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Death of Childless Widow

Q:

A Childless Widow dies. She leaves behind some money and Jewellery. None of her relatives in the First Group are alive.

She had Five Brothers and One Sister. Two of the Brothers died during her Life-time. However, these Two Brothers have children.

1. The money and jewellery is to be divided among the Brothers and Sister. Are the Children of dead brothers entitled to it?

2. It is not known if Khums had been paid by her or not – she has be Suffering from Amnesia for last three years. Has Khums to be paid?

3. What about Qaza Namaz/Saum? We do not know if she prayed Regularly and she does not remember. What is to be done in such a case?

A:

1. Children of brothers and sister are not entitled to it as long as the brothers and sister of the deceased are alive. 

2. There are few scenarios:

a. She didn’t believe in Khums or she did but didn’t use to pay: In this case, the inheritors do not have to pay Khums

b. She has not given the Khums from the money and jewelry which was liable to Khums: In this case, the inheritors have to pay Khums.

c. The money and jewelry was not liable to Khums but she had some debt of Khums: In this case, the inheritors have to pay Khums.

d. The inheritors were not sure whether she has paid or not: In this case, it is not obligatory to pay it. They can enjoy the benefit of doubt. However, it is better to pay based on a recommended precaution.

3. Qada salat and sawm are not obligatory if the eldest son is not alive. However it is highly recommended to perform it. But this is just in the case when the inheritors are sure that she had some qada salat and sawm. If inheritors are not sure about the numbers of qada, they can perform to the extent when they get comparative sureness that they have fulfilled the obligation of the deceased.

Kumail Rajani