Muslim woman inheriting a house from her non-Muslim mother

Q: A non-Muslim woman owns a house in a non-Muslim country. When she passes away, the law of the land gives the entire house as inheritance to her Muslim daughter, who is her only child. What should the Muslim daughter do with the house, given that a Muslim is not allowed to inherit from a non-Muslim in Islam? Should she give it to the state? Or should she give it to her non-Muslim aunts and uncles, even though these do not expect to get it? Or can she keep the house?

A: If the mother had verbally said or wrote it in her will that upon her death the house will go to the daughter then the daughter will be able to receive the entire house if it is from within one-third of her estate. If it is from more than one-third, then if the other heirs approve provided there is no minor among them she can have the entire house.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)