Who has the duty of paying off the debts of the deceased?


What do the scholars and experts of shari’ah say regarding my situation? My brother passed away in an accident. He left behind an apartment in his name but also some debts. His wife claims that my brother sold her gold before his passing which included her mahr and gold owned prior to her marriage. Does she have a right to ask for her mahr and other gold from my father? Does my father need to pay this from his own money?


In the scenario given the wife is entitled to any outstanding debts, including her mahr, from the deceased. This will be paid off prior to any wealth being distributed amongst the inheritors. After mentioning the different shares received by the inheritors, Allah ﷻ tells us: “…after the fulfilment of bequests and debts (al-Nisa:11).”

These debts will be paid off using the wealth of the husband, such as the apartment he has left behind and it is not the duty of the father, or any other family member to pay off.

Allah ﷻ knows the best

This fatwa is written by Dr Hafiz Muhammad Munir al-Azhari

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