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:
In his response to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
Some scholars even argue that the debt of Allah is stronger in the requirement to be paid than the debts to people.
Also there are scholars who say that now the property belongs to heirs and they are not responsible for the neglect of the deceased. Well, it is true technically! But he is your father and even if you make sadaqah on his behalf, he will be rewarded for it. Zakah is definitely more important.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.