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Inheritance query: two wives

Fatwaa ID: 1521

Assalamualaikum Mufti Saab,
Need an advice about property division.
A person I knows has passed away. As we know he has 2 wives, he had no children with first wife but had 5 children 2 boys and 3 girls through second wife. Eldest was 16 and youngest was 10 when their father passed away. Before he passed away he made no will. He left behind 2 house in Hyderabad (price rate is higher in this area) in which the second wife with her 5 children survives. 2 houses with extra land area in Warangal in which first wife survives and might have little bit of land in another location. Almost 1 and half year later first wife passes away. Now what should be done with the property on which she (first wife) lived which was brought by her husband.
Second wife seeks all the property for her children and the property on which first wife lived. first wife’s brother wants to sell the 3/4 of that place and built masjid in her name..what is the right way Islamically

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of they query. We wish to point out that just because the wives are living in certain houses, it does not make the house theirs. It remains the property of the husband unless it was expressly and appropriately gifted during his lifetime. It seems from the details of the query that this was not the case. Upon his demise, all his properties and wealth must be distributed according to the Shari’ah laws of succession.

We wish to point out as well that it is impermissible to unnecessarily delay the winding of the estate. It has been over a year and his estate has not yet been distributed. This results in problems especially when others now pass away. The husband’s property that the second wife resides in with the children must also be added to the estate and distributed; the first wife will have a share in it. This goes with all the wealth and belongings of the deceased husband. Istighfaar should be made for this delay. The second wife and the children must comply.

A will directing the distribution for the heirs who are already receiving a stipulated share is irrelevant and invalid. They will only receive what Allaah Ta’aala has stipulated for them in the Qur’aan.

Nevertheless, we have been advised that the deceased is survived by two wives, two sons and three daughters. Accordingly, after funeral expenses, debts and bequests, the estate, which is inclusive of ALL of the deceased’s belongings irrespective of how insignificant such as clothing, beauty and hygiene products, etc., will be divided into 16 shares as follows:

-The first wife will receive 1 share (6.25%).
-The second wife will receive 1 share (6.25%).
-The sons will receive 4 shares (25%) each.
-The daughters will receive 2 shares (12.5%) each.

Since the first wife has already passed away, upon distributing the husband’s estate as stated above, the first wife’s share (6.25% of the entire estate) will be distributed appropriately amongst her heirs. They may do as they wish with it. The second wife may not make any claims to that. It should be remembered that the 6.25% is not only from the property that she was living in but from the entire estate of the husband.

If you require assistance in distributing the second wife’s estate, you may revert to us with her survivors and we will advise accordingly.

Disclaimer: The above calculations are based on the information provided. If there are other heirs, then the above may not be applicable. If any heir had passed away in the interim other the mentioned, then the above may not be applicable as well.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

01/05/1445 AH – 07/23/2023 CE | AMG1-3271

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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