A wife died while she was financially and spiritually preparing to perform the obligatory Hajj. The question is: shall her husband perform Hajj on behalf of her given that he has already performed Hajj for himself, or shall he give the money that she collected before her death in charity to the mosque? Shall he distribute it among the heirs? Who are those heirs eligible to it? How should this money be distributed? She has a mother, a husband, three sons, three daughters, six brothers, and four sisters. What are the things that are to be distributed? As a woman, she has clothes, furniture, gold and money.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
If Hajj was due on this woman during her lifetime, having fulfilled the condition of financial and physical capability, then it is due to perform Hajj on her behalf from her own property after her death. Somebody should be deputized to perform Hajj on her behalf from her legacy before distributing it, be he her husband or anyone else provided that the deputy has already performed Hajj for himself. This is so because Hajj is a debt in her liability, and the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The debt of Allaah is the one most worthy to be paid.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
However, if Hajj was not due on her during her lifetime, then it is not necessary to deputize someone to perform Hajj on behalf of her from her legacy. If somebody volunteers to perform Hajj on her behalf from his own property, or if the heirs, being mature and of age, accept to deputize somebody to perform Hajj on behalf of her from her legacy, then that will benefit her, and its reward will reach her, Allaah willing.
It is not due to give the money that she collected before her death in charity. It is the right of the heirs and must be distributed along with her legacy. If anyone of them likes to give something of their share in charity on her behalf, then that will benefit her, Allaah willing.
Everything left behind by this woman after her death, including gold, money, clothes, and so on, is a legacy that should be distributed among the heirs according to the law of Allaah. The heirs are only her husband, whose share is one eighth, and her mother, whose share is one sixth, and what remains thereof is to be given to her children; the share of the male is twice the female’s. As for her brothers and sisters, they have no shares because they are prevented by her children. Her legacy should be distributed after deducting the costs of her funeral ceremony and repaying her debts that are due on her to Allaah, such as Hajj if it was obligatory on her, or to the people. It is also necessary to carry out her will if she made any, and that is limited to no more than one third of the legacy.
Allaah Knows best.
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