Question -- I am a Muslim woman. A few months ago, I married a Muslim man. The marriage contract was ratified, but the consummation did not take place and the marriage did not take place officially. We were preparing for the wedding in December 2023, but my husband died. My question is: Do I have the legal right, according to Islamic law, to inherit from my husband even though there was no consummation or official marriage? Do I also have to make Idda? When can I get married again? Please advise
Answer -- I would advise the questioner the following:
1. Since there is an attested marriage contract, then your marriage is considered official even though there was no consummation and you did not hold a wedding party. As per the UAE Personal Status Law in its Article 313, inheritance is the imperative devolution of the property and financial rights upon the death of their owner to those deserving and the causes of inheritance are: marriage and kinship. Based on this you deserve and have the right to inherit a fixed share in the estate.
This share might be one-half, one quarter, one-eighth and one-third of the balance and it depends on the other descendants of the decedent and the degree of relationship to him which plays a role in determining the amount of inheritance to which he/she is entitled. The Sharia Court will decide the descendants, their degree and how much he/she shall inherit through an application submitted to the Sharia Court for that purpose.
2. “Idda” is an obligatory waiting period during which the wife remains without marriage, as a result of separation. As per Article 138 of the above law, the duration of the waiting period, for the woman whose husband from a valid marriage died, even before consummation of the marriage, is four months and ten days unless she is pregnant in which her waiting period ends upon delivery or miscarriage. Consequently, you have to make idda and shall remain without marriage for four months and ten days. After that time you will be able to marry again.