Laws of Inheritance in Islam Made Easy

“And you consume inheritance, devouring [it] altogether”

 (Holy Quran 89: 19)

Introduction

Inheritance is an integral part of Islamic Shariah Law and its application in Islamic society is a mandatory aspect of the Divine teachings of Islam.

That Muslims inherit from each other is proven from the Holy Quran:

“There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share.“ [An-Nisa 4:7]

This blog is a translation & extension of some fantastic work done by my respected father Dr. Saeed Ahmad Shad, a retired PhD professor of mathematics. Mathematics runs in our families’ blood & I myself Alhamdulillah have a keen interest and understanding of the subject.

In this blog, I have tried to make the laws of inheritance much easier to understand for the common person, but it still requires good knowledge of the subject of mathematics. It is also really amazing, after reading all this, how much mathematics the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions (RA) knew over 1400 years ago!

Note:

For any personal queries regarding inheritance, one may contact me personally 

Email: mnauman2002saj@yahoo.com

Answers are given in 1-3 days in sha Allah.

 

Sayings of the Holy Prophet Concerning Importance of Inheritance

  • Hazrat Anas (RA) related that the Prophet (PBUH) said:“If anyone deprives an heir of his inheritance, Allah will deprive him of his inheritance in Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.” (Suna Ibn Majah)
  • Hazrat Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “A man may do the deeds of the people of goodness for seventy years, then when he makes his will, he is unjust in his will, so he ends (his life) with deeds and enters hell. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
  • Hazrat Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “The Muslim man has no right to spend two nights, if he has something for which a will should be made, without having a written will with him. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
  • The Holy Prophet said: “Learn (the knowledge of) inheritance and teach it (to the people) for it is half of knowledge; and it will eventually be forgotten. It will be the first (knowledge) to be taken away from my Ummah” (Sunan Ibn Maajah)
  • Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) said “Indeed I am a man who will be taken away, therefore learn Fara-idh (laws of inheritance) and teach it. The time of the disappearance of knowledge will come close, when two persons will dispute regarding an Islamic ruling and they will find no one to decide the dispute.”
  • Hazrat Anas ibn Malik (RA) relates that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever deprives an heir of his/her inheritance-share [as fixed by Qur’anic guidelines], Allah will deprive him/her of Paradise on the day of judgment.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, no: 2703)

Definitions

  • Mirath: is derived from the verb ‘waratha’ ورث which means to inherit anything.  Another literal meaning of the word Mirath is that, it connotes the handing over of a thing from one person to another.
  • Al-Faraidh: is plural of Al-Faridha  الفریضة  which is derived from the verb Faradha (فرض) , which literally mean “a fixed share”.
  • In the legal terminology, it is knowledge about rules of the Shari’ah which guides us about who will inherit and who will not and what shares will go to the heirs from the property of the deceased.
  • Wasiyyah: Islamic will is called Wasiyyah
  • Taraka: All what a deceased leaves behind of wealth, jewelry, movable or immovable property, whether it is with him or given in loan to another person; all that can be inherited, after subtracting burial expenses, loans, and bequest; meaning whatever is to be distributed to the legal heirs
  • Aulad: (Children): Includes sons, daughters, grandsons, grand-daughters and so on
  • Narina Aulad (Male Offspring): Includes sons, grandsons, great grandsons and so on
  • Kalala: There are two types of Kalala with slightly different meanings:
  • 1. From verse 4 : 12 (in case of uterine siblings)

A person (male or female) who has died (& has taraka left behind) & has no male ascendants (no father, grandfather or great grandfather and no children/offspring; meaning those who leave no male ascendants and no descendants (male or female).

  • 2. From verse 4: 176 (in case of full siblings or paternal siblings)

A person (male or female) who has died (& has taraka left behind) & and has no father and no male descendants (no male offspring -Naurina Aulad).

  • Full brothers/sisters: Brothers/sisters who have the same father and mother
  • Paternal brothers/sisters: Brothers/sisters who have the same father but different mothers
  • Maternal brothers/sisters: Brothers/sisters who have the same mother but different fathers
  • Zawil-Furoodh: These are the family members whose shares are exclusively set by Quran e.g. Father, Widow etc
  • Asabah: Relatives who may have a share but share is NOT fixed in Quran or Sunnah.  They are also called ‘Residual heirs’ as they get remaining inheritance after Zawil-Furoodh have been given their shares of inheritance. They are mostly on the father’s side as is shown below
  • Primary heirs: Those relatives of the deceased whose share of inheritance is obligatory (is a must). They include son, daughter, father, mother, husband, wife etc. These are the primary sharers of the inheritance.
  • Secondary heirs: Inherit the estate when they are the only heirs in absence of primary heirs.
  • Zawil Arhaam: 3rd category of relatives of deceased who are neither from Zawil Furoodh nor Asabah, and are related to the deceased through a woman or they are women e.g. Maternal grandfather, maternal granddaughter, maternal uncle/aunt, paternal aunt etc
  • Mahjoob: A potential inheritor who gets blocked due to the presence of another more primary inheritor e.g. grandson gets blocked in presence of son
  • Wasiyyah (Bequest): A part of taraka, not more than 1/3 that deceased, nominates in his/her will, to be given to certain people or organization

Writing a Will/Wasiyyah

  • The evidence that writing a will is prescribed in Islam is to be found in the Quran and Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars.
  • However majority of scholars state it is recommended, but not obligatory
  • In other words, a will is basically a bequest of a part of the inheritance, not more than 1/3 to relatives besides the legal heirs, to charity or any other religious cause for Islam.

