Q: My Aunt died a few years ago and she was outlived by her husband, two sons and a daughter. Her daughter sold all her gold and gave it in charity in her mother’s name at the time. No shares were given to the husband or brothers. I don’t think there was a will either. My Uncle, her husband died a few years later. From what I know, shares should have been apportioned to all those who were alive at the time according to Shariah. My cousin, the daughter has now asked me to ask how to remedy the issue, especially where the two sons (her brothers) are concerned both of whom are still alive. Can they be asked to give their consent / blessing to the money being given to charity years after it was given, even though they were not asked at the time and were not given a choice to do so ? I would be grateful if you could confirm the correct way of dealing with the issue.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: It was incorrect of the daughter to dispose of the gold without the consent of her brothers and her father. If her brothers so wish, they may retrospectively grant their consent. They may also demand their rightful share which the daughter will have to make over to them. It is not permissible to bring any pressure whatsoever on to her brothers to consent to the disposal of the gold. If her brothers do give their consent but do so without their free will as they feel that that is what they must do on account of it involving their mother, the daughter will not be absolved of sin. The proper way to remedy the situation is to offer and give her brothers their full shares. This may be done by considering the value of the gold when donated as part of her share and so she will receive a reduced share from the rest of the estate. If her brothers should so wish, they may consent to the original donation and allow her to take her full share from the rest of the estate. However, it should be made absolutely clear that they are under no legal or moral obligation to do so.