Friday Sermon: Inheritance According To Islamic Sharia Law, by Aliyu Shugaba

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—Friday Sermon: Inheritance According To Islamic Sharia Law, by Aliyu Shugaba

Assalamu alaikum, peace and blessings of Allah upon our Noble Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
Today we are discussing inheritance in Islam,
When a believer dies it becomes incumbent on the family members to ensure that the wealth and property left behind are distributed according to Shariah Law prescribed in the Qur’an and Authentic Sunnah. After meeting the initial expenses incurred in giving the deceased an Islamic burial, and, after paying all of his debts and the “mahar” (dowry) that may still be due, to his wife, up to one-third of the remaining may be expended according to the deceased dying wishes or legal will that is left behind, for those who are NOT entitled by Shariah only.
The remainder must be distributed to all the legal heirs as defined by Qur’an and Authentic Sunnah as detailed hereunder.
Zakat payments, if any, that are due by the deceased must be paid even before the settlements of the debts and even before the burial expenses are utilized from the property of the deceased.
Ten groups amongst Male Heirs are entitled as follows:
1. son;
2. son’s son
3. father;
4. father’s father;
5. brother;*
– half brother*
– step brother*
6. brother’s son;
half brother’s son;
7. father’s brother;
father’s half – brother;
8. son of father’s brother;
son of father’s half – brother;
9. husband
10. The freed male slave.
(children of one father and one mother are referred to as brothers/sisters)
(children of a father through different mothers as half – brothers/ half – sisters)
(children of a mother and through different fathers as step –brother / step – sister)

Seven groups amongst Female Heirs are entitled as follows:
1. daughter
2. son’s daughter;
3. mother;
4. grandmother; 5. sister;
6. wife
7. freed slave – girl

If none of the seventeen groups of people mentioned above is alive his wealth wil be distributed among his Arham, i.e., non- inheriting relations.
Eleven groups of Heirs come under the class of Arham:
1. children of daughter;
2. children of sister;
3. brother’s daughter;
4. daughter of father’s younger or elder brother;
5. father’s step brother;
6. maternal uncle;
7. mother’s sister;
8. father’s sister;
9. mother’s father;
10. mother’s father’s mother;
11. children of mother’s sister.
There are six fractions of shares mentioned in the Quran: viz;
2/3, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/3, 1/6.

The 2/3 share is
1. for two or more daughters;
2. for two or more son’s daughters;
3. for two or more sisters;
4. for two or more half- sister;

The 1/3 share is
1. for two or more of mother’s children;
2. for the mother in the absence of child, or son’s child or two or more brothers or sisters;
3. some times for the grand father when there are brothers and sisters,

The 1/2 share is
1. For one of the four sets of females mentioned above when she is alone.
2. for the husband when his wife leaves no issue.

The 1/4 share is
1. for the husband when the wife leaves children;
2. for the wife when the husband leaves no children

The 1/8 share is
1. for the wife when her husband leaves children

The 1/6 share is
1. for the father when the deceased leaves children;
2. for the grandfather;
3. for the mother when the deceased leaves children or two or more brothers and sisters;
4. for the grandmother when the deceased leaves children or two or more brothers and sisters;
5. for the son’s daughter when the deceased has one daughter;
6. for one or more half – sisters when there is a sister
7. for two or mother’s children;
When a father and spouse are alive, after assigning the respective shares due to them, One Third of the Remainder will be assigned to the mother.
The portion assigned to the wife has to be shared equally by two or three of four wives.
Disentitlement of inheritance
Those who are closet in relation ship to the deceased will disentitle others who are distantly related.
1. The son disentitles the son’s children
2. The father disentitles the grand father;
3. The mother disentitles her mother;
4. A father and mother disentitle the father’s mother
5. The father and/or the son disentitled the brother
6. These three (father, son, brother) disentitle the half brother
7. The father, grandfather, and children disentitle the step – brother.
8. The father, the grandfather, the son, the son’s son, the brother, the half- brother, disentitle the brother’s son.
9. The above seven persons disentitle the son of the half- brother
10. The above eight persons disentitle the brother of the father.
11. The above nine persons disentitle the half- brother of the father
12. The above ten persons disentitle the son of a half-brother of the father.

An ‘ Asaba, i.e an agnate, gets into possession of that portion of a deceased’s wealth that is left over after the appropriate shares have been paid. He gets possession of the entire wealth when there are no others entitled to the deceased’s wealth.

