The deceased leaves behind a house and a debt due in his favor





Dear Mufti Sahib, Assalaamu Alaikum WRWB

One of our community members died last week, the family is seeking advice for the following issues:

1.  The home husband and wife were living, is in the name of deceased and his wife.  After his death, does his wife is only owner of this house, or this will be deceased estate, and should be distributed to all his family, i.e. his wife, two sons, and one daughter.  Two sons are married, and live in their own houses.  Daughter lives with parents, and is not married yet.  

2.  Deceased helped his brother by purchasing the house, and gave him on land contract or you can call it on easy monthly installment basis to pay back the value of the house.  How does this effect.  How would it be considered for distribution.  Should this house be sold on cash basis to any buyer, so that cash be distributed?  Or leave the terms same as before his death, and distribute the money as it comes to the family?

There is mention in his last will.  It is in general words that wife will get 1/8 and 1/3 of his portion (Upon which he can designate any person), one share each to two sons, and 1/2 share to the daughter, after paying zakat or any liability.  

Please response to this urgent matter.  Jazak Allah Khair.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما


السلام عليکم و رحمة الله و برکاته

Answer to question 1:

The house being under the ownership of the husband and wife, the house will be divided into two shares from which one will be the deceased’s wife and the other being the deceased's, this will then be distributed amongst the heirs in accordance to the Islamic Law of Shari'ah.

Answer to question 2:

In the second question it was not made clear as to how the house was purchased, and who the buyer of the house was. One of two scenarios can correctly be applicable to the situation:

If the deceased bought the house, and there after sold it to his brother on installments, the house belongs to the brother who purchased it from the decease and he will continue to pay off his debt on installments as was agreed upon in the initial contract. The heirs may not force him to pay before the money is rightfully due according to the contract.

If the deceased had lent his brother money to purchase the house which the brother is paying off on installments, the heirs are not obligated to accept the money in accordance to the installments. Rather they may rightfully ask that the loan be paid off all at once, although if they uphold the agreement set by the brothers they will insha’allah be rewarded by Allah سبحانه و تعالی. As the Prophet of Allahصلي الله عليه و سلم has said “whoever gives respite to a needy person, or decreases a debt, Allah سبحانه و تعالی will grant him shade on the day of judgment, on the day where there shall be no shade except the shade of Almighty Allah.

والله اعلم

Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows best.

Mohammad Jafari

Approved by Mufti Husain Ahmad Madani




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