Heirs Demanding That An Estate Be Shared Equally


Can the three daughters demand or compel or claim as their right to the son to divide the inheritance as per the Father’s wish (to divide equally)?


In Islam, one can use and utilise his/her wealth as he/she desires while he/she is still healthy and alive; therefore, one can make someone the owner of his properties and belongings in his lifetime (by way of selling or gifting it to them) before he/she departs from this temporary world to the real abode. However, after his/her demise, his/her wealth is automatically transferred to the heirs to be distributed amongst them according to the rules of inheritance set down by Shari’ah. The deceased does not have the right to leave instructions for the heirs to share the estate as per his desires and instructions. Yes the deceased does have the right (after the payment of burial expenses and debts owing by him/her) to bequeath up to 1/3 of his estate to a charity or to any person/s who do not automatically qualify as heirs in his estate. He cannot bequeath any portion of his/her estate to a
person who already qualifies as an heir in terms of Shari’ah. Thus, if the deceased leaves instructions contrary to the Shar’ie rules of inheritance (such as in the enquired scenario where he left instructions for the estate to be divided equally amongst the siblings), such instructions shall not be carried out unless all the heirs give their wilful consent to it.

Nevertheless, in the enquired scenario, where one of the heirs (the son) is not pleased with the deceased’s wish (of sharing the estate equally amongst the siblings), it will not be permissible for the daughters to compel and impose the deceased’s wish on him. He will have the right to take what is due to him in terms of Shari’ah, which is twice the share of what each daughter receives. Yes, if he willingly agrees to an equal distribution, it will be permissible to distribute the estate equally among the siblings.

In conclusion, the sisters cannot demand the estate to be shared equally if their brother is not in favour of this idea.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


اللباب ص ٥٨٧ ط: بشرى 

الهداية ص ٢٦١ -٢٢٢ ج ٨ ط: بشرى نسخة قديعة 

الهندية ص ٤٤٧ ج ٦ ط: دار الفكر