An ‘ Asaba is a son, son’s son, father, father’s father, brother, half brother, their sons, a brother of the father or his sons.

Next to an Asaba as inheritor is the male freed slave and the male issue of his Asaba.

If there are males as well as females among those that cannot disentitle each other, the males will get two shares each while the females get one share each. Asaba – male relation on the paternal side.

There are four means of inheritance
1. Inheritance by lineage
2. inheritance by marriage ties
3. inheritance by a slave obtaining freedom
4. Inheritance by a public body or establishment like the Baitul Mal or Treasury.

There are four means by which inheritance may be lost.
1. The inheritor having any connection (even indirectly) with the cause of the death of the person whose heir he is
2. his becoming a Kafir
3. his becoming a slave
4. Uncertainty as to who died earlier.
A son’s son is like son, but he will not get the ratio of 2:1 with the daughter (of the deceased) .

A mother’s mother and a father’s mother are like a mother, but they will have no claim to one third of the wealth. The share of these two will always be one sixth.

A father’s father is like a father, but he will not disentitle the brothers. He will get his share together with the brothers.

A son’s daughter is like a daughter, but she will be disentitled by the son.
A half- brother is like a bother but he will not get the ratio of 2:1 with a sister.

Al-QURAN – CHAPTER 4 – Al-Nissa – Verses 11,12 & 176
4:11 Allah commands you as regards your children (inheritance),
To the MALE , a portion equal to that of TWO FEMALES ;
If (there are) only DAUGHTERS, two or more, their share is TWO-THIRDS of the inheritance;
If only one, her share is HALF .
For PARENTS, a SIXTH share of inheritance to
EACH if the deceased left CHILDREN ;
If NO CHILDREN , and the PARENTS are the ( ONLY ) heirs, the MOTHER has a THIRD ;
If the deceased left BROTHERS or ( SISTERS ), the MOTHER has a SIXTH .
(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.
4:12 In that which your WIVES leave, your share is a HALF if they have NO CHILD;But if they leave a CHILD you get a FOURTH of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts.
In that which YOU leave, their ( YOUR WIVES ) share is a FOURTH if you have NO CHILD;But if you leave a CHILD they get an EIGHTH of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts.

If the MAN or WOMAN whose inheritance is in question has left NEITHER ASCENDANTS NOR DESCENDANTS (Al-Khalala), but has left a BROTHER or a SISTER, EACH ONE of the two gets a SIXTH ; but if MORE THAN TWO, they share in a THIRD ; after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone).

THIS IS A COMMANDMENT FROM ALLAH; And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forebearing.
4:176 They ask you for a legal verdict, Say, “Allah directs (thus) about Al-Khalala (those who leave neither ascendants nor descendants as heirs).
If it is a MAN that dies, leaving A SISTER but NO CHILD , SHE shall have HALF the inheritance.

If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left
NO CHILD , her BROTHER takes her
INHERITANCE .
If there are TWO SISTERS , they shall have TWO-THIRDS of the inheritance;
If there are BROTHERS and SISTERS , the male will have TWICE the share of the female.
(Thus) does Allah make clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. And Allah is the All-Knower of everything.

Note: 4:12 refers to UTERINE (same mother, diff father) siblings while 4:176 refers to FULL (same father and mother) or CONSANGUINE (same father diff mother) siblings
LEVEL I – PRIMARY (Immediate) HEIRS
The primary (or immediate) heirs classified as Level I are:-
1. The SPOUSE (Husband or a maximum of four Wives)
2. The CHILDREN (Sons and Daughters)
3. The PARENTS (Father & Mother)
4. The GRANDCHILDREN (Sons’s SON or Son’s DAUGHTER only)
(applicable only when the SON is already deceased only and has offspring)
LEVEL II – SECONDARY HEIRS
The secondary heirs classified as Level II are:-
1. The GRANDPARENTS (Paternal and Maternal)
2. The BROTHERS and/or SISTERS (In the absence of Father and Son ONLY)
3. The UNCLES and/or AUNTS (In the absence of Grandparents ONLY)
4. The NEPHEWS and/or NIECES (In the absence of Brothers and Sisters ONLY)

Note: It is not practical to go beyond Grandparents as the chances of Greatgrandparents surviving before you is not very high. However, the logic is that in the absence of a particular heir, the next level becomes eligible for inheritance. Eg; If the Grandparents are dead THEN the Great Grandparents are entitled (if living only) and so on. It is better, for practicality and convenience to limit the inheritance level up to The GrandParents and the Grandchildren. If we attempt to go beyond these levels there will be no limit to the program logic validation.
Under Islamic Law, the primary beneficiaries of a deceased person are his/her IMMEDIATE (Level I) Heirs. ie; Spouse(s), Children, Parents and Grandchildren (if children are deceased only). The Grandchildren that are entitled are only the Son’s Son or the Son’s Daughter. Daughters children are not entitled even if the Daughter is deceased.