Rules Regarding Writing a Will

    1. Should be made by a person who is baligh, sane and made with free will and choice and not under duress (force/pressure)
    2. 2 Witnesses should be present at time of declaration and writing of the will. If there are no witnesses, a written will signed and/or in writing of the deceased may be accepted according to some scholars.
    3. In Islamic Law, the inheritance from the deceased person is defined by Shariah Law. However, a person is entitled to make his own will up to 1/3 of his wealth/assets.
    4. If there are no legal heirs or if all legal heirs agree, then the person can bequest more than 1/3 of the total inheritance.
    5. This should be mentioned in the will i.e. 80 % of my whole inheritance will be for my rightful heirs & 20 % for such and such person, organization or 100% for my heirs, 0 % for any other etc
    6. No bequest for the legal heirs, meaning legal heirs cannot be given any extra amount from the inheritance through the will. In other words, a will is basically a bequest of a part of the inheritance, not more than 1/3 to relatives (besides the legal heirs), charity etc
    7. All others, including Non-Muslims can be given part of the bequest
    8. If the will is intended to harm the heirs or make things difficult for them, then that is haraam
    9. Must be in accordance with Shariah guidelines
    10. Can be changed, cancelled or revoked before death
    11. Comes into effect once the person dies
    12. Must be carried out after death
    13. Will executed after payment of any debts, burial expenses, Zakat etc
    14. Murderer of the deceased does NOT get any part of the bequest
    15. If it is feared that legal heirs will not be given their due share (for example due to living in Non-Muslim country, then he can write details of how his whole inheritance will be divided in his will, in accordance to the Shariah)
    16. If someone has not written a will, it will be assumed that his inheritance will only be distributed among the rightful legal heirs and the heirs have to ensure that estate is distributed according to the basic principles of inheritance.

Steps/Procedure of Distribution of Taraka

  • Pay funeral/burial expenses
  • Pay any debts
  • Pay Haq Mehr to wife if not paid before hand in case of death of her husband
  • Execute any bequest (Wasiyyah) written in the Will, not to exceed 1/3 of total estate
  • Give any bequest to nominees, which should not be among legal heirs, and the amount should NOT be more than 1/3 of the total inheritance
  • Distribute among legal heirs
  • It is better for a pregnant woman, whose unborn child can be a potential heir, to conceive before distributing the inheritance among legal heirs
  • Otherwise distribution of inheritance should be done as early as possible, as an early subsequent death of one of the heirs may complicate matters

Quranic References Concerning Inheritance:

Surah An-Nisa (4: 7-13) and (4: 176) (given at the end)

Zawil Furoodh

  • These are the family members whose shares are exclusively set by Allah in the Holy Quran. They include:

From the Quran

  • Father
  • Mother
  • Wife
  • Husband
  • Daughter(s) (if there are no sons)
  • Full Sister
  • Maternal siblings (maternal brother and maternal sister)
  • Paternal Sister

From Analogy

In absence of father, mother and son:

  • Father’s father (paternal grandfather) or higher
  • Father’s mother (paternal grandmother) and Mother’s mother (maternal grandmother); both may inherit if alive in absence of mother of deceased
  • Son’s daughter or lower

It should be noted that son is not mentioned in the Zawil Furooz by the Holy Quran. But son is the most important heir. Holy Prophet (saw) said, “Whatever is left after giving away the share to the mandatory heirs goes to the nearest male relative(s)”. In case the nearest relative is the son, then it would go to him. This will be elaborated further up ahead.

 Asabah (Residual Heirs)

  • Relatives who may have a share but their share is NOT fixed in Quran or Sunnah
  • They are also called residual heirs
  • For example in a small family, if deceased leaves behind a father, mother, a wife and one son and one daughter, then
    • Father’s share will be calculated (whose share is fixed as 1/6 in this case)
    • Mother’s share will be calculated (whose share is fixed as 1/6 in this case)
    • Wife’s share will be calculated (whose share is fixed as 1/8 in this case)
    • After giving the above their share, remaining wealth is distributed according to given principle (ratio 2: 1) among son & daughter.
    • Because the son & daughter are given remaining or residual wealth, they are said to be among the Asabah
    • There are categories of Asabah; sons and daughters are among first category; many other major categories are mentioned under ‘secondary heirs’

Primary Inheritors

Those relatives of the deceased whose share of inheritance is obligatory: They may also block share of secondary heirs and make them Mahjoob. The following will surely inherit a share of the inheritance (except in certain circumstances):

