Subject : Heirs` Right to Trade`s Name and Mark is Inalienable
Fatwa Number : 3417
Date : 06-09-2018
Classified : "Wills and Obligations"in Inheritance
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

My father who owned a famous commercial industrial company, which had a grand name and products in the market, passed away. As a result, the estate was divided among the heirs, but the females were denied their sharein the value of the trade`s name and mark as well as the factory; contrary to the males. Do the females have the right to claim their share from the value of the trade`s name and mark, in addition to other brand names?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islamic Law (Sharia) has given rights to whom they belong. Men as well as women are giventheir shares in the inheritance in accordance with their degree of kinship to the deceased. Once a Muslim dies, the possession of his/her property is transferred to the heirs, and each receives their share as per Sharia. Therefore, the testator doesn`t have the right to deprive an heir from the inheritance, nor change the share to which the latter is entitled.

Similarly, an heir doesn`t have the right to reject the share that Allah, The Almighty, has prescribed for him/her. Just like a man, a woman is entitled to a share from the estate of her father, brother, mother, husband and other relatives. This is of course after their passing away. In this regard, Allah said: "God (thus) directs you as regards your Children’s (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females :…"{ An-Nisa`, 11}.

Accordingly, the trade name is one of the rights protected by Sharia, and has a material value according to contemporary Ijtihad (Independent reasoning). On its part, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy has issued resolution No.(43, 5/5) as regards incorporeal rights, and it states:

"First: Trade name, corporate name, trade mark, authorship and invention are rights to whom they belong and-in modern custom-they are of considerable material value from which money is generated. In light of Sharia, these rights are considerable. Therefore, any transgression against them is impermissible."

In conclusion, females are among the heirs and so they are entitled to receive their share in the value of the trade name. Therefore, it is prohibited to deprive them from their share stipulated by Sharia concerning both the trade`s name and mark, in addition to their share in the factory, and any aggression against these shares is tantamount to eating up people`s property unjustly for Allah, the Almighty, said, "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities.."{Al-Baqarah, 188}. Moreover, these women have the right to go to court in order to claim their share in their late father`s inheritance. And Allah knows best.



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