Islamic marriage advice and family advice

21 years after my father’s death, my sisters are asking for their share of inheritance

Islam provides share of inheritance to women also

Islam provides share of inheritance to women also

I am an only son with six sisters.

My father and I bought a house in 1986 together in which I paid 55% and he paid

45%. I had taken out a loan and he had got a mortgage on our new house for the remainder of the house value. We moved into the house which was jointly mortgaged in my father and mothers names, we moved in with my family and four of my six sisters as two were married and in their own homes.Five years later my father passed away and the legal title of the house passed to my mother which I had no problem with and no one contested. We still all lived together until i got all except one of my sisters married and into their own homes. Throughout I paid all the bills and maintained the repairs on the house i did not take any money from my mother or any of my sisters as I just saw it as my family home and my responsibility.

A further five years later my mother insisted that she wanted to transfer the house to my name as it should rightly be mine and she saw a solicitor and had the deeds changed into my name.

I carried on maintaining the house and paying all the bills and paying for improvements and carried on sharing it with my mother and a sisiter as well as my family.

At the beginning of this year my mother began to develop dementia and losing much of her memory but Allhumdillah she is still being cared for and well looked after by my sisiter and myself.

Just last week one of my sisters came to the house and said that she and the others are entitled to a share of my house as it was our father's and that I should pay them that share as soon as possible.

This has thrown me into a quandry as I saw this as my home and a future for my children but i do not want to take away their rights under Islam and just wish they had raised this when my father died so that I did not waste 21 years thinking I did not need to buy another home.

Can you advise please what share they are entitled to and will I have to sell my home to pay them or can I pay it in installments over a period of time.

Really grateful if you could offer some advise as I am slowly getting more and more depressed and would like this burden of my mind.


~ Sh4keel

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54 Responses »

  1. As Salamualaikum,

    Brother, I feel sorry for what you are having to face.

    I was confused about your matter. So, I explained it to my Shaikh. He gave a clear ruling.

    The rules of inheritance are neither defined by any common man, nor by the prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam himself. They are defined by Allah Subhaanah.

    When your father died, the property was still in his name, so it was supposed to be distributed among you, your mother and your sisters.

    But that did not happen, and your mother transferred it in your name. Now, your sisters want their share.

    The ruling is that they have full right to claim their share, even when 21 years have passed. It is their right and you can not deny that.
    Whether you pay the bills for maintenance or you don't, or for whatever reason, you can not avoid giving them their right.

    If you do not want to keep this matter for the Hereafter to be sorted and their rights given to them from you on that day, you'll have to clear all this in this World itself.

    So, I advise you to give them their right.

    Now, for the method:

    1. Determine the current market value of the total property concerned.
    2. The value you get is the total property which requires division (payment should happen based on this value, if you do not wish to sell your house, which, obviously you wouldn't)
    3. Divide the entire property (the determined value) into 8 parts and give one part to your mother.
    4. Of the remaining, you need to divide in a way that whatever you get, each of your sisters gets half of it. You said you have six sisters. If so, divide the remaining into eight parts, you take two and give each of your sisters one part.

    This is the most correct way insha Allah.

    This was taken from Surah Nisa, Aayaat 11-14:

    11. Allah commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.
    12. In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of lagacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forbearing.
    13. These are the limits (set by) Allah (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and
    whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.
    14. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and transgresses His limits, He will
    cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.

    (end quote)

    This is Allah's command, my brother, and it is upon you to follow it. The rules of inheritance are defined by Allah, as you can see in these Aayaat. Hence, it is upon a Muslim to follow it.

    And Allah Knows Best

    May Allah Help you


    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • Br. Waseem
      The property may have been in the father's name, BUT the dad contributed 45% value vs the writer's 55%. Should not the distribution by shariah percentages be of the 45% value of the property that was the father's part?

    • What if father transferred the property to his mother and then mother transfeered it to his son when she was alive? If at that time there was no one to speak out about the share and also the mother transferred her property to her son by her own will then what does quran says about this? Isnt it at the son discreation now to give share or not as the property was transferred as a gift to his son. Also if this was the case of sharing the mother would have write on her will that after my death distribute the property amoung your sisters rather than gifting it to her son

      Please clarify the difference between transfer and gift.

      I asked people at binori town masjid they said if while living she has gifted then no one has right to claim. If she hadnt gifted it and all of a sudden mother died then its right to share but while living if u gift it to anyone then only he has the right

      • I didn't follow everything you said, but a parent or property owner can give their wealth to anyone they like while they are still alive. However, they should remember that Allah commands us to be just and fair, and not to oppress anyone.

