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Depriving a Trouble-Making Uncle of Inheritance: Permissible?

02 October, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. My father has just passed away leaving behind a widow and three daughters. Now, as we don't have a brother, major part of the inheritance will go to my father's brother who has always created problems for us and did every possible thing to disrupt our household. Is it not fair that in such circumstances, the widow and her daughters should get major part of the inheritance as we don't have any source of income and my father's brother is not ready to give us anything from his share?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- A good Muslim should deal with all people according to the Shari`ah values, either they are good or bad people.

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2- Also, one’s being unjust to us does not justify depriving him of his rights; particularly, the financial ones.

3- So, you do not have the right to deprive your uncle, or even reduce, his share in your father’s inheritance.

In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:

I am sorry to say that you made a little mistake probably because you knew little about the Islamic inheritance system.

First, the Islamic inheritance system is mandatory on all Muslims under all circumstances; read please verses (11-14 of Surah No. 4) especially the ending sentences of each of these verses.

Second, most of the estate will go to you girls and your mother; according to verses 11 and 12, 2/3 for the 3 girls and 1/8 for the mother. The share of the uncle is only 5/24 which is less than the share of each of the three girls.

Besides, you did not mention whether your father had any sister or parents. If there are grandparents, the uncle does not inherit. Also if you have any other aunts and uncles, they will share with this uncle this share.

Also, if you live in a country which has an Islamic family/inheritance law, the law requires and forces the uncle to spend on you if you need.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey