Fatwa: # 21049
Category: Inheritance
Country: South Africa
Date: 25th May 2012


Question regarding inheritance


Assalamualaikum.  I would like to make a query about my uncle who passed away a few years ago.  In present times, he has no brothers, sisters, nor children.  He however has eight nephews.

We used to hear that my uncle had land in India.  However, there was no evidence about this land and we had no paper work such as my uncle’s death certificate or land documents.

My brothers talked about the land but did not take any action.  I told my brothers I would try to find out about this land in India and they said you try and find out.  To enquire about the land and all the paper work and telephone calls cost me 2 Lac Rupees.  I didn’t tell my brothers about the cost because I thought that when the land is recovered I will take the 2 Lac which I spent from the money we get when we sell the land. 

Now when I have found out about the land and all the paper work is complete, I told my brothers.  Now my brothers are saying that the 2 Lac I spent cannot be retrieved by me once the land is sold.  My brothers say that I didn’t ask them when I was finding out about the land.  I asked my brothers if they would give me money for investigation if I had told them about the cost before investigation and they said no. 

I told my brothers that if I had not investigated, the government would have taken over the land.  They said it doesn’t matter. 

My brothers want to sell the land and share the money, but they don’t want to share the 2 Lac I spent.  What can I do in this situation?  Please advise me.  The land is now on my name.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The rest of the heirs are liable to share the expenses that were incurred during the process of investigation for the land. [1] The expenses will be divided according to the shares of the inheritors. 

If the inheritors continue to deny, you may sell the land and keep the money that was due upon them. [2] Thereafter you must return the remainder of the money to the estate for distribution.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]  طاحونة لهما، أنفق أحدهما في مرمتها بلا أذن الاخر، لم يكن متبرعا، أذ لا يصل ألى الانتفاع بنصيب نفسه ألا به (مجمع الضمانات، ج 2، ص 629، دار السلام)

[2]  هذه المسألة مسألة الظفر ، والصورة إن كان لأحد حق على الآخر فظفر المستحق على حقه فعند الشافعي يجوز له أخذ ذلك الشيء وإن كان بسرقة ومن أي جنس كان ، وقال أبو حنيفة : إنه إذا وجد جنس حقه يجوز له وإلا فلا ، والنقدان عنده في هذه المسألة جنس واحد ، وأفتى أرباب فتوانا بما قال الشافعي . (العرف الشذي، ج 2، ص 495، دار الكتب العلمية)

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