How to Distribute Father’s Property after Recovering It from My Uncle

17 April, 2017
Q As-Salamu alaykum. May my email find you all in good health and under the blessing of Allah. I am from India and my question is related to property dispute. I am aware of the rules of property distribution under Sharia law. My question is about the disputed property. My father died 14 years ago and I have a sister, a brother (both are married) and my mother. My father left some land (some of which he bought and other inherited by his father) but soon after his dealt, it was captured by my uncle and we had got onshore from it for the past 14 years. My brother was financing the house but for the past one year, right after his marriage, his attitude has changed and he is not willing to finance neither my studies nor is ready to finance my marriage. He is ready to keep my mother with him but has his conditions. And at no cost he is willing to keep me with him. He is asking my mother to abandon me as a condition to keep her with him, of which my mother has obviously not agreed. I am in the middle of my studies, so finding a job that pays me well so that I could support myself and my mother is not possible. So the only option left for us was to return to the village and fight for our lands, so that we could survive. Of the lands my uncle has already sold more than half, but by the help of Allah many villagers are helping us get our share and the case is in court, after a tough legal battle we are hope full to get our share. Now my question is: do my brother and sister also hold a share in what we will get? If I and my mother would have not tried and fought the case, we would have never got our share. So, please guide me.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi 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- Your uncle has no right to your father’s property.

2- Your study and marriage expenses are the responsibility of your brother if he has enough resources.


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

 Your question has several aspects.
1- For the land, your uncle has no right to it if what you said that your father inherited part and bought part is true. Your family, after the death of your father, became the owner of the land.

When you recover it, it MUST be distributed to the survivors: wife, son and two daughters. Your mother has 1/8 of it; that is 2/16, your brother has 7/16 and each of you and your sister has 3.5/16. This ownership actually started, according to the Shari`ah, on the day your father died and of course remains until now.

When your recover the land or its price, it should be distributed at the same proportion. Of course, you can recover any cost of court, lawyers, etc. that you paid for recovering it

2- The expenses of living for you, including your marriage expenses, and your mother are the responsibility of the able (from work or from wealth) siblings in the absence of father.

Your brother is responsible for your living expense. If your sister has resources of her own, she is required to share with her brother according to their financial abilities, and he is required to spend on you as he spends on himself and his wife depending on his ability until you are either married or have resources on your own e.g., from the land when recovered, even if you have to sell it.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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