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Shariah Law of Inheritance (Perception and Reality)

Most people believe that Muslim succession law is rigid, strict, and complex even though it was revealed to the centuries-old people of Arabia, who loved, cared for, upheld, learned, and put it into practice.


Islamic law brought fundamental change to the Arabian peninsula's male-dominated society and gave women rights when no similar laws existed worldwide that most historians agree with. Authors, lawyers, attorneys, and researchers who are non-Muslim praised Islamic Inheritance law. Islamic inheritance law is the most just and fair and provides a balanced approach among many succession and wills laws.

Islamic inheritance law (referred to as "Shariah" or "Sariyah" in Arabic) is a very intensive topic, and it may take years and not be possible to conclude the topic because it is part of every moment we spend in life.


The word "Shariah" (i.e., Islamic law) shakes the world, but it means "way" or "path." Because Shariah is a large volume of scripture and many people lack fundamental understanding, that's why we see criticism across the media.


It's difficult for Non-Muslims to know the correct interpretations, but many Muslims face difficulty answering the simple question, "What is Shariah?". Many perceive Shariah as severe and harsh, but the central theme is far from what it is perceived to be.

You will not find any world law that is not strict or rigid, whether you refer to jurisdictional or federal legal laws, because that's the nature of the law. Laws are not Laws if they cannot regulate the public and systems. Also, some people feel one law is strict while others won't!

In the same line that many are unaware that, the major part (more than 90% approximately) of Shariah forms the Ibadah (i.e., devotional or worship) that Muslims have to follow in daily life (i.e., Testimony of faith, Prayer, Fasting, Charity, and Pilgrimage), virtues, morals in life, family, and community.


So, Shariah law includes worship, devotions, marriage, divorce, paternity, guardianship, child custody, bequest, succession, property, and criminal cases are all heard in Sharia courts. We want you to read the below quote from one of the books that give some idea about the structure and weight of the legal vs. non-legal verses of the Holy Quran.

Holy Quran is the main source of Islamic law and constitutes approximately 350 verses related to legal matters out of total verses 6,235, most of which were revealed in response to problems and issues that were encountered by the Arab during the lifetime of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The legal verses lay the foundation of Shariah. There are 140 verses of the Holy Quran on worship and devotional matters (Ibadat), and another 70 verses address the concern of marriage, divorce, paternity, guardianship, fosterage, child custody, inheritance, and bequest. Rules concerning commercial transactions (Mu’amalat) include another 70 verses. There are about 30 verses on crimes and penalties, and another 30 verses speak of justice, equality, evidence, proof, consultation in community affairs, basic rights, and obligations. Economic matters, workers’ rights, and social justice issues occupy another 10 verses in the Holy Book. Muslim jurists are not unanimous on the precise number of legal verses in the Holy Quran, as calculations of this nature tend to differ according to one’s viewpoint and approach. - Shariah Law Questions and Answers by Mohammad Hashim Kamali.

You can quickly deduce from the above that the legal rulings-related text is 10% the most out of the Holy Quran. As we mentioned before, the majority of the Holy Quran includes the ruling on worship, morals, and virtues. We hope this can make it clear that one of the biggest misconceptions is that the Holy Quran includes the majority of legal rulings.

The portion of Inheritance textual evidence found in the Holy Quran, Surah An-Nisa (i.e., The Women), and the practice of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).


To give you a quick overview, the Islamic legal classification includes Quranic fixed or prescribed sharers, Asabah (i.e., Residuary or Agnate heirs), and Distant kindred. Each category of heirs is subject to Hajb (i.e., blocking or exclusion) rules.


Also, share recalculations (Radd, Awwal) are required if the total share is not 1 or 100%. Under Islamic law, Six heirs got the promised heirship without exclusion (i.e., no heirs can disinherit them), including Husband (widower) or Wife (widow), Sons, Daughters, father, and Mother. Paternal (Half or Consanguine), Maternal (Uterine) Siblings (step-children from step-parents) and Full (Real) Siblings can inherit but are subject to differences of opinion among Madhab.


An adopted child cannot inherit under traditional Sunni Islamic law. However, they may receive part of the testamentary Bequest, but the opinions of Sunni Islamic jurists may differ. The testamentary freedom is restricted to one-third, with restrictions on who is eligible for the bequest.


For example, Islamic legal heirs cannot receive testamentary bequests because they have given their share as per Hadith Sunan Ibn Majah 2714, Book 22, Hadith 20, which states, "Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta aala) has given each person who has rights his rights, but there is no bequest for an heir." However, it is not mandatory to do bequests for Muslims.

A significant difference from Western law is that classical Sharia not only contains legal rules (contracts, family, criminal law), but also social standards (dietary laws, clothing codes, segregation of the sexes). This characterises Sharia as being not only a legal system but also a moral and ethical system. Sharia, as a slogan, is the divine blueprint for a righteous society. It serves primarily as a battle cry in a context in which righteousness is hard to find. This battle cry, with its emphasis on morality and decency, focuses on the moral aspects of Sharia rather than on concrete legal rules. -Factsheet Sharia Jurisdiction, FORUM

Islamic law (also called Shariah, Sharia, Saria, or Sariya) is the ultimate law for Muslims. The Inheritance law for Muslims is the second oldest religious law after the Jewish inheritance law. Islamic Inheritance law is the foundation for Islamic estate planning (i.e., Islamic Wills or Trust).


Appreciation of the hidden beauty of Muslim succession law can only be visible when you dig in and explore through learning. Many scholars and professionals have created and published great work, templates, pamphlets, videos, and books, and Wassiyyah has consolidated it in a form that is easy to navigate or learn.


Now, you no longer need to figure out a more than 35 pages long Mawarith schedule. The book of Al-Sirajiyyah a great small book for legal firms and lawyers, has extensive information about Islamic inheritance law, but it was not available for many non-Arabs until Almaric Rumsey translated it into English by 1792.


Many books refer to Mohammadan law (or similar wording), but it's not easy to link all those books together, which we have compiled in this blog and explained the purpose.


Wassiyyah spent years researching, digesting, and publishing the Islamic Inheritance law literature in many forms for the benefit of the community. Wassiyyah's work has been reviewed by highly qualified (Doctorate/Ph.D.) Shaikhs, Imams, and Muftis.


Sunni Islamic scholars who spent years in the field of Islamic Inheritance law. In our course, we will share more information regarding the expertise we use for our content. Our goal is to allow everyone to learn the most important spiritual law that is not only connected to the material world (i.e., wealth), but also matters a lot for Muslims' salvation. We hope you can benefit from this work and share it with others through social media.


Please find all resources below, and do not forget to leave your FEEDBACK so we can improve further.

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