The Government forcefully took away many properties during apartheid?

This post has 2,816 views.

Question

In the apartheid times the government forcefully took away many
properties from our parents and grandparents and gave them meagre sums
of money as a form of compensation. The government is now compensating
people who were affected by giving applicants claiming that their
parents/grandparents properties had been expropriated, by giving them
properties in lieu of the injustice done. My question is that would
the properties now given form part of the estate of the deceased to be
distributed amongst the heirs or will they be the sole right and
ownership of the applicant.

Answer

Muhtaram / Muhtaramah

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

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

When one is forced to sell his wealth for a meagre value, under duress, then he holds the right to take it back from the person whom he sold it to. Such a transaction will not be rendered complete unless he later agrees to it.
قال ( وإذا أكره الرجل على بيع ماله أو على شراء سلعة أو على أن يقر لرجل بألف أو يؤاجر داره فأكره على ذلك بالقتل أو بالضرب الشديد أو بالحبس فباع أو اشترى فهو بالخيار إن شاء أمضى البيع وإن شاء فسخه ورجع بالمبيع ) لأن من شرط صحة هذه العقود التراضي ، قال الله تعالى { إلا أن تكون تجارة عن تراض منكم } والإكراه بهذه الأشياء يعدم الرضا فيفسد ، بخلاف ما إذا أكره بضرب سوط أو حبس يوم أو قيد يوم لأنه لا يبالي به بالنظر إلى العادة فلا يتحقق به الإكراه إلا إذا كان الرجل صاحب منصب يعلم أنه يستضر به لفوات الرضا
Fathul Qadeer Vol.8 Pg.167 (Makatabah Rasheediyah)

The government or ruler does not hold the right to seize a piece of land from its rightful owner. Consider the following texts:
وليس للإمام أن يخرج شيئا من يد أحد إلا بحق ثابت معروف .
وسبقه إلى ذلك الملك الظاهر بيبرس ، فإنه أراد مطالبة ذوي العقارات بمستندات تشهد لهم بالملك ، وإلا انتزعها من أيديهم متعللا بما تعلل به ذلك الظالم ، فقام عليه شيخ الإسلام الإمام النووي رحمه الله تعالى ، وأعلمه بأن ذلك غاية الجهل والعناد وأنه لا يحل عند أحد من علماء المسلمين بل من في يده شيء فهو ملكه ، لا يحل لأحد الاعتراض عليه ، ولا يكلف إثباته ببينة ولا زال النووي رحمه الله تعالى يشنع على السلطان ، ويعظه إلى أن كف عن ذلك
Raddul Muhtar Vol.4 Pg.180/1 (H.M. Sa’eed Company)

Mufti Shafi (Rahimahullah) explains that when it is not permissible for a Muslim ruler to seize the land from its rightful owner, then this rule will be more applicable to a non-Muslim government or ruler.
Mufti Shafi (Rahimahullah) further states the fatwa of Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi (Rahimahullah) that the owner will have the right to take his land back.Jawahirul Fiqh Vol.2 Pg.315-338 (Maktabah Darul Uloom Karachi)

We deduce from the abovementioned that the deceased held the right to take back his property from the government. Now, since he is not alive, and the government is compensating for what they forcefully took from him, it will be regarded as part of his estate and has to be distributed amongst his heirs.

And Allah knows best

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah