Wed, 06 Dec 2023

ilm al-fari (Arabic: "knowledge of the compulsory shares") is the name given to Islamic inheritance law. Islamic teachings are found in the Qur'an and hadith, which specifies the shares of deceased relatives in an estate's property. The objective of Islamic inheritance law is to prevent disagreement and disputes over inheritances by stipulating how much each relative should receive. The Islamic Inheritance Law is founded on the fair and equitable distribution among heirs. However, several verses of the Qur'an stipulate different shares for various kin.

A spouse is entitled to a twofold portion of his wife's inheritance, and a parent is entitled to a double portion of their child's inheritance. In addition, Islamic law states that certain relatives, such as orphans and the destitute, shall receive preferential treatment in inheritances. In circumstances with no direct heirs, Islamic inheritance law stipulates what should occur. These measures ensure that inheritances are dispersed fairly among all surviving family members.

A deceased individual's estate is inherited per Islamic inheritance law. This system of laws governs the distribution of a deceased person's assets and liabilities among his or her heirs. Regulations govern who inherits what and how the remainder is distributed among all beneficiaries. Understanding the Islamic law of inheritance will help ensure that your loved ones receive a fair portion of your estate upon death.

Shariah law considers inheritance after a person's death a vital principle. According to the Quran, Hadith, and Sunnah, relatives with a blood link to the deceased are eligible to inherit their belongings.

In accordance with the Shari'ah, one of the four essential obligations that must be completed as soon as a Muslim dies is the distribution of their possessions to their heirs. Initially, it is necessary to determine which relatives are eligible to inherit and how much they can receive.

Due to the constraints, Shari'ah law lays on the testamentary power of the testator, also known as the person who prepares a will, the Islamic law of inheritance has a very high significance in Islam. This legislation dates back to the time of the Arabian Peninsula when only male agnate cousins had inheritance rights.

Following the revelation of the Quran and its injunctions, inheritance was established such that the son takes precedence over the father, the father over the brother, and the brother over the paternal uncles.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA) claimed that 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." 

There may be a difference between Shia and Sunni inheritance beliefs. Sunni adhere to the Quranic Law, an amalgamation of the previous customary law, while Shia refuses to believe, claiming that the Quran did not sanction this law and hence new laws must be implemented.

Only three passages in the Quran (4:11, 4:12, 4:176) address the inheritance portion. Primary heirs are those who are entitled to the share without restriction.

The passage states, "Allah commands you regarding your children. For the male, a share is equivalent to that of two females." 'A male's share is equivalent to that of two females,' specifying the inheritance distribution between males and females. Son inherits an amount equal to that of two daughters, germane brother inherits twice as much as a full sister, and grandson inherits twice as much as a granddaughter.

In addition, other primary heirs may include both the parents and the spouse. Following this are the residuary members of the Asaba, who are male or sometimes female relatives entitled to inherit after the primary heirs' share has been allocated.

Without heirs, the deceased's entire estate passes to Bayt al-mal. A nonbeliever and adoptive children are exceptions to the inheritance rule. In the presence of a shared father, a half-brother is also excluded by the full-brother, but this is not the case in the presence of the same mother.

Using an Islamic inheritance calculator, one can estimate the distribution of shares among heirs in accordance with Islamic law.

The Quran and Hadith provide the foundation of Islamic inheritance law. Muslims worldwide adhere to the precise inheritance regulations outlined in the Quran. It is a system that distributes a deceased person's assets to their heirs. Inheritance law in Islam differs from other systems in numerous ways.

  • First, it gives blood relatives preference over non-blood relatives.
  • Second, it distributes a fixed share to each heir instead of dividing the inheritance equally among them.
  • Thirdly, it does not permit certain heirs, such as spouses and children, to be excluded from the inheritance.
  • Lastly, Islamic Inheritance law stipulates that all of the deceased's debts must be paid from their estate before any distribution to heirs.

Despite their apparent complexity, Islamic inheritance rules are designed to ensure that everyone is treated equally and that assets are dispersed in accordance with Islamic norms.

Prophet Muhammad's inheritance (PBUH)

As per the Sunnah, there is no actual practice regarding inheritance, as it is thought that it did not occur as described in the Quran. Abu Bakar (RA) said that the Prophet (PBUH) declared, "We leave no inheritance; what we leave behind us is sadaqah."
This led to a disagreement between Shia and Sunni, as many of Muhammad's relatives were dissatisfied with the testimony, which looked to be a source of injustice for his family.


The law on the testator was reviewed briefly in the preceding section; now, we will delve into the regulations governing the creation of an Islamic will. It is essential for fulfilling your religious obligation and preventing future family issues. You compile a list of your possessions, known as an estate. You can handle this independently; however, a lawyer is required because it is a legal document.

This will comprise numerous components, including the beneficiaries, guardians, witnesses, etc. You also indicate in your will that all funeral and burial ceremonies shall be performed in accordance with Islamic law, which prohibits post-mortem examination, mandates burial immediately after death, etc.

Islamic law does not give the testator complete testamentary freedom. Even though you pick what you're leaving and to whom, you must do so in accordance with Islamic law and its restrictions. Two-thirds of the distribution is governed by the Quran, while the remaining one-third is left to the testator's discretion. This restriction also applies to the number of shares. As a Muslim, you should create a will within two nights of acquiring any property.

Islamic law of inheritance is a system of Islamic law that governs the distribution of Islamic wealth among successors. It is founded on the Quran and Hadith and differs among Islamic schools of thought. The Islamic inheritance law is complex and considers several criteria, including the deceased's relationship with the heir, the amount of property involved, and whether the heir is male or female. The Islamic law of inheritance is an essential component of Islamic jurisprudence, and it considerably impacts Islamic family law.

Frequently, Muslims overlook estate planning, a financial strategy to secure one's possessions after death. A lack of information regarding estate planning will render your possessions unclaimed unless they are titled in your name. The Prophet (PBUH) stated, 'It is better for you to leave your heirs wealthy than penniless and begging, and everything you spend for Allah's sake would be regarded a charitable deed, even the handful of food you give your wife.

Islamic Estate Planning aims to ensure that your assets are inherited. Similar principles apply here, with two-thirds of the population belonging to the Faraid and one-third to the non-Faraid. The sum of the division of assets is fixed but may be altered if all relatives agree. The essence of Estate Planning in Islam is to provide counsel and advice to those in need, as well as your potential heirs.

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