He borrowed money and the person to whom it was owed has died, and he does not know how to repay it

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum 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:
My husband’s father borrowed an amount of money before 1948, but he did not have enough money to pay it back, and the person whose money it was died.  Then disaster befell Palestine and we were expelled from there. His financial position remained bad, then my husband’s father died, and my husband’s and my financial position was not good. Now my husband and I want to pay off this debt, knowing that we have been living in Saudi since 1967 and I do not know anything about the heirs of the man who lent the money. My husband has a brother who is out of work and has a family and handicapped children; his eyesight is very poor and he cannot work. So should we give this money to my husband’s brother with the intention of repaying this debt on behalf of the person who has died, and the charity will be on behalf of the one to whom that money belongs? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you with all good.
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Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

You have to look for the heirs of the person to whom this money belongs, trying all ways and means to find them and not be negligent in this matter, then you should give the money to them. If you are not able to do that, then give the money in charity with the intention that the reward should go to him (the owner), giving it in any charitable cause that will help to meet the needs of the Muslims.

 Our advice is not to give it to your husband’s brother, because that may be seen as favouritism, and lest he be accused of that and people slander his honour because of that.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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