Gifting a land without registering the name of the giftee
May 31, 2016
Q: My father bought much land and properties overseas during his life. One particular piece of land was bought especially for my mother and he expressed this to her and there are witnesses to his statements. She accepted the gift but did not want her name showing on the property documents as she believed her husband’s (my father’s) relations will give her and her husband a lot of grief. “He purchased land for his wife and nothing for his sisters!!” These kind of phrases were directed towards my father quiet often and my mother just wanted to avoid such situations at that particular moment.
Unfortunately my father passed away shortly afterwards The confusion is that my mother is my fathers second wife. the first was divorced before the second marriage. I have a half brother and 2 half sisters as a result of my fathers first marriage and we are 3 brothers and 1 sister from my fathers second marriage. My question is that who is the rightful owner of this particular piece of land?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: If your father did indeed purchase the land for your mother as a gift to her and expressed this to her whilst he was alive and she accepted it and there was no encumbrance from her taking possession of it, then the gift is complete from a shariah perspective and she is the rightful owner of the land. If your mother was not allowed to take possession then the gift is incomplete and the land will form part of the estate of your father.