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Putting property in wife’s name

Fatwaa ID: 2026

Question:
asalamualaikum wrwb

If a man put some property in his wife’s name during his life. She did not know about it. So he “gifted” it to her, but since she didnt know about it, she never “accepted” it.

He passed away

Will the property belong to his wife or will it go in his total leftover wealth, which will be distributed according to legal shares?

My understanding was that for transfer of ownership of a gift, acceptance (qabool) is required.

Please guide. Jazakumullah Khair

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

In principle, for the validity of a gifting, it is necessary for the giftee to accept the gift and also assume constructive possession of it. If one or both of the above were not found, then the gifting will not take place. The item will remain in the ownership of the gifter. The above is applicable even if ownership was transferred legally or on paper.

In the enquired situation, the gifting was invalid. The property did not transfer to the wife. As such, it will now form part of the estate of the deceased. The entire estate, including the property, must be distributed in accordance with the Islamic laws of inheritance and succession. The heirs may not opt for the legal shares decreed by a non-Shari’ah court. That will be a grave sin and a form of oppression.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

06/22/1445 AH – 01/05/2024 CE | AML1-8697

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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