A Complication in a Simple Case of Inheritance


Assalamu o alaikum

Thanks for the information for Islamic net.

Sheik I have one question regarding properties,

My father expired last year. I am his elder son and would like to share properties as per Islamic Sharia.

My father had two wives, after one death married to sister of first wife.

We all five children from first wife one son and one daughter. From second wife, he had one son and two daughter.

Can you explain me in detail how to distribute my fathers properties?


A Brother, Dubai, UAE

April 2010

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salaam wa Rahmatullah e wa Barakatuhu

It is a pleasure to know that you want to share the inheritance according to Islamic Shariah. May Allah bless you for that!

In order to respond to you properly, I need the answers of these questions:

1. Are your grandparents (i.e. Dada & Dadi) alive?

2. Is your second mother alive?

After receiving your response, I’ll reply your question. Also provide your detailed introduction.



Dear Sheik

Assalamu o Aalikium we Rahmatullah e wa Barakatuhu

ZAZAKALLLAHA, for your quick response,

I am 47 years old,from Kundapur taluk, from Karnataka state, past 25 years  working in Dubai.

My family –wife and have three children.

Both grand father and grand mother expired,

Yes second mother is there,

Hope this information is enough, in case need any more query please let me know.

I have one more question:

On fathers land I build a house with 80% expenses from my pocket and 20% from my father, its around 18 years now, and my brothers not expended any money on house. How to take this into account while distributing the property.


A Brother, Dubai, UAE

Dear Brother

Assalam o alaikum wa Rahmatullah

I’m your brother. No need to call me “Sheik”. Allah, the Almighty has explained the law of Inheritance in the Quran (Surat-un-Nisaa). You can study yourself. The relevant verses are:

يُوصِيكُمْ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلادِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الأُنثَيَيْنِ فَإِنْ كُنَّ نِسَاءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ وَاحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِنْ كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلأُمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِي بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ لا تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً فَرِيضَةً مِنْ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً (11)

وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَاجُكُمْ إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمْ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَإِنْ كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلالَةً أَوْ امْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِنْ كَانُوا أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فِي الثُّلُثِ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَارٍّ وَصِيَّةً مِنْ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ (12)

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (13)

وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَاراً خَالِداً فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ (14)

In regard to inheritance Allah commands you concerning your children: that:

—— The share of a boy shall be twice that of a girl.

—— In the case where there are more than two girls, their share will be two thirds of the estate; but if there is only one girl, her share will be one half of the estate.

—— If the deceased left children behind, each of the parents (of the deceased) shall get one sixth of the estate, but if the deceased left no children and the parents are the only heirs, the mother shall get one third of the estate (and the father will get two third of the estate).

—— But if the deceased left brothers and sisters, then the mother will get one sixth of it.

—— The distribution in all cases shall be after fulfilling the terms of the last will and the payment of debts.

—— With regards to your parents and your children, you do not know who is more beneficial to you, therefore, Allah issued this ordinance. Surely Allah is the Knowledgeable, Wise.[11]

—— You shall inherit one half of your wives’ estate if they leave no child, but if they leave behind a child then you will get one fourth of their estate, after fulfilling the terms of their last will and the payment of debts.

—— Your wives shall inherit one fourth if you leave no child behind you; but if you leave a child, then they shall get one-eighth of your estate; after fulfilling the terms of your last will and the payment of debts.

—— If a man or a woman leaves neither ascendant nor descendants but has left a brother or a sister, they shall each inherit one sixth, but if they are more than two, they shall share one third of the estate; after fulfilling the terms of the last will and the payment of debts, without prejudice to the rights of the heirs.

Thus is the commandment of Allah. Allah is Knowledgeable, Forbearing.[12]

These are the limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to paradise, in which rivers flow, to live therein forever, and that is the Great Achievement.[13]

But the ones who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be cast to Hellfire to live therein forever, and they shall have a humiliating punishment.[14] (Al-Nisa 4:11-14)

According to above mentioned law, the distribution of the wealth of your father will be as follows:

1. If your father had any loan or he has asked to pay a gift to someone (Wassiyat), it will be paid first.

2. From remaining wealth, 1/8 will be the share of your alive mother. There is no share for the expired mother because she is not alive at the time of death of your father.

