My father has passed away recently and has left land and property that needs to be distributed among the families.
He had several wives and children so we would like to know how they would need to be shared.
The families consist of the following:
First wife- 2 sons and 2 daughters
Second wife – 2 sons and 2 daughters
Third wife – 1 son and 2 daughters
Fourth wife – 1 daughter
Fifth wife – 1 daughter – the wife was divorced and she remarried.
The third and fourth wife and family were already given separate houses and businesses while he was alive so that they would not claim from his inheritance
When a person passes away, the rightful heirs alive at the time will inherit from them. If the deceased was married then any wife who was married at the time of death will also inherit. Similarly, if the deceased had issued a divorce prior to his death, if the woman was still in her waiting period (‘iddah) when her husband died, then she will also inherit from him. It would not be permissible to prevent any rightful heir from their share of the inheritance. Each inheritor will automatically become the owner of the estate, upon the death of the deceased, according to their share of the inheritance.
Based on the information provided in the question it seems that at the time of your father’s death there were four wives, five sons and and eight daughters. If wife number five was already divorced prior to your father passing away and her waiting period had ended then she will not inherit. However, her children will inherit. The answer has been written assuming that wife number five was not in your father’s marriage at the time of his death.
If this is the case the inheritance shares will be as follows:
The four wives who were married at the time of death will get 12.5% of the estate to divide equally amongst them.
The five sons will receive 48.61% of the estate to divide between them equally.
The eight daughters will receive 38.89% of the estate to divide between them equally.
Each eligible inheritor as mentioned above must be given their share of the inheritance even if there was a prior agreement for them not to take any inheritance. Such an agreement will not be valid. They will be entitled to their share and will have become the owner of their share immediately after your father passed away. Should they wish to abide by any previous agreement and gift their share to others of their own accord they may do this.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel