Resp mufti sb.
We have a query regarding our ancestral property issue:
We are 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Our father passed away few years back. Mother is still alive, alhumdolillah, and stays with us.
Our father has left some land at our ancestral village and a plot in city, in India.
We would like to distribute this property amongst us, as per Shariah.
Now, my questions are;
1) What is our individual share, as per Shariah?
2) The land in our village has never been visited by any of us siblings for quite some time. This is because both of us brothers are overseas and could not bother. One of our sister is overseas and one is in India. Now, the sisters have asked to give them their share - which is very reasonable demand. Our question is that are we as boys/brothers/male members responsible to go to India and get this done? Or can we ask them (the sisters) to go and get their share themselves -transfer of land etc, as per Shariah?
3) We have other commitments overseas and we are finding very difficult to go their and get this done by our own. We never lived at out village even when we were child. We do not know the location of our land etc. But one of the sisters has threatened that if we do not settle this, they will do court case.
Here, my question is, as per shariah, is it my responsibility to go India, do the distribution, transfer the papers/records etc etc, and bring the papers to them? Or can I give them the authority and ask them to take their possession? What about the time/money spent on these issues?
As you may know, transfer of deeds etc are a big headache and we are finding very hard to get it done.
We are not using any of these land for any of our benefit, have never benefitted even a single cent from these lands. We also do not know exactly how much we have and where these agricultural plots in village are.
We are very confused and stuck. Please advice!!!
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
1) Before your father’s estate is distributed to his heirs, the following things need to be taken care of from his estate:
After the above have been taken care of, your father’s entire estate (his money, properties and other possessions) will be divided into 48 equal shares. Thereafter the shares will be distributed as follows:
- 6 shares will go to his wife
- 14 shares will go to each of his two sons
- 7 shares will go to each of his two daughters
Note that if your father had any other heir alive at the time of his death, then the abovementioned allocations may not be applicable.
2,3) Since the land is jointly owned by all the heirs, they all share in the responsibilities associated therewith, such as attending to the transfer, etc. It is not the exclusive duty of the sons to attend to such responsibilities.
Therefore, it is permissible for the brothers to tell the sisters to distribute the land on their behalf and to do all the necessary paperwork (as long as the sisters will not have to travel more than 77 km without a male mahram).
The heirs can agree to share the costs involved in having the land distributed and transferred to their names.
Note that it is not necessary according to Shariah to have the land legally transferred to the heirs’ names. However, if not doing so may cause disputes and problems later on, it should be done to avoid problems.