Starting by distributing the inheritance or repaying the debt

Question:

A man died and left behind a lot of money for his children. The deceased is also indebted to someone. Could you please provide us with an Ayah (Qur’anic Verse) or a Hadith indicating that the inheritors can distribute the inheritance and then settle his debt?

Answer:

If the deceased person is indebted, it is obligatory for the inheritors to settle his debts first and then execute his legal will if he made one. Afterwards, they should distribute his legacy to the inheritors acting upon the saying of Allah (Exalted be He): “Allâh commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” [al-Nisa: 11] to His saying: “…after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts.” [al-Nisa: 11] Then Allah says: “In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child” [al-Nisa: 12] to His saying: “…after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allâh; and Allâh is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forbearing.” [al-Nisa” 12]

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

  • Source(s): Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 9096-1
  • Mufti(s): Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud