Please help us regarding a case when some inheritors settled the debt of the deceased from their private wealth and, thereafter, it was discovered that the deceased had wealth of his own. Are they allowed to be refunded from the wealth of the deceased for what they spent, since they did not know that he had wealth of his own and they only paid the debt in order to free him from its liability? Please provide evidence and justification.
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.
May Allaah The Almighty Reward you well for settling these debts and may He Recompense you in multitudes of what you spent. Know, then, that it is not right for you to be repaid from the wealth of the deceased because taking over the debts and settling them is a favor and donation.
Ad-Dusooqi, the Maaliki scholar said: “If someone knowingly took over a financial difficulty on behalf of the deceased who was constrained, then he is not to be compensated for wealth that is found later. This is because his act was a favor and donation. But, if he knew that he had wealth or even assumed it or doubted (that he did not have any), and that wealth was later discovered, then he is compensated for what he paid.”
Allaah Knows best.
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