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Spouses May Inherit From One Another As Soon As The Marriage Contract Is Done,...

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
Question

If a man does the marriage contract
with a girl but does not
consummate the marriage with her,
and one of them dies, does one of
them inherit from the other or not?
What is the ruling regarding the
‘iddah if the man dies before
consummating the marriage? Does
she have to observe the ‘iddah or
not?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
If the marriage contract is done,
fulfilling all the necessary
conditions, then one of the spouses
dies before consummation of the
marriage, the marriage contract
remains in effect and spouses
inherit from one another, because
of the general meaning of the verse
in which Allah, may He be exalted,
says (interpretation of the
meaning):
“And for you is half of what your
wives leave if they have no child.
But if they have a child, for you is
one fourth of what they leave, after
any bequest they [may have] made
or debt. And for the wives is one
fourth if you leave no child. But if
you leave a child, then for them is
an eighth of what you leave, after
any bequest you [may have] made
or debt”
[an-Nisaa’ 4:12] .

The verse is general in meaning and
is applicable to the woman whose
husband dies before or after
consummation of the marriage. If
the marriage contract has been
completed and one of the spouses
dies before consummation of the
marriage, then the marriage
remains in effect and the
inheritance of one spouse from the
other is dictated by sharia because
of the general meaning of this
verse.
Likewise with regard to the ‘iddah,
the wife is obliged to observe the
‘iddah of one whose husband has
died even if her husband who did
the marriage contract with her dies
before consummation of the
marriage. In that case she must
observe ‘iddah like any other widow,
because of the general meaning of
the verse in which Allah, may He be
exalted, says (interpretation of the
meaning):
“And those who are taken in death
among you and leave wives behind -
they, [the wives, shall] wait four
months and ten [days]”
[al-Baqarah 2:234] .
This includes both the one whose
husband dies before consummation
of the marriage and the one whose
husband dies after consummation.
(In either case) the wife is entitled
to inheritance, as mentioned above.
Al-Muntaqa min Fataawa ash-
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (3/135).
Abu Daawood (2114) narrated that
Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased
with him) was asked about a woman
whose husband died before
consummation of the marriage, and
he had not specified a dowry for
her. He said: She is entitled to the
dowry in full, like that of her peers;
she must observe ‘iddah and she is
entitled to inheritance. Ma‘qil ibn
Sinaan (may Allah be pleased with
him) said: I heard the Messenger of
Allah (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) issue the same verdict
as you concerning Birwa‘ bint
Waashiq, one of our women.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel (1939).

islamqa.info/en/answers/95026/spouses-may-inherit-from-one-another-as-soon-as-the-marriage-contract-is-done-and-there-is-no-stipulation-that-the-marriage-be-consummated

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