Father died leaving behind debts

Reference: Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Question No.6445, Page 274, Volume 12

Question: Our father died leaving behind many debts. He had a number of children – some of whom are poor, and others who are wealthy; so should the wealthy of his children pay off their father’s debts? And are his children who are poor relieved of the responsibility [of repaying their father’s debts]?

Response: If someone dies leaving behind debts, then these debts must be repaid from his estate. If he has no estate, then no one is obliged to repay his debts. However, if he has any wealthy children, then it is befitting they repay his debts – since this is [considered] from honouring [the deceased parent]. And if they do not repay his debts, then they are not sinful, because Allaah (Ta’aala) said:

{…and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.}, [soorah al-An’aam, aayah 164]

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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