- Islamic inheritance jurisprudence
:"This is a sub-article to
Islamic economical jurisprudenceand inheritance.Islamic Inheritance jurisprudence is the field of Islamic Jurisprudence istr|fiqh that deals with inheritance, a topic that is prominently dealt with in the Qur'an.
Inheritance Law in Islam
Inheritance in an integral part of Islamic Shariah Law and its application in Islamic society is a mandatory aspect of Devine teaching of Islam. Muslim inherits from each other is proven from Quran:
لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا
“4:7 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] Hence, there is a legal share for relatives of the deceased in his estate/property. When a person dies there are four rights that needs to be performed his property: Right # 1: Pay his/her funeral and burial expenses
Right # 2: Pay his/her debts
Right # 3: Execute his Will/bequest (max 1/3 of his/her property)
Right # 4: Distribute remainder of his/her estate/property according to Islamic Shariah Law
With relates to the inheritance, the
Mohammadsaid: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: “The Prophet said, "Give the Fara'id (the shares of the inheritance that are prescribed in the Qur'an) 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] [Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 80 Laws of Inheritance (Al-Faraa'id), Number 724:]
With relates to will/bequest, Mohammad said: 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] [Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 51 Wills and Testaments (Wasaayaa), Number 1] [http://learndeen.com/cm/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=66 Read more...]
In historical context, within Arabian Peninsula prior to Islam, the system of inheritance was confined to male agnates (Asabah) relatives of the deceased. Women not only didn’t have any share in inheritance, they themselves were inheritable. Siblings from mother side were also completely excluded (i.e. half-brother/sisters from mother’s side). The Quranic verses on inheritance introduce new set of heirs. Quran mentioned nine relatives specifically, of which six were female and three were male. Quran also include other male relatives like husband and half-brothers from mother’s side, which were excluded from inheritance in old customs. Quran elevated the position of women by identifying their share of entitlement in clear terms and provided women security and safeguard in the society. Quran didn’t explicitly mention the share of male agnate relatives, such as of Son, but it provided the rule that males share is twice as of female share of same level, i.e. if deceased has both boys and girls, boys share is twice of girls. This Quranic injunction is fully understood and appreciated when one looks at entire Shariah law of which inheritance law is a part, and that Allah (swt) has bestowed the responsibility and accountability on men to provide safety, protection and sustenance to their women [Quran 4:34] .
Quran, Chapter 4:34 – An-Nisa [The Women] - الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ– “4:34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.”. Mawdudi explained: “A qawwam or qayyim is a person responsible for administering and supervising the affairs of either an individual or an organization, for protecting and safeguarding them and taking care of their needs.” [Tafheem] In additional, Quran imposed a restriction on testamentary powers of a Muslim to dispose of his property. Muslim can only give out max of 1/3 of their property/estate in their will [Quran, Verses 2:180-182, 2:240, 4:33, 5:106-107] . [http://learndeen.com/cm/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=66 Read more...]
Importance of Inheritance Law in Islam
These rules of Inheritance in Islam are fundamental and mandatory part of Islamic Shariah law and Elm (Knowledge) that are part of Elm-Faraid (علم الفرأض), the means “Science of Inheritance Shares”. The word al-Faraid (الفرأض) is plural form of al-Faridah (الفريضة), which means something made obligatory by Allah (swt).
Learning the science of al-Faraid is obligatory on a Muslim Community and fulfill the order of Allah (swt) with relates to inheritance.
عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا أبا هريرة تعلموا الفرائض وعلموها فإنه نصف العلم وهو ينسى وهو أول شيء ينزع من أمتي
Abu Hurairah reported that Mohammad said: “O Abu Hurairah, learn Fara’id (the shares of the inheritance that are prescribed in the Quran) and teach it to them. Indeed it is half of the knowledge.” [Sunnan Ibn Majjah ] [Sunnan Ibn Majjah, Book “Al-Fara’id”]
Abdullah bin Abbas reported that Mohammad said: “Give the Fara’id (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 closed male relative of the deceased.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari] [Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 80 Laws of Inheritance (Al-Faraa'id), Number 724]
Will (وصية) vs Inheritance (ميراث): In Islamic Law, the inheritance from the deceased person is defined by Shariah Law. However, a person is entitled to make his own will for 1/3 of his wealth/assets. Hence: A. Inheritance: 2/3 of wealth/assets are distributed based on Shariah Law. This is called (ميراث)
B. Will: 1/3 of wealth/assets are distributed based on Person’s Will, if he chooses to write his will. This is called “Al-Wasiyyah” (وصية). Shariah has placed two restrictions on Testator (موصي, one who make Will وصية):
1. Firstly, to whom he can bequeath his wealth/assets
2. Secondly, the amount that he can bequeath (which is 1/3 of overall)
It is important for Muslims to write their wills, as Mohammad said: 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] [http://learndeen.com/cm/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=66 Read more...]
Women and inheritance
In Islam, women are entitled the right of
inheritance, ["From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share." Sura 4:7 [http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html#004.007] ] but often a woman's share of inheritance is less than that of a man's.
In general circumstances, Islam allots females half the inheritance share available to males who have the same degree of relation to the deceased in some (though not all) circumstances. For example, where the deceased has both male and female children, a son's share is double that of a daughter's. [
Qur'an, Quran-usc|4|11.] Additionally, the sister of a childless man inherits half of his property upon his death, while a brother of a childless woman inherits all of her property. [ Qur'an, Quran-usc|4|126]
Islamic scholars hold that the original reason for this difference is the responsibilities alloted to spouses. A husband in Islam must use his inheritance to support his family while a wife has no support obligations. Also, men had to pay the
dowryto women in marriage while women did not have to pay anything to men. Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, " Mizan", [http://www.renaissance.com.pk/marfeart2y3.html The Islamic Law of Economics] , Al-Mawrid] [ [http://library.tebyan.net/books1/1015.htm Tafsir Nemooneh] , Sura Nisa, v.12 ]
The Qur'an does not discriminate between men and women in cases of "
kalalah" relation. ["If a man or a woman is made an heir on account of his [or her] "kalalah" relationship [with the deceased] and he [or she] has one brother or sister, then the brother or sister shall receive a sixth, and if they be more than this, then they shall be sharers in one-third, after payment of any legacies bequeathed and any [outstanding] debts – without harming anyone. This is a command from God, and God is Gracious and All-Knowing." Qur'an, Quran-usc|4|12.] ["People ask your pronouncement. Say: God enjoins you about your "kalalah" heirs that if a man dies childless and he has only a sister, then she shall inherit half of what he leaves and if a sister dies childless, then her brother shall be her heir; and if there are two sisters, then they shall inherit two-thirds of what he [or she] leaves. If there are many brothers and sisters, then the share of each male shall be that of two females. God expounds unto you that you err not and God has knowledge of all things." Qur'an, Quran-usc|4|176.] "Kalalah" describes a person who leaves behind neither parents nor children; it also means all the relatives of a deceased except his parents and children, and it also denotes the relationships which are not through [the deceased’s] parents or children.
Other Scholars Views on Islamic Inheritance
Professor Almaric Rumsey (1825-1899) from King's College, University of London, wrote in one of his many legal books, " [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 civilised world." [Rumsey, A. Moohummudan Law of Inheritance. (1880)]
Women and Islam
* [http://learndeen.com/cm/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=106&Itemid=66 Inheritance Law in Islam]
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