Liable for fathers debts; validity of divorce

Question ID: 28027

Salaams Mufti Sabh

1.My question is this… Is my husband liable to pay off his father’s debts?

2. Is my mother-in law (first wife) Islamically divorced?

Under normal circumstances this would not be an issue but my father-in-law had legally evicted us (myself, husband, 2 children) 4 years ago and his first wife and adopted daughter has moved with us as well due to living conditions with second wife being unbearable. his first wife divorced him after 30 years marriage because the marriage was in community of property and she did not want his creditors seeking payment from her although she had no share/involvement in his business. She did not ask for any money/payment from this legal divorce because we did not consider it an Islamic act. She also has not sat for Iddat.

Now he has cancer which is spreading fast. We also took him to our home when he went for his operation earlier this year because we could not see him ill. But his second wife was obviously not comfortable with this arrangement and argued until they returned home.

He says he wants to sort things out but we know from experience all will be left unresolved. I just want to make clear that my farther – in – law did initially help us get started with our businesses (my husband and I) but while we lived with him we paid for lights, elect, rates, water and our businesses till today are not doing exceptionally well ,we just get by.
Should he die now and we know he owes people for his business debts, is my husband liable to pay them?(He has money to pay this but I assume this will go to his second wife … and I doubt his payments concern her)

Also his second wife has written out the Talaq for his first wife and leaves it on display for us to see but has not signed or handed it to the first wife, how should it be interpreted?

I know this is complicated, but we respect and have made Sabar for all that has occurred.


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Asked on November 2, 2008 12:00 am
Private answer

1) It is best to do. not obligatory

2) Not obligatory

3) This is not a effective divorce

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Answered on November 2, 2008 12:00 am