  • Children (Sons & daughters)
  • Parents (Real mother & real father)
  • Wife/Wives
  • Husband

Secondary Heirs

Inherit a share of the estate when they are the heirs in the absence of one or more of the primary heirs. Enlisted in order of preference:

  • Paternal Grandson(s), Paternal Granddaughter(s)
  • Full brothers, full sisters
  • Paternal brothers & sisters, maternal brothers & sisters (half brothers; half sisters)
  • Paternal grandfather
  • Full brother’s son
  • Paternal brother’s son
  • Paternal uncle (Father’s full brother)
  • And many others

To Whom Charity (Bequest/Wasiyyat) in a Will Cannot be Given

  • Should not exceed 1/3 of total inheritance
  • Legal heirs cannot be given charity besides their inheritance
  • Cannot be given towards a non-Shariah Compliant activity or fund.
  • Cannot be given to murderer of the deceased

Which People Cannot Inherit (But Can be given Bequest/Wasiyyah)

  • Adopted children
  • Legal slave
  • A Non-Muslim cannot inherit from Muslim and vice versa
  • Some relatives
    • Daughter’s children
    • Sister’s children
    • Brother’s daughters
    • Maternal brother’s children
    • Maternal daughter’s children
    • Mother’s brothers
    • Father’s sisters
    • Mother’s father (maternal grandfather)
    • All in-laws
    • Step-Mother, step-father, step brothers, step sisters (share no birth parents with deceased)
    • Some others besides above
  • Ex-wife (or ex-wives)

Which People Cannot Inherit at All

  • Murderer of the deceased cannot inherit at all; not even from the bequest

 

Table of Shares of Inheritance among Zawil Furoodh

 

Rule 1A : First find out shares of Zawil Furoodh

Rule Inheritor Case Condition Share of Inheritance
1 Daughter 1 Deceased also has son(s) Half of son
2 Deceased only has one daughter Half
3 Two or More than two daughters with no son All share 2/3 inheritance
2 Mother 1 Deceased has children 1/6
2 Deceased has no children & no brothers or sisters 1/3
3 Deceased has no children & has 1 brother or 1 sister 1/3
4 Deceased has no children & has 2 or more than 2 siblings (full, maternal or paternal) 1/6
3 Father 1 Deceased has son or grandson 1/6
2 Deceased has no son, grandson, but has daughter(s) or granddaughter(s) 1/6 plus whatever remains from Asabah
3 Deceased has no descendants at all Whatever remains from Asabah
4 Husband 1 Deceased has children 1/4
2 Deceased has no children 1/2
5 Wife or Wives (to be divided equally among all wives if more than one) 1 Deceased has children 1/8
2 Deceased has no children 1/4
6 Grand Daughter (From son only)

(Paternal Granddaughter)

1 1 daughter, no son & no grandson from a son 1/6
2 No son & no daughter, 1 granddaughter from a son & no grandson from a son 1/2
3 No children, 2 or more granddaughters from a son & no grandson from a son All share 2/3 inheritance
  4 No children, 2 or more grandchildren from son Female gets 1/2 of male
7 Paternal Grandfather 1 Deceased does not have a father & has children 1/6
2 Deceased does not have a father & has no children Whatever remains of Zawil Furoodh
Rule Inheritor Case Condition Share of Inheritance
8 Paternal Grand-mother 1 Deceased does not have parents & does not have maternal grandmother 1/6
2 Deceased does not have parents & does have a maternal grandmother 1/12
9 Maternal Grand-mother 1 Deceased does not have parents & does not have a paternal grandmother 1/6
2 Deceased does not have parents & does have a paternal grandmother 1/12
10 Kalala

Case 1

(Full Sisters or brothers and no father and no descendants, whether male or female)

1 Deceased has 1 full sister, no full brother 1/2
2 Deceased has 2 or more full sisters, no full brother All share 2/3 inheritance
3 Deceased has full sisters & full brothers Full sister(s) get half of full brother(s)
4 Full sibling(s) plus deceased has only female offspring Whatever remains of Zawil Furoodh
11 Kalala

Case 2

Having Maternal Siblings with no male ascendants and no descendants (male an female)

1 Deceased has 1 (maternal sibling, brother or sister) 1/6
2 Deceased has 2 or more maternal siblings All share 1/3
 3 Deceased has father or grandfather or children (sons or daughters) Maternal siblings become blocked (Mahjoob)
12 Kalala

Case 3

Having Paternal Siblings and no father and no male descendants

1 One paternal sister with no brother ½
2 More than one paternal sisters with no brother All share 2/3
3 Paternal brothers & sisters Sisters get ½ of brothers
4 Paternal sister(s) & one full sister with no offspring 1/6
5 Paternal sibling(s) plus one full sister plus offspring Mahjoob (Blocked)
6 Paternal sister(s), no full sisters, but has offspring Whatever remains of Zawil Furoodh
7 Paternal sister(s) and two or more full sisters Mahjoob (Blocked)

Male: Female Ratio

  • Rule 13. A male & female of the same class receive shares with the ratio of 2:1 [AnNisa 4:11], [AnNisa 4:176]
  • This is often called joint ta’seeb
  • The following conditions should be met:
    • Male & female are of the same class
    • This rule applies during the distribution of residual shares, and not the distribution of prescribed shares
    • This rule doesn’t apply to maternal siblings. Here there share is equal (Rule 11.2)
    • Joint Ta’seebs are possible only for the following cases:
      • Son & daughter
      • Grandson & Grand daughter
      • Full brother & full sister
      • Paternal brother & paternal sister
    • Joint Ta’seeb are NOT possible for the following case:
      • Nephews and nieces (nephew blocks niece from inheriting)

 

Rule 14. Al-Radd

Under certain circumstances after allocation of the estate amongst all the heirs with fixed shares there is a residue left over but there are no residuaries. This residue called al-radd is returned to those sharers who are entitled to it, in proportion to their original shares.

Rule of Radd:

“Increase shares proportionally among all heirs except the spouse, if there is still some share left to be distributed after giving the inheritors their proscribed shares”

For example: if a deceased has left only 2 maternal sisters

Normally they will get 1/3 of the estate if there are other heirs

But in this case there are no other heirs.

So they will get the entire residue (Al-Radd). Since their share is equal, they will both get 50% of the inheritance

  • Except the shares of the spouse, the spouse shares are strictly fixed. They cannot be increased unless no other relatives are found. (Radd does not apply to spouses)

Rule 15. Al-Awal

This is a case opposite to above case of Al-Radd. A situation may arise when the total sum of the assigned shares of the heirs with fixed shares is greater than unity. In this situation all the shares are abated proportionately by the doctrine of al-awal which involves decreasing the fractional shares to a common denominator, and increasing the denominator in order to make it equal to the sum of the numerators.

(Calculation for adjustment for Al-Radd &  Al-Awal is too complex; given at the end under Frequently Asked Questions)

The normal shares of each heir will decrease due to this increase above unity

For example: If a deceased has left a husband & two full sisters

Husband gets ½ if there are no children of deceased wife

Full sisters get 2/3

Now ½ plus 2/3 is greater than 1

Now Husband will get 3/7 (about 42.86 %)

Each sister will get 2/7 (about 28.57 %)

Making unity of 1: 3/7 + 2/7 + 2/7 = 1

Mahjoob (Block)

A potential inheritor who gets blocked due to the presence of another more primary inheritor e.g. grandson gets blocked in presence of son

Major examples of Mahjoob:

  • Rule 16. Son blocks Paternal Grandson, Paternal Granddaughter, Full brother, Full sister, Paternal brother, Paternal sister, Maternal Brother, Maternal sister, Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Full paternal Uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Rule 17. Grandson blocks Full brother, Full sister, Paternal brother, Paternal sister, Maternal Brother, Maternal sister, Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Paternal Nephew’s son, Full paternal Uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Rule 18. Father blocks Paternal Grandfather, Paternal Grandmother, Full brother, Full sister, Paternal brother, Paternal sister, Maternal Brother, Maternal sister, Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Full paternal Uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Rule 19. Mother blocks Paternal Grandmother, Maternal Grandmother
  • Rule 20. Paternal Grandfather blocks Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Full paternal Uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Rule 21. Full brother blocks Paternal brother, Paternal sister, Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Full Nephew’s son, Paternal Nephew’s son, Full paternal Uncle, Paternal paternal uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Rule 22. Full sister blocks Paternal brother, Paternal sister, Full Nephew, Paternal Nephew, Full Nephew’s son, Paternal Nephew’s son, Full paternal Uncle, Paternal paternal uncle, Full cousin etc
  • Nephew blocks any niece from inheriting
  • Many others can block after this for example paternal brother, paternal sister
  • Females block less than males; for example father blocks full brother, but mother may not block a full brother of deceased
  • Rule 23. Following can never be blocked: Husband, wife, son, daughter, mother and father
  • Spouses can never be blocked nor can they block anyone

 

Taseeb (Asabah) Ranking in Order

Rule 12b: After giving to Zawil Furoodh, give to Asabah according to following priority:

 1) Son(s), daughter(s)

2) Paternal Grandson, paternal Granddaughter

3) Father or Paternal Grandfather

4) Full Brother, Full sister (Kalalah starts here)

5) Paternal Brother, Paternal Sister

6) Full brother’s son

7) Paternal brother’s son

8) Full brother’s son’s son

9) Paternal brother son’s son

10) Paternal Uncle

11) Paternal Uncle’s son (cousin)

