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Stealing from the estate and then fake apologizing

Fatwaa ID: 477

Question:
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله
Hope mufti saheb is well
I have a question I require ur assistance with please
In an estate, the executor who is also an heir has come forward and told the rest of the heirs that he has not distributed properly prior to this
He now requests the other heirs to make him maaf for the past, but he is either unwilling/unable to provide figures of exactly what he is requesting forgiveness for.
Is this permissible?
This estate has been running for approx 30 years so the figures are substantial
Another issue is that one of the heirs to this estate passed away 7 years ago.
In this will, there are adult children(of the deceased), a spouse (not the parent of the children) and a wasiyyat.
To compound matters further, 2 years ago the spouse passed away…
So to sum up my questions are…

  1. Can the uncle ask for maaf without giving or refusing to give amounts? I’m not sure which case it is

And

  1. Can the heirs/executor make a decision to also make the amounts owing to the wasiyyat maaf?
  2. Is it the duty of the executor or of all their heirs to ensure the distribution is correct?
    Jzk

Answer:
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 your query. We commend the uncle for coming forward and trying to somewhat make the wrongs right.

  1. If the baaligh heirs voluntarily and happily pardon him and absolve him of paying them their entitled share, then that is permissible. However, he may not demand this nor are the obliged in anyway to accept his request. He must pay them their right by default. His apology is insincere if he is trying to just get away. This goes for those who are alive.
    As for those who have passed away, he must return their shares to their heirs. Their heirs may not pardon him.
    Similarly, if there are non-baaligh heirs, then he must return their shares. He may not request to be pardoned. They do not have the authority to pardon him.
  2. No. The heirs have no right or say on the wasiyyah. The wasiyyah, from 1/3 of the estate, must be given to rightful individuals.
  3. It is essentially the duty of the executor of the estate. However, the heirs should not stand witness to the wrong. If they see oppression and wrong taking place, they must stand up and try to correct the issues.

The issues of inheritance are serious things. If a person wrongfully takes another person’s share in this world irrespective of how minute, he will be forced to return it in the Hereafter. A person should be fearful of this and apply due diligence in distribution of the estate.

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

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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