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Inheritance of a Missing Woman

 
Question:

Assalaamu ‘Alaykum; Please calculate the inheritance according to the following information – Additional information : Inheritance Plus investment issue, Dear Brother,A relative family of mine got married to a women in year 2000 and they lived happily for one year together, Than all of a sudden things changed between them and wife left the house ,her husband tried to solved the issue but she didn’t listened and remained angry with him, after this husband also kept distance from her but didn’t give her divorce, after some time her (Step Mother) brother shifted to Karachi and since then they have no clue where she is or no way to trace her , in 2012 her husband died and still children’s from first wife are not able to trace her (step mother) now it is 2018 and still no clue about her, children of that men (husband) in good faith distributed the property among themselves and also kept her share in separate account so that when she would be found they would happily give it to her.Issue is that can they use her share just for investment purposes and when she would be found they return the original amount and can keep the profit? Or they would have to return Original Plus profit? As on this day she has not been found and does not know her share exist in this world.JazakAllah for your Guidance.

Answer:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

It is an obligation on these children to take their mother’s case to an Islamic court or to an authority that serves in its place, in order to investigate about her condition. It is probable that she had died before her husband, and therefore, it is her husband who inherits her, and the entire money is transferred to his heirs after his death.

It is also probable that he had died before her, and therefore, she deserves her share of his inheritance. In this case, her share should be preserved until her death is known, or, based on the judge’s best judgement, the court issues a verdict that she is dead, because there is no hope that she is still alive.

Before such a ruling is issued, her heirs (or others) have no right to dispose of her money. Rather, an agent should be appointed to protect her money or to invest it, if there was no agent actually appointed before the person became missing.

The Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia reads:

If the missing person does not have an agent to look after the collection of his money, protect it, and get all his rights, such as confirmed debts (not disputed), assets, and profits; if there is no appointed agent, then the judge must appoint an agent. The agent has no right to dispute (in court) about the rights of the missing person, except with the permission of the judge. He is also not allowed to dispute about the rights that are due on the missing person to others; this is the view of the Hanafi School and the Maaliki School agreed with them in general.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

 

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