Delaying The Dissolution Of The Estate

Question

What is the Shar’iah ruling regarding the amount of time a family has to wind up the estate? We have heard that the father could be placed in difficulty in the Qabr if his estate distribution is delayed? Kindly elaborate.

Answer

Shariat encourages us to distribute and dissolve the estate of the deceased as soon as possible. One should diligently, under the guidance of an experienced Aalim distribute the estate in accordance with Shariat. Fulfilling the Marhoom’s debts should be priority as this is the cause for the Mayyit suffering in the Qabr. The following Hadith which is found in Tirmidi Shareef informs us of this: 

Nabee Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam “The soul of a believer remains suspended due to his outstanding debt/s until it is discharged on his behalf”

Whatever remains after discharging burial expenses, debts and bequests is the right of the heirs. Their rights should thus be fulfilled as timeously and amicably as possible. Due to legal constraints of winding up the estate through the legal channels, there could be a delay that is beyond the control of the executors and heirs, but that would be acceptable. However, the dissolution of the estate should be treated as a matter of urgency and there should be no unwarranted delay, as it entails the
rights of others and thus should be fulfilled as swiftly as possible.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

(الترمذي ص ٣٨١ ج٣ رقم ١٠٧٨) 

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