children who were alive at the point of his death inherit as mentioned above. If they have passed away now, then their share will be passed on to their children.

Please consult someone local to who you can present all the facts as required. They will be able to give you clarity, insha’Allah.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[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.

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

Question:

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.

Answer:

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.

Do I Have to Name All My Heirs as Beneficiaries to My Pension?

Question:

Assalamu ‘alaykum.

My husband and I had our shariah-compliant Will drawn up a few months ago. We have only one child, a daughter who is 11 years old. My husband has to submit the beneficiary details for his Pension Fund to his work. He wants to put my name as the sole beneficiary. However, I’m concerned this would not fall into being Sharia-compliant? 

It’s a government pension so we also not sure what the implications are if we choose the estate option.

I would really appreciate guidance on what is permissible in this regard.

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

It’s fine to only have yourself as the named beneficiary to keep things simple, as long as your daughter receives her rightful share of the inheritance. If neither of his parents are around then you would inherit 1/8th and the rest would go to your daughter (Quduri, Matan al Quduri).

Besides that, there are no other Shari’a stipulations beyond “Indeed Allah commands you to give rights to those who they belong to” (Qur’an, 4:58).

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[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.

Do My Siblings Inherit if My Mother States in Her Lifetime That She Wants to Leave Everything to Me?

Question:
Assalamu ‘alaykum. If my mother has stated that she wants to transfer her property to myself and my wife and child and has repeated this of her own accord in front of a solicitor, am I still Islamically obliged to give equal shares to my 3 brothers who all are living in their own homes. I am the youngest son who decided to stay at home with my mother as I felt that this is my responsibility. I have also invested money in this property through extensions since my brothers have moved home, so would the share still be equal?

Answer:

I pray you are well.

Inheritance Is Automatic

When a person dies, after the funeral costs and debts – if any – are paid for from the estate, the remainder automatically becomes the property of the heirs – if no will of up to a third is left to someone who won’t automatically inherit. Those who automatically inherit cannot be recipients through a will.

This means if she does not actually gift the property to you and your wife and child in her lifetime – and before the occurrence of a terminal illness – then you and your brothers are all equal inheritors, and your wife and child will not get anything. Stating something in front of the solicitor might make the transfer happen legally, but not in the Shari’a.

Inheritance is not something you want to wrong anyone in. Please listen to the second half of this lesson and the next for an explanation of the severity of the threats in the Qur’an regarding this matter.

Fairness to One’s Children

Your mother could gift it all to you in her lifetime. It would be a valid transfer, but she would be sinful for her unfair treatment of her children. They will also, most likely, resent her for it. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Fear Allah, and be fair to you children.“ (Bukhari)

It’s best to divide it according to the Shari’a. That will prevent animosity and arguments. The life of the dunya is short. It ends, and there is a judgment on the other side. Don’t let something like money and property be something that causes a rift between you and your siblings, and be a cause for your mother to potentially go to Hell for.

As for what you have invested in the properties, if you did not state that you want reimbursement then the default assumption is that it was a gift to your mother when you invested in the property. If you are not happy with this, then speak to her and your siblings now, before it’s too late, and come to an agreement whilst you can.

(Maydani, al Lubab)

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.