        Wael Editor

  2. Brother,

    I think if your father payed 45%. It means 55% it is yours and you have to share just the 45% of the value of the house between you, mother and sister according to Islam way. It is clear in the Quoran the way to share the inheritance. I think you should evaluate the value of the house now (not the initial value) and share the 45% between you, your mother and sister as I said according to Islamic way. Also, even your mother share could be your if she accepted to give it to you in the past.

    It is not really complicate case any Imam who is knowledgeable in the matter can do the math for you.

    As I advice people, get an idea from Internet it is good, but all the time you should go and ask an Imam this is the best way to be comfortable between you and Allah.

    May Allah bless you,

    • Brother Bram,

      I was of the same opinion, but the scholars say that regardless of the payment structure, if the property was in the name of the father during his heath, it belongs to the father and should be divided in full.
      The brother paid 55% of the cost, but he then transferred the property away from his own name. Hence, the property belongs to the father in full.

      Allah Knows Best

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

      • Sir i think father share war 45% then inheritance should be distributed accordingly. On the other hand if you give more value to govenment documentation then half was of father and other half was of mother... father died and mother gifted to son during her life...

        In that case distrubution is of 50%...

        But his family mutualy should decide that on what ground they wana distribute... on real grounds or according to govenment documents

  3. Out of curiosity, is their inheritance based upon the current value of the house, or the value of the home when their father died?

  4. Well this is why I am confused: The brother in question contributed 55% (which I will assume was the down payment) which means 55% of the equity in the home was incurred via debt in this brother's name. If this brother had not incurred the debt, would there even be a home?

    When the father died, title transferred to the wife by right of survivorship, and the wife became the sole owner of the property and according to the post, none of the sisters contested this. At this point, the sisters had an inheritance through their mother only. Had the home been sold, the profits could have been divided among them however it was deemed. As it was, the mother as the sole owner could do as she wished with the property and she chose to give it to her son.

    In 1996, the mother transferred her ownership of the home to the brother. At this point, the home became soley his. As his sisters did not (to my knowledge) protest the transfer, they essentially forfeited their inheritance in the home, because the moment the title transferred from the father and mother to the son, the sisters ceased to be heirs to the property.

  5. Brother waseem

    But his mother transfer it to his name now!!! If someone willingly do that then how come his sister can ask for? His father died then it was his mother name but his mother did it by herself (unless she was forced) so is that mean even she transfer it's invalid? Means sisters can ask for it? PlZ correct me I am confused.

  6. Sister Lydia,

    I thought there would be no confusion. 🙂

    Let me explain. Here, the basic doubt can be clarified under the title 'man made laws versus Divine laws'
    I'll insha Allah tell you how.

    The son paid 55% of the cost (whether he financed it through a debt or through cash) and was a joint owner with his father. But when he transferred the title to his father, he ceased to be an owner of the property in question.

    For Example when I gift something to my father, it would be his property, even if I paid 100% of its price.

    In the same way, his transfer of the title implied that it was given to the father. And now, it was the father's property.

    When the father died, the mother became the legal owner of the property as the title was transferred to her. This is where the laws clash. According to the law of the land, the mother became the sole owner, but the Sharee'ah rules that it be divided among the heirs, as the owner was the father, when he died. And thus, the sisters were still heirs to the property, inheriting from the father.
    Whether the sisters protest or they don't until they explicitly agree to forego their share, the Sharee'ah gives them the right to the property of their father.

    For this reason, the division has to be done for the entire property, according to the Sharee'ah as mentioned in the Aayaat of the Quran. Alhamdulillah, when we have to choose between laws of Allah and laws of mankind, we should throw the latter out of the window and accept the former.

    Alhamdulillah, we hear and we obey.

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

  7. Okay, I get that part. However, not to split hairs:), but the father and mother held the title in joint which means when the father died, he owned only 50% of the home. The mother, who was still alive owned the other 50%. So, if the children are to inherit what the father owned at his death, that would be 50% of the value of the home.

    • That's true. The father only owned half of the house. So on his death the heirs can only claim from his estate, which is half the house.

    • Oh yes, I forgot to mention that point. Jazakillah for the reminder.

      If the ownership structure was as the brother mentioned, then it would be 50% of the property which would be divided, and the remaining 50% would remain with the mother as she is the owner of that. It is at her disposal.

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  8. Bother i hope their will be know hard feeling about this but like the bother said these are not man made laws but Allah(swt),

  9. Thank you for your explaination Brother, but now I have another question (sorry). When you mentioned determining the value of the home, does that mean the appraised value, or the value of the equity which is the appraised value minus any mortgage held on the home?

