Q&A: A Gift and a Will Dispute (1)

Q. During my sister’s lifetime she made a gift of her house to me. She emptied the house, giving away the furniture, etc. I had possession of the house for many years since the time my sister gifted it to me. I had paid the rates, etc. over the years and generally maintained the premises.
However, an institution is claiming the house on the basis of a will supposedly left by my sister. According to the alleged will, the house was or is gifted to the Institution. Please advise me and help.

A. On the basis of the abovementioned facts, the Shariah’s ruling is as follows:

The wasiyyat (bequest) made in the English will is not valid. When your sister made the gift to you, then it amounts to a cancellation of the wasiyyat assuming that the will is dated before the gift. If the will is dated after the gift was made to you, then it is null and void because a wasiyyat cannot be made of someone else’s property. In this case it was your property which you had acquired by way of the gift.

The Institution never was the owner since your sister had not given possession of the house to it. As such, the Institution has no Islamic right to claim the house from you. However, if the house is still on your sister’s name and the English will stipulates that it is a ‘gift’ for the Institution, then in terms of the kufr law of the country you will lose the house and on the Day of Qiyaamah, the house and the entire area under the house down into the bowels of the earth will be made into a weight of punishment and fitted around the neck of the Institution for its haraam act of extortion.