In the absence of some or all of these heirs the secondary beneficiaries (Level II) become Heirs under various conditions. In the absence of a particular Heir (eg; Uncle) if and when he/she is entitled the children of that Heir become eligible.

LEVEL I – Inheritance Logic:
1. SHARE OF HUSBAND
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST (ie; Children/Grandchildren)
THEN
HUSBAND = 1/2
IF ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST (ie; Children/Grandchildren)
THEN
HUSBAND = 1/4
Note: ENTITLED DESCENDANTS = Sons, Daughters, Son’s Son, & Son’s Daughter. Daughter’s children are NOT treated as entitled descendants.

2. SHARE OF WIFE
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST (ie; Children/Grandchildren)
THEN
WIFE = 1/4
IF ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST (ie; Children/Grandchildren)
THEN
WIFE = 1/8
Note: ENTITLED DESCENDANTS = Sons, Daughters, Son’s Son, & Son’s Daughter. Daughter’s children are NOT treated as entitled descendants.

3. SHARE OF DAUGHTER’(s)
IF ONLY ONE DAUGHTER (and NO Sons)
THEN
DAUGHTER = 1/2
IF TWO OR MORE DAUGHTERS ONLY (and NO Sons)
THEN
DAUGHTERS = 2/3
(to be shared equally between all of them)
IF both SON’s & DAUGHTERS EXIST,
THEN
SON:DAUGHTER = 2:1

4. SHARE OF FATHER
IF ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST
(Sons, Daughters, Son’s Sons, Son’s Daughters)
THEN
FATHER = 1/6
IF NO MALE DESCENDANTS EXIST (Sons, Son’s Sons)
THEN
FATHER = 1/6 plus Residue
(residue = remainder after all legal shares are distributed)
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST
THEN
FATHER = Residue

5. SHARE OF MOTHER
IF ENTITLED DESCENDANTS or BROTHERS/SISTERS EXIST
THEN
MOTHER = 1/6
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS EXIST
THEN
IF NO BROTHERS/SISTERS, NO FATHER, NO SPOUSE EXIST
THEN
MOTHER = 1/3
IF BROTHERS/SISTERS, FATHER, or SPOUSE EXIST
THEN
MOTHER = 1/3 of Residue

6. UTERINE BROTHER/SISTER ( from same Mother, different father)
IF ONE UTERINE BROTHER/SISTER EXIST
THEN
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS and NO MALE ASCENDANTS
(Father/Father’s Father etc)
THEN
UTERINE BROTHER = 1/6 or UTERINE SISTER = 1/6
IF TWO OR MORE UTERINE BROTHERS/SISTERS EXIST
THEN
IF NO ENTITLED DESCENDANTS .AND.NO MALE ASCENDANTS
(Father/Father’s Father etc.)
THEN
ALL UTERINE BROTHERS & SISTERS = 1/3
Note: If there are UTERINE Brothers/Sisters IN ADDITION to FULL Brothers/Sisters (same father/mother), then they share in the residue.

7. SHARE OF SON’S DAUGHTER
IF ONE SON’S DAUGHTER EXIST
THEN
IF NO DAUGHTERS EXIST
THEN
IF NO SON’S SON EXIST
THEN
SON’S DAUGHTER = 1/2
IF SON’S SON EXIST
THEN
SON’S DAUGHTER = HALF SHARE OF SON’S SON
(ie Son’s SON share: Son’s DAUGHTER share = 2:1)
IF TWO OR MORE SON’S DAUGHTERS EXIST
THEN
IF NO DAUGHTERS EXIST
THEN
IF NO SON’S SONs EXIST
THEN
SON’S DAUGHTERS = 2/3 (equally between them)
IF SON’s SON EXISTS
THEN
SON’S DAUGHTER = HALF SHARE OF SON’S SON
(ie Son’s SON share: Son’s DAUGHTER share = 2:1)

