Month: March 2015

Special Case: The Mafqood (Missing Person)

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Below is the answer to the problem we concluded with in the previous post:

The estate will be divided into 6 equal portions:

The Mother gets 1 portion.
The Haqeeqi sister gets 3 portions.
The Akhyaafi brother/Haqeeqi paternal uncles son gets 2 portions.

Everyone else is deprived.

Any questions/confusions about the above answer should be posted in the comments section below, insha’Allah.

Our Shari`ah is arguably the most comprehensive collection of laws and ahkaam in existence. This is clear from previous posts (such as the post regarding the khuntha mushkil) and the hundreds of fiqh kitaabs  that have been written expounding laws on almost every topic imaginable. One great example of the comprehensive nature of the Shari`ah is the laws regarding the mafqood, or the missing person.

In inheritance law, a missing person (mafqood) is assumed to be alive with regards to his estate and dead with regards to the estate of others. In other words, the mafqoods estate will not be divided and distributed among his heirs until his death is confirmed or decreed by a shar`i court. On the other hand, if the mafqood is an heir, he will not inherit in the estate of the one he would have inherited from had his whereabouts been known.

A mafqood will be declared dead by a shar`i court (or a shar`i council in the absence of a formal court) by way of reliable information. If no reliable information comes forth, the mafqood will be declared dead when his age reaches 90 Islamic years. This time-span of 90 years is according to early Hanafi fuqaha (jurists). Some later hanafi jurists have ruled according the Maliki madhab, which declares the mafqood dead at the age of 70 Islamic years and some have  opted for an even lesser duration. Nevertheless, whenever the mafqood is declared dead, his estate will be divided and distributed among the heirs who were alive when he was declared dead. The heirs who passed away before the mafqood was declared dead will not inherit.

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