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Tuesday 12 December 2017  
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Home » Social Dealings » Family and Society

Heirs Dividing up the Endowment of Their Grandfather When its Benefit Ceases
Question:

A person named Sa'id donated a small piece of land as an endowment and it was his custom to give charity from the profits on this land on the night of the 27th of Ramadhan. After Sa'id died, his son, Salim Sa'id inherited from him and continued according to (his father's) custom. After Salim Sa'id died, he left behind a son, Muhammad Salim, and Muhammad Salim Sa'id continued according to the custom of his grandfather and his father. Then Muhammad Salim Sa'id died and left behind two sons, 'Ali Muhammad Salim Sa'id and Haidar Muhammad Salim Sa'id and 'Ali Muhammad Salim Sa'id continued according to the custom of his father and his grandfather. After the death of 'Ali Muhammad Salim Sa'id and Haidar Muhammad Salim Sa'id, 'Ali Muhammad Salim left behind three sons and Haidar left behind three sons. Is it permissible for the sons of 'Ali Muhammad Salim Sa'id and Haidar Muhammad Salim Sa'id to divide up this piece of land, so that it becomes like an inheritance between them, or must it continue to be an endowment generation after generation?
Answer:

If the situation is as mentioned, then it is not permissible for the heirs to divide up the land endowment between them. Even if the thing which was endowed had ceased to be, its values would still remain an endowment and its yield would be utilised for the purpose of righteous deeds which require financial support and no one is found to pay for them. Examples of which are the repair and restoration of mosques or building them, or providing water for them, or furnishing them, or other services which the people of the town require, or it could be used as a source of charity for the poor members of the donor's family and others. And may peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts

Fatawa Islamiyah, volume 5 / page 35-36
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