Inheritance in Islam: The causes stated in Shariah

Economics Contributor
© Andrii Yalanskyi |

Inheritance in Islam reflects how much Islam is a balanced religion. Islam acknowledges the ownership of a person earned in a legal way. Again, there are clear principles of Islam in the expenditure of owned property. In addition to the expenses for one’s own needs, there are clear instructions in the Shariah on the amount of wealth to be given to family members, relatives, neighbors, and others. And the Shariah has clearly stated the amount of inheritance of those who die leaving their wealth behind. Again, if anyone wants to give any property to his potential heir in his own hands, the Shariah has also pointed out his correct policy.

Proper adherence to these principles enables family and society to coexist peacefully. But sadly, the family and society have become chaotic and unsettled due to the failure of some Muslims to follow these valuable principles. Not only that but in many cases the owner of the property suffers in his own lifetime.

So in this article, we will discuss the causes of inheritance in the Islamic Shariah. There are three reasons for inheritance in Islamic law. They are mentioned below-

First cause of inheritance in Islam is marriage

According to Islamic law, a valid marriage contract is called a marriage. Even if the husband does not get a chance to meet his wife in private or there is no sexual intercourse between them, it will be considered as marriage after marriage. And after marriage, the husband and wife inherit each other’s property, as long as the marital agreement is valid between them. For example, if a man divorces his wife and his ‘iddat’ (waiting time after marriage) is cut off, there will be no more mutual inheritance between them due to breaking the marriage bond.

However, according to some wise scholars, there could be cases when husband divorces his wife during a serious illness before his death and is accused of depriving her of inheritance. However, in this case, after the expiration of the wife’s waiting period, if she is not married to another man, she will inherit the property of the divorced husband.

Second cause of inheritance in Islam: Wala (Remaining loyal to the master even after emancipation)

This is also a kind of kinship. If a master frees his slave and the free slave remains with him, a kind of relationship called Wala (loyalty) begins between them. It is the master’s grace that he frees the slave. But the slave stays with him in the master’s generosity. On this condition, the slave is inherited by the owner. However, this provision has been abolished as there are no slaves at present.

Third cause of inheritance in Islam: Real kinship

Kinship is a connection between two or more people due to a birth or blood relationship. It can be either near or far. Every man or woman who has a birth connection with him, no matter how close or far away, whether from the father’s side or from the mother’s side, will always be a relative. This is the main cause of inheritance.

Inheritors are further divided into three groups:

1) The ascendants

The father of the deceased, the grandfather, and all the living superiors from the father’s side and the deceased’s mother, grandparents, and all surviving superiors from the mother’s side are inherited.

2) The descendants

The deceased’s sons and grandsons down to all levels, and also his son’s daughter and granddaughter down to all levels of her father are inherited.

3) Non-ascendant or non-descendant relations

Deceased’s siblings or the children of the siblings are also inherited.

These are the three main reasons for inheritance in Islamic law. If a person dies, all the property except his bequeathed property will be distributed among these relatives at a fixed rate.

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