8. SHARE OF FULL BROTHER/SISTER
(Full Brother/Sisters are brothers/sisters from the same FATHER & MOTHER)
Brothers & Sisters inherit ONLY when there are NO Descendants (Son/Sons, Son’s son
etc.) and NO Ascendants (Father/Grandfather etc.)
The arabic word “ AL-KHALALA ” is used in the Quran, Chapter 4 – Al-Nisa, Verses 12 & 176,
which is translated by almost all the translators of the Quran to mean “Ascendants & Descendants” thus giving rise to the interpretation that they include “Parents and Children”. However, many scholars have preferred to classify the word as meaning “Father or Son” thus excluding the female components of both Ascendants and Descendants (mother & daughters).
IF NO FULL BROTHER and NO FEMALE ENTITLED DESCENDANT EXIST
(daughter, Son’s daughter etc.)
THEN
IF deceased was MALE,
THEN
FULL SISTER = 1/2 (if only ONE)
IF NO FULL SISTER and NO FEMALE ENTITLED DESCENDANT EXIST
THEN
IF deceased was FEMALE,
THEN
FULL BROTHER = 1 (if only ONE)
IF TWO OR MORE BROTHERS & SISTERS
THEN
FULL SISTERs = 2/3 (shared equally between them)
FULL BROTHER’s & SISTER’s (combination) = 2:1
IF NO FULL BROTHER EXIST but FEMALE ENTITLED DESCENDANT EXIST
(daughter, Son’s daughter etc.)
THEN
FULL SISTER = 1/6 (if only one)
IF NO FULL SISTER EXIST but FEMALE ENTITLED DESCENDANT EXIST
THEN
FULL BROTHER = 1/6 (if only one)
IF FEMALE ENTITLED DESCENDANT EXIST
THEN
FULL SISTERS & BROTHERS = 1/3 (share equally)

9. CONSANGUINE SISTER (Sister from same Father but different Mother)
Consanguine Sisters inherit ONLY when there are NO SON’s or Son’s SON(s) AND NO FATHER AND NO FULL BROTHER.
IF ONLY ONE FULL SISTER AND NO CONSANGUINE BROTHER
THEN
CONSANGUINE SISTER (if only one) = 1/2
CONSANGUINE SISTER(s ) (if two or more) = 2/3
IF ONE FULL SISTER AND CONSANGUINE BROTHER(s)
THEN
( CONSANGUINE) BROTHER:SISTER = 2:1

10. TRUE GRANDMOTHER
True Grandmother is defined as the one whose line of connection with the deceased is NOT interrupted by a MALE between two FEMALES. They are entitled ONLY if the FATHER or MOTHER do not exist.
Eg; Mother’s MOTHER, Father’s MOTHER
Father’s Father’s MOTHER, Mother’s Mother’s MOTHER
TRUE GRANDMOTHER = 1/6

11. TRUE GRANDFATHER
True Grandfather is the one whose line of connection with the deceased is NOT interrupted by a FEMALE between two MALES. They are entitled ONLY if the Father or Mother do not exist.
Eg; Father’s FATHER
Father’s Father’s FATHER
Mother’s FATHER
Mother’s Father’s FATHER
TRUE GRANDFATHER = 1/6 IF MALE DESCENDANTS EXIST (Son, etc)
TRUE GRANDFATHER = 1/6 + Residue IF FEMALE descendants exist
TRUE GRANDFATHER = Residue IF NO Male/Female descendants exist

12. UNCLES & AUNTS (Father’s/Mother’s Brothers & Sisters)
Uncles and Aunts are ONLY entitled in the absence of GRANDPARENTS. This means that they will receive shares ONLY if there are NO Parents AND Grandparents because Grandparents do not inherit when the Parents are living. They will also NOT inherit if the children (or children’s children) of the deceased are living. Proportions here are also in the ratio of 2:1 for Male:Female.

13. NEPHEWS & NIECES (Children of Brothers/Sisters)
Nephews and Nieces are ONLY entitled in the absence of Brothers and Sisters. This means that they take the shares of the Brothers/Sisters of the deceased in their absence. Hence a Nepew/Niece will receive what his/her parent (Brother/Siuster of the deceased) would have received if he/she was alive. They will also NOT inherit if the children (or children’s children) of the deceased are living. Proportions here are also 2:1 for Male:Female .

For more questions you can reach us on 08033141453.
May Allah assist us and guide us to the straight path.
Wa Salamu alaikum.

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