Inheritance is a very important part in Islamic education. Islam puts so much emphasis on law of inheritance. It is announced by our beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H) that it is in fact half of the knowledge of Islam. Allah has commanded in Quran that there is a share in the property of a man of every person related to him in a specific percentage. The detailed percentage is exactly mentioned in Quran and then by the Hadith of our beloved Prophet. The law of inheritance breaks down the monopoly actually. All the commandments of Quran are not that clear but the share of inheritance is clear in it. So let us know what inheritance in Islam is.
Inheritance is a process by which the property, belongings, debts etc of a deceased person are passed on to the near ones.
Law of inheritance
The law of inheritance is described in Quran in Surah Al Nissa. The verse 11 to 14 deals with this law. These are very short but fully elaborated as well.
Heirs in Islam
In Islam, there are three categories of heirs to whom the property or belongings of deceased can be transferred
- Direct heirs
- Indirect heirs
Direct heirs mean those who are dependent on the deceased for their day to day life. Following is the list of direct heirs.
- Grand parents
These are the blood relations who are not directly dependent on the deceased for their daily expenses but are closely related to him.
If no heir direct or indirect
If a person has no direct or indirect heir then his property belongs to the state.
Obligations before dividing property
There are two obligations before dividing the property of deceased.
If deceased had made any will then that should be followed before sharing the property.
If deceased has any debts then those should be paid from property before sharing the property.
Share of sons and daughters
According to Islamic law, for a son there is double share as compared to a daughter
No son only daughters
if there is no son then every daughter should have 2/3 share.
If only one daughter
If there is only one daughter then she will get the half of the whole property.
If only one son
If there is only son then he will get the whole property.
Share of wife of the deceased
If no children
If there are no children of deceased then ¼ share of the property will be given to the wife.
If deceased have children then wife will get 1/8 of the property.
Share of parents of deceased
If deceased person have one or both parents then the each of them should get 1/6 of the property as their share and the remaining 2/3 part of the property will be divided into the children.
If no children of deceased
If the deceased have no children then mother should get 1/3 and father should get 2/3 of the whole property.
If no children but siblings
If the deceased have siblings then mother will get 1/6 and the other share will be divided into the siblings.
Property of a wife
The property of the wife will be divided as well after the execution of will or clearance of any remaining debts. After that the property will be shared amongst the family members as per the laws of Islam.
If no children
If wife has deceased then the share of the property for the husband is ½ of the whole property if she has no children. The ½ property will be divided into the parents or siblings of the deceased wife.
Deceased lady with children
If lay left behind children then husband will get ¼ of the property and ¾ part will be divided into the children ( 2 parts for boy and 1 for girl)
If deceased is alone
This means that there are no children and no parents then the share will be divided into siblings but it is divided into three categories as well. This division is not made to differentiate amongst the share but to tell clearly that all should get share from property.
- Blood siblings
- Siblings from one father but different mothers
- Same mother but different fathers
Share in property
If only one sister and brother of deceased then they will get 1/6 share and if more then 1/3 of the whole property.
In accordance with Islam, there is no share for adopted children.
Why males get double the share of female
A male is the provider of the woman. He is responsible for the needs and necessities of their subordinates like wife, parents, children, sisters that is why they get the double share. The share of a female remains with her alone; she don’t have to spend the money on the parents or children or brothers of her husband. She is the sole owner of this property but her brother is responsible even for her expenses if she is in such a need. It is not a loss but a benefit for a female.
Wife cannot be divorced by sick husband
- It is a fatwa from scholars that if a husband is on his dead bed he cannot divorce his wife just to deprive her of his property and inheritance.
- There is another fatwa as well that if a husband divorces a wife during his sickness and he dies of that sickness within one year then the wife will be entitled to inheritance as well.
Punishment of depriving someone from the inheritance
- Allah will throw the transgressor into hell fire.
- The wealth will not benefit the transgressor.
Hadith about inheritance
- Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The custom (in old days) was that the property of the deceased would be inherited by his offspring; as for the parents (of the deceased), they would inherit by the will of the deceased. Then Allah cancelled from that custom whatever He wished and fixed for the male double the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy) and for the wife an eighth or a fourth and for the husband a half or a fourth.sahih bukhari book of wills hadith 2747
- Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “My heirs will not inherit a Dinar or a Dirham (i.e. money), for whatever I leave (excluding the adequate support of my wives and the wages of my employees) is given in charity.” Sahih bukhari book of wills hadith 2776
(If you find any mistake in this article please feel free to contact us and point it out. We will try to correct it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah bless us all with the authentic knowledge of Islam. May this effort of ours ease the way of jannah for our family).