the government forcefully took away many properties

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Date: Friday, May 18, 2012





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.






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



  • The Sharée ruling herein given is specifically based on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • The Darul Ifta bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer. The Darul Ifta being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of the Darul Ifta.


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