    If the home's appraised value is 300,000 but has a 100,000 mortgage, the profit from a sale would be 200,000 minus fees, taxes, and pre payment penalty (if there is one) netting about 180,000 total payout. Then there are the tricky tax gains taxes, inheritance taxes etc. which could further reduce the net profit. Then when the net profit is divided by 50% and divided among the heirs, the sisters might be surprised at how little they actually walk away with.

    Giving his sisters their inheritance by the Islamic law is great, but the brother who posted this, and his sisters might want to visit a tax/inheritance lawyer to determine the best way for the division, the tax implications, and ideas on how to best shelter their profits. A lawyer might be able to give them several scenarios for the division and they can decide which scenario works best for them.

    • I can recall something I have seen in the past.

      When the property of my paternal grandfather was divided, physical portions were allotted to each of the 9 brothers and 4 sisters. Each of them sold their share and bore the taxes and the sale related expenses and received the remaining money.
      In my personal opinion, the current price of the property has to be ascertained and probable taxes on sale be deducted, and the division be done with the balance. i.e. 50% goes to the mother by default, the eighth share of the balance goes to the mother, then the balance is divided among the brother and his six sisters as mentioned in the Aayah.
      Sister, as I said, the laws are defined by Allah, and it is never wise to choose a way other than what Allah has Chosen for us.

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  10. Brother I was not suggesting the poster not do what Islamic law prescribes. I merely suggested that there may be more than one way to give his sisters their due: selling vs. buying out their shares in the home. One way may work better than the other for those involved, and there may be other ways they haven't thought of. If the brother in this post goes to a tax/inheritance lawyer and says that he wants to give his sisters their x% due to them, and gets guidance on how to do this, I see no harm in it.

  11. The ayah states that the distribution should be done after liabilities have been paid, would this not include the banks remaining share plus all the other tax liabilities that sister Lydia mentioned.. The matter does not seem very simple but since Islam forbids dealing in riba perhaps this might change the shariee stance on it.. Tough one.... Wallahuaalam.

    • This story bothers me for another reason: If the poor mom is getting dementia, will she not need healthcare money to help her? If they divide even by Shariah, she may end up being short changed by her 7 kids that she bore each for 9 mths and raised!!! What if her share of the inheritance runs out in her lifetime? Which one of these kids will help out then?

  12. Oops sorry for the typo the word should be would ..... Apologies swipe keyboard error

  13. Of course, dealing with riba is a great sin. It is equal to going for a war with Allah and His Messenger according to the Quran.

    In that Aayah, the debts or the liabilites mentioned are that of the father's. If the brother took a loan, it is his debt, his liability and not the father's.

    Alhamdulillah, I have learnt something more, which seems to be the other side of the coin. If the brother intended to recover the 55% share of his investment later, while he was investing, or spoke about this to the father during the process, then he can deduct it from the property as his right, then give half of the balance 45% to his mother. The balance would be available for division. But I do not think this was the case here as the brother himself have the property to his parents (gifted) and had on intention of taking back, and in most of the cases, it is not. Because we tend to do so much for our parents that we can not even think or taking back something we give to them. But if there was no such intention, then the division happens on full (i.e. 50%).

    And Allah Knows Best

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

  14. Brother serendipity,

    Islam has the most just methods of property distribution.
    Otherwise, go to India and other such countries. You will find thousands of poor old parents having no money, spending their lives in old age homes in distress. I don't know if this is a case in the west also.

    Additionally, the eight share she gets according to the Sharee'ah is if the father has kids, otherwise it is a fourth. It is a security for this woman. It is her property, which no one has a right over, until she dies.

    But this does not mean that she has no money other than this. If she has children, they will take care of her and she does not even have to use her own money.
    In case of the brother who posted this post, even if he gives his mother an eighth share, will he ask her to spend for her healthcare? It is not sensible for any child who loves his or her parents to do so, except when he himself is poor and has no money .
    But if some unfortunate ones do so, then the woman has her own money which she can use.
    Subhanallah! How Just our Lord Allah Is.

    This is what I think. And Allah Knows Best

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

  15. sir i have a question in my mind......if there is only one brother and two sisters and they have no parents and property is named to brother then after the death of brother how will the property be distributed?

  16. ...

    [Editor's note: If you need advice, please submit your question as a new post for publication, rather than as a comment on an existing post. That way it can be published and answered in turn, inshaAllah.]


