Distributing the inheritance after one of the heirs has traded in it and made profits

Question:

My father was a merchant and he died in 1970, and left three million dirhams. I took over his trade in this sum of money. I had a married sister, two unmarried sisters and a brother who were under my guardianship until they became of age and married. I had to distribute the inheritance of our father between us, but no one told me this at that time. I am still running the trade, given that I am still the one who controls the money.

I would like to ask Your Eminence about the following: how should the estate be distributed? Should we distribute the amount of money left by my father or the existing amount? If the distribution is to be for the existing amount, what are my fees in return for the years I have been working in that business?

Please advise in writing concerning this issue that has disturbed me. May Allah guide you to all goodness, and may you live for long.

Answer:

If you concede your right and distribute the original capital along with profit between you and the heirs, it will be better, and you will be rewarded by Allah (Exalted be He). If not, there is no harm in making an agreement between you and the adult heirs. If this is not possible, and the heirs include minors, you should refer the matter to the court; it will pass the right judgment In sha’a Allah (if Allah wills).

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 12, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 11102
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify