Islamic inheritance law has appealed to many Muslim and non-Muslim authors, scholars, lawyers, attorneys, and professionals. The origin of Islamic Inheritance law begins with the revelation of the Holy Quran through the beloved Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
Before starting your learning journey, you should note what you will get from the literature. You will find the following categories of authors and literature for Islamic law of inheritance and more.
#1 MUSLIM COMPANIONS, IMAM, AND SCHOLARS
The traditional authors or scholars respect the Sunni Muslim faith. They write literature that is entirely in alignment with Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. They follow the references based on the Holy Quran, Sunnah, Ijma, and Qiyas without any alterations. You can find the work of companions, authors, and scholars below. Click on each of the ICONS below to find out their extraordinary work.
These are some of the books directly related to Islamic Inheritance law, but you can find full library of Islamic literature in the Introduction to Islamic law, Page 39 to 108 by Ahmed Akgunduz.
Later on, a journey of Islamic Inheritance knowledge carried over generations through authentic Hadith narrators, writers, professionals, and web developers. It does not take long to calculate the Muslim inheritance as due to new technology, many calculators are available online.
Al-Khwarizmi (780 - 850 CE) is a Muslim mathematician known as the Father of Algebra, on which the modern mathematical science system resides. Al-Khwarizmi's work Al-Kitabul-al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa'l-muqabala ("The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing") was first developed to simplify complex Islamic Inheritance problems and half of his books deal with the Islamic rules of Inheritance.
Later, it expanded to sections on calculating areas and volumes of geometric shapes and algebra in detail. Also, the Islamic Inheritance law calculations are repeated extensively in his book by showing the use of Algebra to solve complex legacy problems.
The Inheritance questions take up roughly the last half of the book. The History of Mathematics and Applications, a book by I.O.Lyuter, states Al-khwarizmi's science in the field of Islamic inheritance shares' calculations, the applications of arithmetic, and algebra to solve problems regarding the distribution of inheritance.
#2 CONTEMPORARY TRANSLATORS AND AUTHORS
Many Muslim and non-Muslim traditional authors contributed in writing towards Islamic inheritance. Their contributions cannot be underestimated. You can explore learning below.
#3 LEGAL AUTHORS
The legal authors' group includes lawyers who were part of the British regime in India. The majority of work in this category is related to India. This includes Anglo-Muslim or Muhammadan law which is not purely Shariah complaint but a Hybrid model. The comprehensive penal code of 1860 ended its criminal application, but it continued to apply in the personal status law until the Muslim Personal law application act of 1937. British regime in India ended formally in 1947, and the Anglo-Muhammadan law or Muhammadan law was modified to make the sharia-compliant as close as possible. Since then, most of the Anglo-Muhammadan law or Muhammadan law has become academic interests only, and some of the books you may explore are below.
#4 HISTORIANS AND ORIENTALISTS
An independent group of authors, such as historians and orientalists, published literature based on their analysis and study of Islamic law. There are two distinct types of authors in this category: Orientalist, Non-Sunni Muslim, and British authors who came to India before independence. Most non-Sunni Muslim authors are from India.
Such authors compare one to one and provide inconsistency between different systems, methods, or evidence used in Islamic literature. Usually, their goal is to give deviations in the inheritance system within and compare the literature compatibility with modern laws and contemporary reforms. English author example is the book, Succession in the Muslim family by N.J.COULSON.
Islamic law as a whole derives from the Holy Quran and the huge volume of the book of Hadiths. The Muslim view is that the origins of the Islamic legal code are rooted in the Holy Quran, the Sunna of the Prophet, consensus, and analogy.
This view, especially regarding the role of the sunna, was first challenged about a hundred years ago by such Western scholars as Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje and Ignaz Goldziher. But it was only in this 20th century, with the publication of An Introduction to Islamic law (1964) and Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence (1950) by Joseph Schacht, that the doubts about the validity of the classical account came to be articulated in a comprehensive theory which claimed to destroy it.
Schacht's work has won high acclaim among leading Orientalists. For example, H.A.R. Gibb considered that "it will become the foundation four all future study of Islamic civilization and law, at least in the West," and N.J. Coulson says that Schacht "has formulated a thesis of the origins of Sharia law which is irrefutable in its broad essentials. It has also strongly influenced many other Orientalists, notably J. Robson, Fitzgerald, J.N.D. Anderson and C.E. Bosworth, and have had a similar impact on modern Muslim writers on Islamic law such as Fazlur Rahman, A.A.A.Fyzee and others (Ref. On Schacht's Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, Introduction by Dr. M.Mustafa al-Azami PhD).
In addition to traditional Muslim authors, few and countable Historians and Orientalists raised criticism until the 18th century. Later in the 19th century, such authors' race in the study increased in massive numbers.
The historians' and orientalists' main goal is to evaluate Islamic literature's authenticity and come up with opinions, quotes, and conclusions based on their personal views and prospects. Since Holy Quran was compiled nearly in the first half of the century, there is nothing much to say for orientalists and historians about Holy Quran.
But their main criticism was of the Hadith literature. Their outcome of criticism posed various questions, including the Prophet's legislative authority of Islamic law, the origin of and application of the term "Sunna", the timeline of Hadith literature collections, the methodology of Hadith evaluation used by Hadith compilers, timelines and quality of "Isnad" system, timelines of appointment of Qadis for Hadith collections, and so on.
The statements or findings from one or more authors carried over to another, and at some point, it became the law of criticism for historians, orientalists, and atheists. They view Islamic literature as very extreme and unhealthy for the Islamic community. They do not have faith or mercy, or God fears to pinpoint or criticize the Islamic literature being non-Muslim or atheist.
That is fine, but their discovery was not based on facts, reasons, and logic. Frequently they missed looking at the holistic view in the context of the contemporary past and political and other situations, did not have adequate evidence, or did not consider the text from Holy Quran, and their conclusions were quick and based on small samples to texts. Most of them are Christians or Jewish, or atheists. For example, you may find works from Ignac Goldziher, Joseph Schacht, etc.
However, on a positive note, these are the authors who get exposed to the most Islamic literature in their journey compared to ordinary Muslims, and some of them actually accepted Islam as the religion of their faith (i.e., Ignac Goldziher) temporarily, but due to their skeptical and hypocritical view, they go far away from faith even though they had the opportunity.
Another positive note is that they are the ones whose works get noticed in the market, being non-Muslim writers, professors, orientalists, and historians about Islam that help propagate Islam in many different ways. Those non-Muslim Readers who never bother to know about Islam but they get interested through non-Muslim Authors' material. Almighty Allah (the most glorified and the most high) makes the means through his wisdom that none can imagine.
Irrespective of the authors' background, or extreme views, it isn't easy to ascertain the conclusions, but there is a bias for every author's work, and their intentions matter. They can paint a good or bad picture with good or bad intentions. No one can defend their opinions due to their position, reputation, and profession.
#5 RECOMMENDED READS
As a believer and with the core belief as a Muslim, it is difficult to digest the authors' work for those who pose the criticism. We are leaving you with a few essential books to learn more about the authenticity of the Holy Quran and Hadith text, which form the foundation of Islamic law, including inheritance law.
After reading the above, hopefully, your thoughts will settle to the point when you do not need to know the authenticity of Islamic Inheritance law in the contemporary world. You may consider reading Introduction to Islamic law by Ahmed Akgunduz.
Hopefully, Your mind will be clean from any doubt after reading these books regarding the authenticity of Islamic literature inshAllah.
Allah, the Most Glorified and the Most High, knows the best. As a human, We are limited to everything and can not perceive it in totality...