Inheritance of orphan girl.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
There was a couple where the bride belonged to a poor family and the bridegroom was rich. After the marriage the girl developed cancer during her pregnancy. She died after delivering a baby girl but unfortunately the boy died just 2 days before the delivery under mysterious circumstances. His body was found in a lake and whether it was a murder or if it was a suicide is unknown.
The baby girl had paternal grand-parents only (maternal grand-parents had expired long back). They had got the guardianship of the baby girl through the court after a case as her parents had expired. But the aunt of the baby girl(mother's sister) took the baby and went abroad illegally (with the intention of acquiring the property most probably). She happened to be related to the family also. There was some property in the boy's name (baby girls father) which was purchased by his parents. The boy wasn't earning yet. Then the Question of inheritance came up. What does Islam suggest on this matter? What is the right of the baby girl on the property?
Does she have right over the property or the other children of the grand-parents have right over it as it was purchased by the grand-parents but only in the name of their son?
Jazak Allah khair.
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Inheritance of orphan girl
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 11-14:
11 Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters two or more their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one her share is a half. For parents a sixth share of the 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 and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah and Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.
12 In what your wives leave your share is a half if they leave no child; but if they leave a child ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave their share is a fourth if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and 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 legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus is it ordained by Allah and Allah is All-Knowing Most Forbearing.
13 Those are limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Apostle will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the Supreme achievement.
14 But those who disobey Allah and His Apostle and transgress His limits will be admitted to a fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.
Your Question: What does Islam suggest on this matter? What is the right of the baby girl on the property? Does she have right over the property or the other children of the grand-parents have right over it as it was purchased by the grand-parents but only in the name of their son?
A Shariah Court of Law, or any court of law for that matter, will look at the available documentation when deciding who is the legal owner of the property. Because the property was purchased in the name of the boy, regardless of whether the boy was earning or not, regardless of who bought the property in his name, etclegally the property will belong to the boy, and after the death of the boy, to his legal heirs.
From your statement: She died after delivering a baby girl but unfortunately the boy died just 2 days before the delivery it is evident that the father of the child died first, then the delivery took place, and then the mother of the girl expired. Because the mother was pregnant at the time of the death of the father, the child will be considered a legal heir of the wealth left behind by its father, even if the child was actually born only after the death of its father.
Thus in this particular situation, assuming that the legal heirs who survived the father were the father, mother, wife and only one daughter of the deceased father, the wealth left behind by deceased father will be distributed amongst his legal heirs according to Shariah as follows:
- The wife of the deceased will receive 1/8th or 12.50%
- The mother of the deceased will receive 1/6th or 16.67%
- The baby girl will receive or 50.00%
- The balance 20.83% will all go to the father of the deceased.
Because the mother of the child also died after the birth of the girl, the baby girl (along with the other legal heirs of her deceased mother) will also inherit from the wealth left behind by her deceased mother.
You have mentioned that the both parents (mother and father) of the mother had already expired; thus in this particular situation, the legal heirs of the deceased mother will be the baby girl and the surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased mother. Thus the wealth of the deceased mother, including the 1/8th or 12.50% share she received as inheritance after the death of her husband will be distributed amongst her legal heirs as follows:
- The baby girl will receive or 50.00%
- The balance or 50.00% will be shared amongst the brothers and the sisters of the deceased mother, the brothers receiving twice the share of the sisters.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,