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When do inheritors own the wealth?

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding a person who passed away on the 9th of April 2004. He did not have any children, but his sister’s children became the sole inheritors. On the 10th of April 2005 they received their share of the inheritance from the bank.

The question that I have is when does Zakat become necessary to pay on this wealth. Is it with the death of the deceased or the date they received the money from the bank?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

According to the shari’ah, it is an accepted fact that with the death of the deceased, his wealth transfers to his heirs. They become the owners of the wealth whether they are in possession of it, or if they receive it afterwards.

In the scenario presented, the heirs would have become the owners of the wealth as soon as their uncle passed away. This is regardless of when the money had been released by the bank.

Each inheritor’s share will be added to their personal wealth and if the whole wealth of an individual inheritor reaches the level of nisab, then the first date for beginning the calculation will be the date of the death of the deceased. Once 12 lunar months have passed then zakat will become wajib.

And Allah ﷻ knows the best

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari