Thursday | 28 January 2021 | 14 Jamadiul-Thani 1442
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Fatwa Answer

Question ID: 1243 Category: Advice and Consulting
Need guidance

1. If a person verbally agrees to do something but only because he is being threatened and emotionally blackmailed which instilled fear in him, is he obligated to fulfill the agreement even though he did not agree freely or willingly? For example, if someone says that they will destroy my property if I don't sign a document granting them a share of it. And they tell me that if I love them I will agree to it and they argue aggressively with me to force me to agree. Then I verbally agree but only because I am afraid that they will destroy this property and I want to stop arguing until we can calm down and discuss the problem. I feel forced to say yes but still I don't sign any document that I will do this because my heart does not agree with giving them a share.  Must I fulfill the agreement?


2. Many years ago, I built a factory using my personal income. My brother agreed to be paid a monthly income to run the factory, which I have been paying him. While he was running it, the factory was able to expand. To expand the factory, some of my personal income was used and some of the profit from this factory was reinvested into its’ expansion. Now my brother is claiming that he has a right to a share of ownership in this factory because it expanded due to his hard work, however I never made him any such promise and this was never our agreement. Is he entitled to partial ownership just because he was running the factory when it expanded?


3. 20 years ago, my father sent me overseas. During that time I worked hard and Allah SWT blessed me financially. I sent a lot of money back home to help my family and with this help, they were able to move up financially. A bigger home was purchased, my siblings were educated and married using this money. It was also used for regular living expenses. I personally used my earnings to acquire assets, build businesses, and a house for myself. Both of my parents have died and now my siblings are claiming that everything I have ever earned or have acquired from these earnings are their inheritance. They claim that everything I have earned is due to my father sending me abroad so whatever came from that decision belongs to our father and since he has died, it is inheritance. They use the Hadith “You and your wealth belong to your father” (reported by Ibn Maajah) to justify this. My father himself never made any claim to my wealth in his life and my mother died before I ever went abroad. Also, none of my siblings are in any kind of financial need. Alhumdulillah, everyone is living an above average and comfortable lifestyle. Are they correct in claiming that my assets and earnings are part of their inheritance?

Jazakallah khair for your assistance,

 

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

:الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

It is cruel and abusive for your brother to try to usurp your property by putting pressure on you. In this situation, even if you said “yes” under duress, you are not obliged to comply with it later.

Likewise, it is not permissible for your brother to claim the ownership, because he has worked as an employee, will remain an employee, will not be a participant, and will not be legally entitled to the ownership or become a business partner.

It is also not permissible according to Shari'ah rules to claim an inheritance from your earnings after your deceased father sent you abroad. However, after your death, your inheritance will be distributed among the present and available heirs at the time.

In fact, out of love for the world and greed for money, those people are pushing for unrealistic demands. It is not permissible for them to claim inheritance.

If they try to grab something under oppression or injustice, they will be subjected to severe punishment in the Hereafter.

The meaning of Ibn Majah's (RA) Hadith Sharif has also been misinterpreted by those gentlemen. If we follow their reasoning, it will mean that even their own wealth would in fact be their father's inheritance which then must be distributed among all heirs.

فقط واللہ اعلم بالصواب