Buying Stolen Stuff and Dad’s Will (Live Fatwa)

Questions and Answers of a Live Fatwa Session with Dr. Monzer Kahf
MK - Foto

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, we managed to run a successful e-mail based Live Fatwa session on “Buying Stolen Stuff and Dad’s Will & Other Issues” with Dr. Monzer Kahf—the prominent Muslim economist and counselor.

Interestingly, users reacted positively and sent their questions via the Fatwa section’s e-mail address in and ahead of the session’s time. The honorable guest, Dr. Monzer Kahf answered all the questions.

Below you can review all questions and Dr. Kahf’s replies:


Read Also:

Question 1:

Anna Vasylieva Ghazala

A Poor Groom

Assalamu alaikum! This is a question for Live Fatwa on Financial Issues.

What is the ruling on marriage if a bride is well-off and a groom is poor? He can pay a small mahr, but can't provide for his wife - she will provide for the family. Is this marriage valid and ok in Islam?


Dear S r. Anna,

Yes it is valid as long as it is voluntary. You need to notice that such things happen many times. Also that her spending is a voluntary contribution on her part as long as she did not make a condition that she is doing so on loan basis to her husband.

Additionally, voluntary contribution may be discontinued at any time on her own will and decision. In such a case the husband, poor as he may be, is required to provide for the family and she can take him to court for it.

Allah almighty knows best.


Question 2:

Anna Vasylieva Ghazala

Buy Stolen Stuff

As-salamo alaikum! Is it ok to buy stolen stuff if I know that it was stolen? And what if I'm not sure, but I suppose that it may be stolen? Thank you.


Dear Sr. Anna,

No it is not ok at all. A stolen thing remains owned by its true owner and any use of it by any other person is haram. Buying it knowingly or with doubt is not permissible. Buying it completely innocently is not valid though not sinful.

This means that its true owner deserves it at all time and can under Shari`ah and all other laws in the world extract it from the present holder (who bought it unknowingly) without any compensation because its purchase is not valid. Innocent buyer has the right of recourse for the paid price on seller.

Allah almighty knows best.


Question 3:

Zarina – 35 – Female – South Africa

My Late Dad’s Will

Assalamu `alaikum. My dad passed away a year and a half ago, leaving behind an English will sating all his kids, wife and sisters get an equal share. Recently we found out the property is still in my late grandfather’s name!!

How do we now divide the property as three of his sisters are still alive and what percentage does my mum get as she has nowhere to go and is living from one sister’s house to the other? Both my brothers have said they will not look after her. Please, help. Jazak Allah.


Dear Sr. Zarina

You are raising several issues at once; let us take them one by one:

1. “Your mother has nowhere to go”, but she is your mother and you and your brothers and sisters are all responsible for her housing and all living needs at the level you live on. Those of you who are better off are more responsible than the others.

2. If the property which is in the name of grandfather was in fact owned by him, it must be distributed to his heirs who include his own children (on the day he died plus the children of any deceased children who died before him), his wife and his father and mother whoever survived him. Then you go to distribute the share of your father in that property to his own heirs.

3. If the property was in fact owned by your father but left for any logistic reason in the name of his father, then your father’s heirs deserve it. The English will is not valid.

The Shari`ah division of estate is mandatory as clearly state in verses 11,12, 13 and 14 of Surat An-Nisaa’. Please, read them and look at the emphases at the end of 11and 12 and the meaning of 13 and 14.

Any other will is not valid except for the following:


2) it is reduced to the one third of the estate only.

The share given in the verses 11 and 12 are mandatory and should not be disturbed by any will. The heirs of your father varied whether having boys and girls or only girls. If his children include at least on boy, his sisters do not inherit from him (in this case they get only by virtue of his Will to a maximum of one third of the estate to be divided between them equally), if he has girls only they inherit (in this case they can’t get anything by virtue of will; further it is not a matter of choice between this and the will; this is mandatory as it is clear from the verses and the Prophet Hadiths about sisters with daughters).

Your mother under all cases get 1/8 of his estate after executing the Will as stated above. The remainder 7/8 should be distributed to you and your brother(s) and sisters as follows: share of a male is twice as much of share of female; if one daughter (e.g., you) you get 1/2 and your aunts get the other 1/2; if you are more than one daughter, 2/3 is to be divided between you equally and the remaining 1/3 is to be divided between your aunts equally too.

The will’s distribution is not accepted in Shari`ah as it violates  the mentioned verses.

Allah almighty knows best.


Question 4:

M. Shakeel Khan

Zakah on Borrowed Money

As-salamu alykum. I have borrowed some money from my daughter. Please, explain, when calculating my zakah, who will pay zakah on that borrowed money, me or my daughter? Jazak Allah Khair.


Dear Br. Shakeel,

Let us remember that each person, minor or adult, is independent in matters of properties and ownership from each other, even partners and joint husband and wife are considered independent in what they own according to their capital contribution, etc.

Let us now construct the Zakah balance sheet of you and that of your daughter: in each there may be cash, investment and other zakatable items so that your personal balance sheet appears as follows:

Assets X, liability loan from daughter. Let us notice that what you got as a loan is either still within your assets e.g., cash still in your pocket or already consumed or used for purchasing any other asset which may be Zakatable or not.

In other word nothing appears in your assets as money belonging to somebody else (The business loan is deductible because in business we only consider total net worth but personal loan is not deductible because in personal matters we look at what you actually have unless this loan is going to be physically paid out of the existing assets).

Let us now look at the balance sheet of your daughter; her asset also zakatable items such as cash jewelry and what not amount.

Her assets are Y plus a debt on you (this is a recognized debt on a person who is able to pay it back). She may have liability which is treated same as we treated yours.

What is subject to Zakah for her is Y+D as D is part of her wealth which she owns and the debtor does not deny this debt and also able to pay it.

Allah almighty knows best.


The editor of OnIslam Live Fatwa service.

Add comment

Security code