Q: My father died in a road traffic accident while my brother was driving him to the hospital. (Part No. 16; Page No. 561) Being anxious about our father's health, my brother drove at high speeds. After investigating the accident, the traffic police determined that my brother's responsibility for the accident was 85%. There were no casualties except my father who died. We went to the district court of
to issue the deed of heirs, but the judge told us that my brother who drove my father to hospital is excluded from the deed and prevented from inheritance. This is the entire story. Would you please give in writing your Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) regarding his eligibility to receive the inheritance and the due Kaffarah (expiation)? May Allah protect you, grant you success and reward you well!
A person who causes the death of his predecessor is not entitled to his share of inheritance. This is based on the principle that the person who murders his predecessor intentionally or unintentionally relinquishes his right to inherit from the deceased.
`Amr ibn Shu`ayb (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that
`Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: 'The killer receives nothing.' `Amr said, so he (`Umar) called for the uncle of the murdered person and gave him the camels (the blood-money).
Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (Hadith compilation) and by
Abu Dawud in his Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes)).
The judge excluding your brother from the deed of heirs and preventing him from the inheritance conforms with the ruling applied by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (Companions) (may Allah be pleased with them). (Part No. 16; Page No. 562) Since your brother is accused of being responsible for the accident, he must pay Kaffarah for involuntary manslaughter which is emancipating a believing bondsman. If this is not possible or he can not afford it, he may fast for two consecutive months (sixty days), as he was a cause of his father's death. It is permissible for the heirs, if of legal age, to willingly donate to their brother who is prevented from the inheritance as much as his share of the estate. Doing so reconciles the fact that your brother did not murder your father intentionally and thus you will be rewarded by Allah. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!