And so on……

  • Rule 24. Every category below it will get blocked from inheritance EXCEPT the father or paternal grandfather in case there is no father. They do not get blocked. However father will block paternal grandfather if both are alive.
  • Rule 25. If husband is also a paternal uncle’s son, he should be treated as two individuals if necessary
  • Rule 26. In case of female heirs, the inheritance stops at them and does not move on to their children as in case of male heirs.
  • Rule 27.A full brother cannot receive less than the maternal brother; they receive same as maternal siblings
  • Rule 28. Maternal grandfather (mother’s father) is blocked from inheritance. Both his male & female ancestors are also blocked. This is different from maternal grandmother (mother’s mother). She gets the inheritance. Also, her female ancestors can also get inheritance, but not the male ancestors.
  • Females like mother, daughters, sisters etc have less blocking potential than their male counterparts like father, sons, brothers etc
  • Role promotion when the second person mentioned is not alive:
  • Grandfather becomes a father
  • Paternal grandmother becomes a mother
  • Granddaughter become a daughter
  • Sister becomes a daughter
  • Maternal sister becomes a daughter
  • Rule 29. If the deceased left behind a spouse, a father and a mother, but no offspring Hazrat Umar’s calculations need to be applied. (Hazrat Umar’s Fatwa)
    Parents will not get their prescribed share
    b. Parents will share the remainder with the 2:1 ratio for father & mother

Wisdom (Hikmat) Behind Males Getting Primary Importance in Inheritance

As we see from above:

  • Sons get twice as daughters
  • Brothers get twice as sisters
  • Son’s children inherit but daughter’s children do not inherit
  • Paternal relatives given primary importance etc

This is because in Islam, males are the primary bread-winners of the family

Zawil-Arham

  • As mentioned above, these are a third category of relatives apart Zawil Furooz or Asabah.
  • These are relatives of the deceased who are neither from Zawil Furooz nor Asabaat, and are related to the deceased through a woman or they are women
  • These relatives only inherit when the deceased leaves behind no relatives from Zawil Furoodh or from the Asabah.
  • The correct opinion is that they do inherit in such a case instead of the inheritance being returned to Bait-ul-Maal.
  • There are 11 types/classes of Zawil- Arhaam:
    1. Daughter’s sons
    2. Sister’s sons
    3. Brother’s daughters
    4. Sons of siblings through the mother
    5. Paternal aunts
    6. Paternal uncles of the mother
    7. Maternal uncles
    8. Maternal aunts
    9. Daughters of paternal uncles
    10. Maternal grandfather
    11. Mothers of great-grandfathers

All of these, and those of their descendants who take their places, are called dhawi’l-arhaam

Deceased has NO relatives at all (Near or Far)

  • Government takes the whole estate

Case of Heirs dying at same time (e.g. in an accident)

  1. If sequence of their deaths is known, e.g. husband died before wife, then it is easy and inheritance will be calculated by the normal routine as given above
  2. If all died at same time, sequence of death is not known, uncertain or forgotten: in all these cases, they will NOT inherit from each otherFor example in case of death of husband and wife at the same time, the husband’s estate will be divided among his heirs, and his wife does not inherit anything from him. And the wife’s estate will be divided among her heirs, and her husband does not inherit anything from her.

Disowning (Aaq) by Parents

It is NOT permissible in Islam to disown any legal heir (son, daughter etc) of their rightful inheritance. This is Haram and they will inherit as normal after death of the parent

 A Non-Muslim scholar on Islamic Law of Inheritance:

Professor Almaric Rumsey (1825-1899) of King’s College, London, the author of many works on the subject of the Muslim law of inheritance and a barrister-at-law, stated that the Muslim law of inheritance, “comprises beyond question the most refined and elaborate system of rules for the devolution of property that is known to the civilized world.” (Rumsey, A. Mohummudan Law of Inheritance. (1880) Preface iii)

References of Rules of Inheritance from the Holy Quran

Basic Islamic rules of inheritance in the Holy Quran:

1. Generally both males and females inherit (if they are among legal heirs), whether inheritance is small or large in amount (Holy Quran 4 : 7)

2. Sons share is twice that as Daughters (Holy Quran 4 : 11)

3. If there are only daughters, two or more, then they share 2/3 of the total inheritance ( 4 : 11)

4. If there is only one daughter, then she gets half of the total inheritance (4 : 11)

5. Both parents get 1/6 if deceased left children (4 : 11)

6. Mother gets 1/3 if deceased has no children and no brother or no sister (4 : 11)

7. Mother gets 1/6 if deceased has no children but has brother or sister (4 : 11)

8. Inheritance shares given after giving off any debts and any bequests of the deceased (4 : 11, 12)

9. Husband gets half of what his wife leaves if she doesn’t have any children (4 : 12)

10. Husband gets 1/4 of what his wife leaves if she has children (4 : 12)

11. Wife gets 1/4 of what the husband leaves if he doesn’t have any children (4 : 12)

12. Wife gets 1/8 of what the husband leaves if he does have children (4 : 12)

13. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants or descendants, and they leave behind brother or sister, then he/she gets 1/6 (4 : 12)

14. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants or descendants, and leave behind two or more brothers or sisters, then they share 2/3 (4 : 12) (Points 13 and 14 have been interpreted as for Ikhyafi or maternal siblings and no ascendants means no male ascendants by Ulema Kiram- Kalala cases)

15. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants or descendants and leaves behind a sister, then she gets 1/2 of the inheritance (4 : 176)

16. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants and descendants and leaves behind two or more sisters, then the sisters share 1/3 of the inheritance (4: 176)

17. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants or descendants and leaves behind a brother he will get full residual of the inheritance (4 : 176)

18. If a man or woman leaves behind no ascendants or descendants and leaves behind brothers and sisters, then the males get twice the shares as the females (4 : 176) (Points 15-18 have been interpreted as FULL brothers and FULL sisters or paternal brothers and paternal sisters and no ascendants means no male ascendants, by Ulema Kiram)

19. These rules are an obligation imposed by Allah. He knows the wisdom behind these rules (4 : 11, 12)

20. These are the limits set by Allah and his prophet PBUH. Whoever obeys Allah and His messenger PBUH (in matters of inheritance), he will be admitted in gardens (4 : 13)

21. “It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Baqarah 2:180] . This is concerning making the will according to the Shariah.

22. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (regarding matters of inheritance) and transgresses His limits – He will put him into the Fire (4 : 14)

The Shares of Zawil Furoodh (heirs whose shares are exclusively fixed in the Holy Quran) are directly or indirectly derived from these verses of the Holy Quran mentioned above. The residual/remaining will be shares of Asabah.

References from Ahadith and other References

  • Hazrat Amir bin Saad (RA) narrated that that his father said “I became sick during the conquest and was at death’s door. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) came to visit me and I said that Oh Messenger of Allah (PBUH), I have a great deal of wealth & no one will inherit from me apart from my daughter, can I give two thirds in charity? He said ‘No’. I said ‘Then half?’ He said ‘No’. I said ‘One third? He said ‘One third & one third is a lot. If you leave your heirs rich that is better than leaving them destitute & begging from people. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
  • Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Allah’s Apostle said, “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
  • Verily, Allaah has given every rightful person his right, so there is no bequest for an heir.” [At-Tirmithi]
  • “One who kills a man cannot inherit from him” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
  • “The believer does not inherit from a kaafir (disbeliever) and the kaafir does not inherit from a believer.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath 4283)
  • The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Give the Faraid (the shares of the inheritance that are prescribed in the Quran) to those who are entitled to receive it. Then whatever remains, should be given to the closest male relative of the deceased.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  • Reference for ‘Awl’ process: No case of ‘awl occurred at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). Rather the issue first arose at the time of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him), and he was the first one to issue a ruling concerning it, when the case was referred to him of a husband and two sisters (either full sisters or sisters through the father). ‘Umar said: Allah has allocated half to the husband and two thirds to the sisters. If I start with the husband, the two sisters will not be able to have their full share, and if I start with the two sisters, the husband will not be able to have his full share. He consulted the Sahabah (Companions RA of the Holy Prophet PBUH) concerning that and they suggested the process of ‘awl, comparing it to the case of debts if they are greater than the estate, in which case the estate is to be divided proportionately so that the shortfall is borne by all the creditors. The Muslims adopted that from the time of ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) on wards. https://islamqa.info/en/131556
  • Reference for ‘Radd’ Process:  (literal meaning ‘return back’)Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (6/186): To sum up, if the deceased did not leave behind any heir except those who are entitled to an allotted share, such as daughters or sisters or grandmothers, and there is some wealth left over, then what is left over from the allotted shares should be given to them (i.e. returned back or Radd) on the same basis as the allotted shares, except in the case of a husband or wife. This was narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn Mas‘ood and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them all). It was also narrated from al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen, Shurayh, ‘Ata’, Mujaahid, al-Thawri, and Abu Haneefah and his companions. Ibn Suraaqah said: Things are done on this basis now in the regions.

Examples

Now we shall discuss some cases:

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Mother, Wife, son, paternal grandson

1st find Shares of Zawil Furoodh: (Rule 1A)

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 % (Rule 2.1)

Wife: 1/8 12.5 % (Rule 5.1)

Shares of Asabah (Residuaries/remainder): Rule 12b

Remainder = 1 – (1/6 + 1/8) = 1- (4/24 + 3/24) = 17/24

Son will get the rest means 17/24 = 70.83 %

Paternal Grandson Mahjoob (Blocked by son, Rule 15)

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

                        Husband, 2 sons, 2 daughters

Shares: Zawil Furoodh: (Rule 1A)

Husband: ¼ = 25 % (Rule 4.1)

Shares: Asabah: Rule 12b

2 sons and 2 daughters will get the remainder (3/4)

They will share this ¾  in ratio of Son: Daughter = 2 : 1 (Rule 13)

Divide this ¾ into 6 shares, 2 shares each for the 2 sons, 1 share each for the 2 daughters

So each son gets ¾ x 2/6 = ¼ = 25 %

And each daughter gets ¾ x 1/6 = 1/8 = 12.5 %

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Mother, father, wife, daughter, paternal grandfather

Shares: Zawil Furoodh: (Rule 1A)

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 % (Rule 2.1)

Father: 1/6 = 16.66 % (Rule 3.2)

Daughter: ½ = 50 % (Rule 1.2)