  18. i need to know father home sharing on family
    my family members details:

    1 bother (Me)
    1 brother expired (Widow and children living apart of me)
    3 sisters widow (living in rental home)
    2 sister with their husband
    mother is also alive

    now they are demanding for selling home for their share
    just need to know sharing ratio of father property

    can you please share me axact ratio of property distribution

  19. Assalaamualaikam

    Anyone who wishes to ask a question, needs to submit it for publication, rather than as a comment on an existing post. This ensures people's questions are published and answered fairly, according to when they were submitted and the urgency of the post.

    We are not experts in legal matters, so I'd advise you to make contact with a reputable lawyer in your country.

    Midnightmoon editor

  20. Law in the Quran for inheretance in its place. One thing should be clearified as to whther the houses of the deceases were divided in the days of the Holy Prophe? Is there any clear verse in the Quran or any saying of the Holy Prophet in Hadith clearly stating the divion of a single living home?


    DEAR SIR...

    • Wa alaykum as-salam. Please register and submit your question as a separate post, thanks. (And do not write in all caps please).

      Wael Editor

  22. Assalaamualaikam

    I need to know father's home sharing and others property on family members details:

    Five Brothers (married) and one sister (me)
    with husband.Mother is also alive.

    Can you please share me exact ratio of property distribution?

    Best regards.




  24. we have 5 brother but father give property only two brother can we legally claim for our rights.
    father is a lived.

    please guide

  25. Asalaaam Alekum,

    My father died 30 years ago. My mother, a few years later signed over all the land, property, houses and money to her only son. We are 2 sisters and we did not receive any part of this. My brothers wife died over 3 years ago and he remarried. He has 4 adult sons who are all married. My brother sold some of his land now for $1.25 million dollars. The oldest son, a real estate agent wrote out the contract. Now 3 sons and my brother got $250,000 each. We assume the oldest who did the contract also took the remaining $250,000 since the 4th son did not get any money. They also have other property worth almost 10 million.
    My question is this, since us the 2 sisters did not receive any of the original land or money, are we not entitled?
    Also my sister has been the one taking care of my old mother over 10 years now. After she signed the titles over, my brother did not care for her.
    Please help. We have felt cheated all of our lives. I am divorced with 2 kids to take care of my own and having a hard time making it in this difficult world.

  26. If mother and sister sale property with out informing his son then ????even sisters already married and happy

    • Whose on the name the property was?

      • My father name

        • Please specify your case. what was your age at the time of your father's death and also at the time of selling property? Did you make any succession certificate or heir ship certificate? How did they sale your property without your consent? Did you give any of them any kind of authority that authorize them to take your share?

          • I have papers from ksa law that I am big brother and responsible but my mother brothers and my sisters are playing with me and they don't like me and my wife I have three kids I. Don't loose this house they are not giving me house papers

  27. My age is 27 when my father passaway but in front of everyone my father say that is ur property because I don't have brothers only two sister and they are married also I am poor they are receiving rent from long time my mother and sister and my mamu brothers of my mother are using this money and never ask me about anything no help even they talk bad about my father

    • As per Shariah, your share in the property is 43.75%, 12.5% of your mother and 21.88% each of your sisters . In your case, the share does not depend on the marital status of any heir. Go and seek Lawyer. They have expertise in handling these kind of cases. All you need is to prove that your are legal heir of your father.

  28. Assalam alaikum
    Sir my mothers brother sold Their deceased fathers property & cheats own sister
    By taking sign of my mothers on documents & now he Pretending as expenses he spent by his Own income & confusing sister by creating scenes. Please advise

    Thanking you

  29. AOA


  30. Assalam alaikum.
    we are 3 brothers and 3 sisters our mother and father have died, we gave the 3 sisters their share of our the house in UK and Cash and then the 3 sisters agreed and said verbally at that time 12 years ago they wont have a share in the small amount of land and house in Pakistan, now 12 years later they want their share knowing the value is gone 5x higher.
    Do we 3 brothers still have to give as they said verbally 12 years ago they don't want it from us, at that time our mistake was trust and took their word, but now they changed.

  31. Sad to read these posts. Parents are not fair to their kids and siblings are cheating each other . The property will not go to your grave only your deeds.

  32. After reading all these arguments I think it is fair for you to split 45% of the property between your sisters mother and yourself as you had paid for 55% of the property to begin with .

    Imam is giving the argument that the property was under the name of your dad from the beginning so you have no right to your 55% investment . Taking the same argument into account your father transferred the house to his wife and his wife your mom transferred the house to you (similar to a gift) therefore its yours and your sisters now have no claim in the house.

    Imam also made the argument that house should be divided equally amongst the siblings per sharia even if it was transferred under your name as a gift - so that every one is treated equally . Imam is forgetting that you already own 55% of the house and if the house is divided equally then you will loose 55% of your investment and this will be no justice to you.

    Hope this helps.

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