The rights of a wife whose husband dies before consummating their marriage
My husband passed away after we conducted the marriage contract and before consummating our marriage. Am I eligible to inherit from him and, if so, what is the amount? Who is entitled to receive the deferred dowry which is 10, 000 EGP? Please note that my late husband does not have any children from another wife.
Concerning a wife's inheritance from her husband, Allah the Almighty says,
In what ye leave; their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child. [An-Nisaa`: 12]
Because the contract confirms that a couple is indeed married to one another, this is true of those who have conducted the marriage contract but did not consummate the marriage.
The deferred dowry is a deferred debt owed by the husband to his wife. It becomes payable upon divorce or death of either spouse, whichever occurs first. A wife is entitled to all the items listed in the registry of furnishings including all of her household furnishings and the electrical appliances but not the husband's personal belongings such as his books, clothes, weapons and so forth. The items to which a wife is entitled must be deducted from the estate before its distribution since they are not part of the inheritance. Allah Almighty says,
(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debt. [An-Nisaa`: 11]
These items are either debts owed to the wife or her exclusive right.
You are entitled to the following which must be deducted before the distribution of the estate:
- One fourth of what your husband has left because the deceased has no child who may inherit.
- The deferred dowry.
- All the items listed in the registry of furnishings (it does not matter who bought them, whether it was you or your husband).
- The shabka [jewelry presented to the bride] that you have actually received from your husband or which he may not have bought you, in which case, it is considered a debt owed by your late husband to you.