Wife: 1/8 = 12.5 % (Rule 5.1)

Paternal grandfather: Blocked by father (Rule 18)

Shares of Asabah:

Remainder = 1- (1/6 + 1/6 + ½ + 1/8) = 1/24

Father gets the Asbaha (Rule 3.2)

So father gets 1/6 + 1/24 = 5/24 = 20.83 %

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Mother, father and 3 daughters

 Shares of Zawil Furoodh:

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Father: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Daughters share 2/3 = 66.66 % (Rule 1.3)

Remaining of Zawil Furoodh = 0 (Asabah = Zero)

(1/6 + 1/6 + 2/3 = 1)

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Wife and son

Share of Zawil Furoodh:

Wife: 1/8 = 12.5 % (Rule 5.1)

Share of Asabah

Son gets the remainder 7/8 = 87.5 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Husband, mother, father

 Hazrat Umar’s special case detected (Rule 29)

 

Husband gets ½ = 50 %

 

Mother gets 1/3 = 33.33 % (Holy Quran 4: 11)

 

Shares of Asabah

 

Remaining = 1 – (1/2 + 1/3) = 1 – 5/6 = 1/6

 

Father gets remaining = 1/6 = 16.66 %

 

BUT Umar (RA) case has been detected here and Umar’s Rule will apply:

 

  1. Father cannot get less than the mother
  2. Parents share will have to be adjusted
  3. Parents will share the remainder with the 2:1 ratio for father & mother

 

So, in this case, instead of mother getting twice as the father (1/3 vs 1/6), it will be adjusted so that the father gets twice as the mother

So father gets 1/3 = 33 %

And the mother gets 1/6 = 16.66 %

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

2 daughters only

Share: Zawil Furoodh

2 daughters 2/3 = 66.66 %

No other heir, so shares of daughters is increased proportionally (Rule 14, Doctrine of Al-Radd)

So now each daughter gets ½ each: ½ + ½ = 1

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

1 daughter, 2 full sisters

Share: Zawil Furoodh

1 Daughter: ½ = 50 % (Rule 1.2)

Share Asabah:

2 full sisters will get remaining half

So each sister will get ¼ = 25 % each

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Daughter, paternal granddaughter of a son who had died, 2 full sisters

Share: Zawil Furoodh

1 Daughter: ½ = 50 %

Paternal Granddaughter of a son who had died: 1/6 = 16.66 % (Rule 6.1)

Share: Asabah

2 full sisters will get remaining 1/3 (1- ½-1/6 = 1/3)

So both sisters get 1/6 = 16.66 % each

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

1 father, 1 full brother

 Share: Zawil Furoodh

Father: 1/6

Share Asabah:

Full brother gets blocked by father (Rule 18)

So father gets all (100%)

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Wife, mother, 2 daughters, full paternal uncle

Shares Zawil Furoodh:

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Wife: 1/8 = 33.33 %

Daughters: 2/3 = 66.66 %

Shares: Asabah

Paternal Uncle will get remainder

Remainder = 1/24 = 4.16 %

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Husband, 1 full sister, 1 full brother

Kalala case

Shares: Zawil Furoodh:

Husband: ½ = 50 %

Share Asabah:

Full brother and full sister will share the remaining ½ in ratio 2 : 1 (Rule 10.3)

Divide remainder into 3 shares; 2 for the brother and 1 for the sister

So brother ½ x 2/3 = 1/3 = 33.33 %

And sister gets ½ x 1/3 = 1/6 = 16.66 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Father, mother, 1 full sister

 Share Zawil Furoodh

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Father: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Share Asabah:

Father blocks share of full sister (Rule 18)

Father gets what is left of Zawil Furoodh (Rule 3.3)

Remainder is 4/6

So father gets 1/6 + 4/6 = 5/6 = 83.33 %

 

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Husband, paternal granddaughter, full male cousin (father’s full brother’s son)

Kalala case

 Share Zawil Furoodh:

Husband: ¼ = 25 %

Paternal Granddaughter: ½ = 50 % (Rule 6.2)

Share Asabah

Full Cousin will inherit in order of priority (Rule 12b)

Remaining = 1- (1/2 + ¼) = ¼

So full cousin gets ¼ = 25 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Husband, paternal granddaughter, full female cousin (father’s full brother’s daughter)

Share Zawil Furoodh:

Husband: ¼ = 25 %

Paternal Granddaughter: ½ = 50 % (Rule 6.2)

Share Asabah

Full female cousin does not inherit; female paternal relatives not included in list of priorities of Asabah (Rule 12b)

Granddaughter will get what remains of Zawil Furoodh through Radd rule

So granddaughter will get total of ¾ = 75 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Mother, maternal brother, paternal brother

Share Zawil Furoodh:

Mother: 1/6 = 16.66 %

Maternal brother: 1/6 = 16.66 % (Rule 11.1)

Share Asabah

Paternal brother will inherit rest in order of priority (Rule 12b)

Remaining = 1 – (1/6 + 1/6) = 4/6

So paternal brother gets 4/6 = 66.66 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Mother, paternal brother, paternal sister

Share Zawil Furoodh:

Wife: ¼ = 25 %

Paternal brother & paternal sister will inherit rest in ratio 2:1 (Rule: 12.3)

Divide remaining ¾ into 3 shares, 2 for the paternal brother and one for the paternal sister

So paternal brother gets ¾ x 2/3 = ½ = 50 %

And paternal sister gets ¾ x 1/3 = ¼ = 25 %

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Wife, Paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, Maternal Grandmother, Maternal grandfather

Share Zawil Furoodh:

Wife: ¼

Paternal grandfather: 1/6 (Rule 7.1)

Maternal grandmother: 1/12 (Rule 9.1)

Paternal grandmother: 1/12 (Rule 8.1)

Shares Asabah

Maternal grandfather: not eligible for inheritance

Paternal Grandfather will get what remains of Zawil Furoodh (7.2)

Total Shares: 12

Wife: ¼ x 13 = 3/12

Paternal grandmother: 1/12

Maternal grandmother: 1/12

Paternal grandfather: 1/6 plus what remains of Zawil Furoodh (6/12) = 7/12

  1. Relatives deceased left behind:

Father, Mother, Wife, 3 daughters

First Find Share of Zawil Furoodh:

Wife: 1/8

3 Daughters: 2/3 (Rule 1.3)

Mother: 1/6

Father: 1/6

Problem: Shares have exceeded unity:

(1/8 + 1/6 + 2/3 + 1/6 > 1.0)

The normal shares of each heir will decrease due to this increase above unity

(Rule Al-Awal)

Calculation for Adjustment for Awal

  • Make all fractions with same denominator
  • Add all the numerators
  • Now take the sum of the numerators as denominator
  • Numerators will remain the same with a different denominator as derived above
  • This ensures that each fraction is reduced proportionately

Common denominator in this case is 24

Father: 4/24

Mother: 4/24

3 Daughters: 16/24

Wife: 3/24

Total of numerators = 4 + 4 + 16 + 3 = 27

So now denominator will be 27, numerators will remain the same

Father: 4/27

Mother: 4/27

3 Daughters: 16/27

Wife: 3/27

To find each daughters share individually, total shares will be 81:

Father 12/81 = 14.81 %

Mother: 12/81 = 14.81 %

Wife: 9/81 = 11.11 %

Each Daughter: 16/81 = 19.75 %

This is the Final Answer

  1. Relatives Left Behind:

1 Wife, Mother, 2 Daughters

Shares of Zawil Furoodh:

Wife 1/8

Mother 1/6

2 or more daughters : 2/3

But there are still some shares left to be distributed

(1/8 + 1/6 + 2/3 < 1)

So now apply rule of Radd:

“Shares should now be increased proportionally among all heirs except the spouse”

Calculation for Adjustment for Radd (With Spouse)

  1. Make all fractions with same denominator
  2. A = Calculate the remaining shares after taking out spouses’ share
  • B = Apply Awal to all relatives except the spouse and calculate shares fraction for each

3. Multiply A & B to give all relatives (except the spouse because his/her share is fixed) the increased share fraction

 

  1. In this case common denominator is 24
  2. Remaining shares = 21/24 (Take out wife’s share). A= 21/24
  • Apply Awal calculation:
  • Add numerators : 4 + 16 = 20
  • Now take the sum of the numerators as denominator :
  • B = For Mother 4/20,  For 2 Daughters 16/20

3. Multiply A x B

  • For Mother 21/24 x 4/20 = 7/40
  • For 2 Daughters 21/24 x 16/20 = 28/40

So final shares and percentages of total inheritance:

Wife : 1/8 = 12.5 %

Mother 7/40 = 17.5 %

2 Daughters : 28/40 = 70 % , Each daughter gets 35 %

(Now total is 100 % , 12.5 + 17.5 + 70 = 100)

Conclusion

I think these 20 examples are enough for understanding the basic laws of inheritance. If still one has any queries, one may ask.

And Allah knows best

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the formula for adjustment for Al-Radd & Al-Awal?

Answer: 

Calculation for Adjustment for Radd (If No Spouse)

  • Make all fractions with same denominator
  • Add all the numerators
  • Now take the sum of the numerators as denominator
  • Numerators will remain the same with a different denominator as derived above
  • This ensures that each fraction is increased proportionately

Calculation for Adjustment for Radd (With Spouse)-More Complex

  • Make all fractions with same denominator
  • A = Calculate the remaining shares after taking out spouses’ share
  • B = Apply Awal (see below) to all relatives except the spouse and calculate shares fraction for each
  • Multiply A & B to give all relatives (except the spouse because his/her share is fixed) the increased share fraction

Calculation for Adjustment for Awal

  • Make all fractions with same denominator
  • Add all the numerators
  • Now take the sum of the numerators as denominator
  • Numerators will remain the same with a different denominator as derived above
  • This ensures that each fraction is reduced proportionately

Example of Awal:

Given in example 2 above.

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