Can I accept to inherite from my father’s will even if it was not drafted according to Shariah?
December 29, 2014
Q: I am a sister and my father has passed away. He left a Will which is not according to Shariah. I have 2 step-mums, 3 blood brothers and 3 half brothers. My dad divided his assets into 8 shares. 1/8 to the step mum who lived with my dad (she has no children). Nothing left for the step mum who is abroad. 7 shares to be divided equally between me and my brothers. Dad left all his Personal Chattels to one of my blood brothers. Some monies to charities. My step mum is not happy with the Will as she says that she should receive all assets and only after she passes away then we should receive our shares. She most certainly wont want to share her inheritance to my other step mum. My brother who received the Personal Chattels wishes to go according to my dads wish. So changing the Will to Shariah is out of question as our step mum can take us/the Executors to Court.
My questions are:
1. If I accept the inheritance as in my dads Will, will I be sinful?
2. If my brothers agree to me keeping my inheritance according to my dads wish, will this be ok according to Shariah?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: The correct method of distribution as follows:
1. The monies gifted to charities should be actioned up to a maximum of one
third of your father’s estate.
2. If your father is not survived by any of his parents the remaining
estate should be distributed in a manner that 1/8 [12.5%] of the remaining
estate is distributed equally between both of you step-mothers. The
remaining 7/8 should be distributed so that each of your brothers receives
twice [13.46%] your share [6.73%].
Your father does not have the discretion to leave his personal chattels to
your brother. They will form part of the estate. Your father is sinful for
making the will in this manner. All concerned should agree to distribute
the estate according to Shariah so as to absolve him of this sin.
If you accept the inheritance as stipulated in your dad’s will you will be
guilty of taking more than your rightful share. The only way this can be
lawful for you is if all of your co-inheritors readily agree to this
including both of your step-mothers. If they do not readily agree you
should restrict yourself to 6.73%. Equally, if your step-mother abroad is
deprived of her rightful share you should ensure that you receive only 6.73%
and encourage your co-inheritors to make over her share. In this manner,
you will not be blameworthy if she does not receive her share. Your
step-mother’s assertion that she should receive all the assets and that they
should only pass on to you and your siblings after her death is incorrect.