Questioner: Assalaamu ‘alaykum
Dr Sharof: Wa’alaykumu ssalaam
Questioner: There is a person who became wealthy as a result of defalcating money from the government work he is doing. If he dies, will the money be Halaal (permissible) for his children?
Dr Sharof: All (perfect) praise is for Allaah (alone). If a person gathers wealth in an impermissible way, the money is forbidden for him (to spend), but it is permissible for his children who will take possession of his property. He (the father) is the criminal, but it (the money) is permissible for his children who will take possession of his property. This is because (Allaah says), ‘…And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another…’ [Soorah al-Israa (17):15] Therefore, it is permissible for the children to inherit him, but he (the father) is a sinner and would be held accountable to Allaah. That is why we have to be very careful when struggling to make ends meet.
Don’t engage in unlawful things which you will be held accountable for, while your children inherit the wealth permissibly. For instance, if there is a father who stole money and later dies leaving the money and the owner of the money approaches you (his child); you should return the money back to the owner so that your father does not face many trials on the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrection). Do you understand? It is better to return the money in this life so that your father’s affair is eased. But if the children disagree and fail to return the money, the owner can take them to court so that he gets back his money in this life. Do you understand? There is no need leaving it till the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrection), but if they disagree their father would be held accountable on the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrection).
As another example, if there is a father who got his wealth from selling alcoholic drinks or from gambling, it is permissible for his children to take possession of his wealth. No one should accuse them of taking possession of his wealth because they are not the one who engaged in the act. But before he dies, the children must always warn him to desist from the illegal business, because they must not approve of it. Tell him it is not permissible and you can boycott him perhaps he will know the evil consequence of his actions. And one in a while you can pay him a visit, (and) you must always ask him to stop the business.
However, we should always pray to Allaah to have mercy on us. There may be a person who thinks his wealth is Halaal (permissible) without knowing that something Haroom (forbidden) has entered it. And there may be a person who you think his wealth is completely Haraam (forbidden) while there may be some Halaal (permissible) stuffs in it. May Allaah have mercy on us!
[SOURCE: QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION OF THE TAPE TITLED, ‘INTRODUCTION TO BULUUGHUL MUROOM’; TIME: 1:22:27 to 1:25:34]
Translated by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey