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I am a Muslim living in the UK.

My mother lent me £25,000 so I could pay off my remaining mortgage in full. It was agreed that I would pay it back in instalments. Nothing was written down in the form of a contract.

My mortgage is now paid off thanks to my mum helping me out. Unfortunately my mother died shortly after giving me the money.

I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My father has passed away also. I have no other family in the UK.

What do I do now?

When I say 'lent me £25,000' that means she loaned me that money from her savings. Also, my mother did not leave a will. I want to do things in an Islamic way. What does Islamic law say I should do next?

Thanks for the response pokhim, I appreciate what the honourable thing to do is, as you say in your answer, but what I actually want to know is what does Sharia law say I should do in this matter?

  • I would suggest having the intention of returning it to your mother but use it in ongoing charitable causes (build a mosque) this way she will keep on gaining good deeds even though she has passed away! – Aboudi Dec 5 '16 at 18:55
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A receivable debt remains part of the lender's property and is payable even if the lender dies. If the lender dies, all his wealth, including receivables, is the property of the heirs (according to their shares) and should be distributed among them.

Quran 4:33 And for all, We have made heirs to what is left by parents and relatives. And to those whom your oaths have bound [to you] - give them their share. Indeed Allah is ever, over all things, a Witness.

Sahih Bukhari: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, " If somebody dies (among the Muslims) leaving some property, the property will go to his heirs; and if he leaves a debt or dependents, we will take care of them."

From IslamQA.info

If the person to whom the debt is owed has died, then what the debtor must do, when he is able to, is to repay the money to his heirs, or ask all of them to let him off, or at least ask each heir to let him off his share of this money. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever leaves behind wealth, it is for his heirs.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2297).

This money should be given to all of the heirs, or their deputy, if they have appointed one, or their guardian, if they are not yet adults.

The seriousness of settling a debt is emphasized in the following Hadith:

Sahih Muslim: All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.

Sunan Ibn Majah: The Messenger of Allah said: "The believer's soul is suspended by his debt until it is settled for him."

Saheeh Bukhari: A dead person was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) so that he might lead the funeral prayer for him ... Another dead person was brought and he asked, "Is he in debt?" They said, "Yes." He (refused to lead the prayer and) said, "Lead the prayer of your friend." Abu Qatada said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! I undertake to pay his debt." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) then led his funeral prayer.

Wealth is distributed among the heirs in proportions prescribed by Shariah, and the absence of a will is irrelevant. If your mother has no other living heirs (parents) then this would lead to 1/3 going to you, 1/3 for your brother, 1/6 for your first sister and 1/6 for the second sister in accordance with:

Quran 4:11 Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females ... [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise

If you are thinking of justifying it as a gift rather than a debt, then again it is just to distribute it among the heirs since the Prophet instructed people to be equitable with their children when it comes to gifts:

Saheeh Bukhari

I heard An-Numan bin Bashir on the pulpit saying, "My father gave me a gift but Amra bint Rawaha (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as a witness to it.

So, my father went to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said, 'I have given a gift to my son from `Amra bint Rawaha, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)!'

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) asked, "Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your sons?"

He replied in the negative.

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children." My father then returned and took back his gift.

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The honorable thing to do would be to add the £25k to your deceased mothers estate and have it distributed according to her will and testament. This will in all likelihood be passed down to both you and your siblings as next of kin and could be subjected to taxation.

Alternatively you could see the debt as no longer payable as your mother has no need for the funds, and her intention was to only be paid back if she were alive and well.

Personally, I would go with the latter.

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    Please add some kind of citation or reference to demonstrate that this answer is backed by Islamic texts. – Ansari Jan 9 '15 at 17:45
  • I agree with comment by Mr. Ansari. Since this is a technical question, the solution needs to comply with stated approach. But, I like the response from pokhim. – Asif Jan 9 '15 at 18:46

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