3. Remaining wealth will be distributed among all the children of your father. As you’ve mentioned that you are total five: two brothers and three sisters. Each sister will get 1/7 of the remaining amount and each brother will get 2/7 of the remaining amount.

You’ll multiply these fractions with the total amount of inheritance. For example, if after deducting any loan or bequest, the total amount of your father’s property is Rs. 1,000,000/-, the share of each of you will be:

Share of Mother: 1,000,000 x 1/8 = Rs. 125,000 (Remaining amount Rs. 875,000)

Share of Each Brother: 875,000 x 2/7 = Rs. 250,000

Share of Each Sister: 875,000 x 1/7 = Rs. 125,000

The matter of property is complex. What I can suggest you is to estimate the market value of the property (both land + building) separate for each component. Appoint an independent property consultant with mutual consent of all the inheritors. Ask the valuer to determine the value of entire property as a whole and for the land as separate.

Value of Building = Total Value – Value of Land

For example, the total value of property is Rs. 5,000,000. The valuer tells you that the value of land alone is Rs. 3,000,000. This value of land will be divided among all the inheritors according to the shares mentioned above. This is because the land belonged to your father.

So the remaining portion Rs. 2,000,000 will be related to the building. 80% of the building i.e. Rs. 1,600,000/- will be yours because you invested in it. Remaining 20% of the building Rs. 400,000/- will be divided among the inheritors according to the shares mentioned above because it belonged to your father.

In this way, you and your other family members can share in the increase in property value over 18 years. You’ll receive the appreciation on your part and they’ll receive the increment on their part.

An alternate to this option is that you consider the amount invested on the property as a loan to your father. Take that amount from the inheritance before distributing the shares. You can also adjust the amount of inflation. After paying you the loan back, remaining amount can be distributed among the other inheritors.

I hope this detail will help. Please feel free to ask any question if it comes to your mind. A few other points came to my mind. I hope you’d be aware of this. So consider it just a reminder:

1. It is a common practice in our societies to pressurize the women to gift their share in inheritance to their brothers, sons or husbands. In Islam, it is a great sin. Each inheritor whether man or woman has full right to take her share and spend it according to her own will in a lawful manner. She should not be pressurized to withdraw.

2. You and your step bothers/sisters will receive equal shares because your relation to your father is the same. There is no difference in division of inheritance in both.

3. We should be God-fearing while distributing the wealth. Quran requires us to take care of our poor relatives as well at the time of distribution. There is no limit/amount for that. You can give any amount with your mutual consent. So if you’ve some poor relative, also take care of him/her with your mutual consent.



Dear Brother

Walikumssalam we rahmatullah e wa barakatuhu

Alhamdulillah noted all points it will help me in great to go through easily,zazakaalha,

Its very good advice to appoint an independent consultant to judge the value of land and property,

Brother I have two more doubts, mothers share which mention is it only for alive mother or have to divide into two wives—please clarify,

Second the existing house to whom should it go,?

One more—one of my sister, she is not interested to take fathers property share,     (as she is well settled), and his husband also requesting to do the same ,as per my sisters wish,

In this case what shall I can do?

Insha’ Allah will take care our poor relative, this already in my mind. Insha’Allah it can help my father also the day of judgment, thanks for the kind advice,


A Brother, Dubai, UAE

Dear Brother

Assalam o alaikum wa Rahmatullah

1. Mother’s share will belong to the live mother. People died before the death of your father will have no share.

2. I think by existing home you mean the same about we discussed already. One method is to sell this house and share the money accordingly. Other method is that one of the inheritor buys the others’ share in it and pays them in cash. You can use any method with your convenience.

3. About the sister, tell her that it is God’s commandment to distribute the shares. If she does not want to take it, she can give her share to any person. But she should receive her share and then give to others.

One thing I want to ask from you. I publish the Questions / Answers on my website. Your question may resolve problems to others but it contains your personal information. Should I publish it with your name or without mentioning any name?



Dear Brother,

Alhamdulillah, now every thing is cleared, Zazakallaha

These question were in my mind since long, now I got the answers,

Insha’Allah whenever I may require your help will keep in touch with you.

There is no objection to publish, but please without my name,

Remember me in your prayers,


A Brother, Dubai, UAE

Don’t hesitate to share your questions and comments. They will be highly appreciated. I’ll reply ASAP if I know the answer. Send at mubashirnazir100@gmail.com.

A Complication in a Simple Case of Inheritance
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