Question(s)

If someone is entitled to money from inheritance but is mentally unwell to receive it (eg, may do something silly by having ownership of that money), then is it allowed to discharge the responsibility of passing the money onto the person’s spouse?

Answer(s)

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, if all the inheritors agree that the spouse is trustworthy and will safeguard the wealth of the inheritor, then there is no harm in passing the money to them. In preserving the wealth, they may spend a little for their spouse according to his/her best interests, whilst being conscious of Allah Almighty. [1]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mubasshir Talha
2 Rajab 1442 / 14 February 2021

Concurred by: Mufti Chakil Omarjee

Approved by:
Mufti Tahir Wadee | Mufti Yusuf Ilolvi
[To see their profiles, click here]

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[References]

[1]
A mentally unstable person will not be deprived of inheritance:
الموانع الإرث أربعة: الرق، واختلاف الدينين، واختلاف الدارين
[Siraji, 4, HM Saeed]

However, his/her wealth will be preserved, for as long as he/she is mentally unstable:
فأما المجنون فإنه يمنع عنه ماله مادام مجنونا، وكذلك الصبي الذي لا يعقل؛ لأن وضع المال في يد من لا عقل له إتلاف المال
[al-Bada’I al-Sana’I, 7/170, DKI]

It must be noted that there is a discussion with regards to who should safeguard the wealth of the mentally unstable person and who can use it. Generally, the mentally ill hold the same rulings as non-mature children. Thus, if the individual has mental illness since birth (before maturity), then, in the scenario in question where there is no father (deceased), the grandfather should be consulted. If the grandfather is old and weak or has passed away, essentially, in the absence of a Qadhi etc, one’s spouse can keep the wealth safe. It is advised that all the inheritors agree with mutual consent, so as to avoid any conflict. 
قال: (ووليه أبوه ثم وصيه) بعد موته ثم وصي وصيه (ثم) بعدهم (جده) الصحيح وإن علا (ثم وصيه) ثم وصي وصيه ثم الوالي بالطريق الأولى (ثم القاضي أو وصيه)
[Al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 6/174, HM Saeed]
[Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah, 5/129, Zakariyyah Deoband]
[Al-Mabsūt, 23/25, DKI]


And if the individual has become mentally ill after maturity (becoming bāligh), then the authority will automatically revert to the Qadhi or the ruler. In the absence of such authorities, the inheritors may mutually agree on a trusted individual.
ثم هذا إذا بلغ معتوها أما إذا بلغ عاقلا ثم عته لا تعود الولاية إلى الأب قياسا بل إلى القاضي أو السلطان
[Raddul Muhtār, 6/174, HM Saeed]

نا بالغوں کے مال کی ولایت باپ کے بعد باپ کے وصی کو حاصل ہوتی ہے، لہذا اگر مرنے والے نے کسی کو بھی بنایا ہوتو وہ وہی ہوگا، اگر کسی کو ولی نہیں بنایا تو ان کا دادا ولی ہوگا، اگر دادا موجود نہ ہو تو پھر حاکم وقت کو ولایت حاصل ہے۔ اگر حاکم وقت مسلمان نہ ہو تو پھر سر برآورده چند صلحاء کسی کو مقرر کر دیں جس کو ان نابالغوں کے حق پر خیر خواہ سمجھیں والدہ کو، یا بھائیوں کو چچا کو۔
[Fatāwa Mahmudiyyah, 20/495, Jamia’ Farūqiyyah]

جو اس مجنون کی نگرانی وخدمت کرے اور اگر اس میں نزاع ہو تو حاکم یا عامہ اہل اصلاح وخیر خواہ اقارب یا اجانب سے جس کو متدین ومعتمد قرار دیکر تجویز کردیں وہ ولی ہوجاۓ گا۔
[Imdād al-Fatāwa, 5/119, Maktabah Nu’māniyyah Jadīd]

دماغی مریض شاہجہاں کو اپنے والد کے ترکہ میں سے جو رقم ملی ہے اسے شاہجہاں کی زندگی می تقسیم کرنا جائز ہیں؛ بلکہ یہ رقم شاہجہاں کی وفات تک محفوظ رکھی جائے گی، اور اس کی وفات کے وقت اس
کے جتنے شرعی وارثین موجود ہوں گے، ان کے درمیان اسے حسب حصص شرعی تقسیم کیا جائے گا
[Kitāb al-Nawāzil, 18/496, Markazul Ilmi]

مسئولہ صورت میں جب تک آپ کا مجنون بھائی باحیات ہے اس کا حصہ میراث دیگر بھائی بہنوں کے درمیان تقسیم کرنا درست نہیں ہے
[Kitāb al-Nawāzil, 18/495, Markazul Ilmi]