Some important issues related to Inheritance:


Death is the fate of every human being and no one can escape death in any case. Some important issues are raised after the death of a person. One of these issues is the distribution of wealth among the inheritors of the person. Quran and Sunnah has guided us in depth in these matters. Everyone should be well aware of the commands of Allah swt and His Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam in these matters.


Some important issues related to Inheritance:


Death is the fate of every human being and no one can escape death in any case. Some important issues are raised after the death of a person. One of these issues is the distribution of wealth among the inheritors of the person. Quran and Sunnah has guided us in depth in these matters. Everyone should be well aware of the commands of Allah swt and His Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam in these matters.

First of all let us have a look on the commands of Allah swt regarding this issue as mentioned in Holy Quran :

Allâh commands you as regards your children's (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 Allâh. And Allâh is Ever All­Knower, All­Wise. 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 leave 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, 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 lagacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allâh; and Allâh is Ever All­Knowing, Most­Forbearing. (An-Nisa 4:11-12)

On another instance Allah swt says:

They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "Allâh directs (thus) about Al­Kalâlah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants 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 Allâh makes clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. And Allâh is the All-Knower of everything." (An-Nisa 4:176)

Now it can be concluded from these verses :

1.Wealth should be distributed after paying of debt and fulfilling the will of the deceased
2.Share of father is 1/6th  of the inheritance  if there are children of deceased person
3.Share of mother is 1/6th of the inheritance  if there are children of deceased
4.Share of mother is 1/3rd of the inheritance  if there are no children of deceased provided that deceased has no brothers or sisters
5.Share of mother is 1/6th of the inheritance  if there are are brother and sisters of deceased
6.Share of wife is 1/8th of the inheritance  if there are children of deceased
7.Share of wife is 1/4th of the inheritance if there are no children of deceased
8.Share of husband is 1/4th of the inheritance if there are children ofdeceased
9.Share of husband is ½ of the inheritance if there are no children of deceased
10.If a person has wife but has no ascendant and descendant share of the brother or sister of the deceased is 1/6th .If they are two or more than two they own 1/3rd of the inheritance.
11. If a person has wife but has no ascendant and descendant share of the brother or sister of the deceased is 1/6th .If they are two or more than two they own 1/3rd of the inheritance. Brother has double the share compared to sister if they are two or more than two
12. If a person has no wife and has no ascendant and descendant share of the brother or sister of the deceased is ½ of the inheritance .If they are two or more than two they own 2/3rd of the inheritance. Brother has double the share compared to sister if they are two or more than two
13.Sons have double the share compared to daughters.

An example to distribute wealth in the light of the above mentioned points:


Lets suppose a person leaves an asset having value  of 24X  and leaves parents , one wife , two sons , two daughters, one brother and one sister.
The division of the inheritance will be as follows:

1.Mother will inherit 4x
2.Father will inherit 4x
3.Wife will inherit 3x
The net result of the above mentioned division is 4x+4x+3x=11x
Now the left amount is 24x-11x=13x
Each son will have double share compared to daughters.
So total number of shares=2(for son no 1)+2(for son no 2)+1(for daughter no 1)+1(daughter no 1)
                                               =6
4.Share of each son =2/6=1/3 *13x=13/3x
5.Share of each daughter=1/6*13x=13/6x
6.Brothers and sisters have no share in presence of ascendants and descendants

Some commands related to the will of the deceased:


There are some important points which should be kept in mind while writing a will

No will can be written in favour of an inheritor:

Rasool salal laho aliehi wasalam has not allowed to write a will in favour of a legal heir .The hadith mentioned in Jamiah Tirmidhi says:

 Narrated Abu Hurairah radi Allahu anhu : Allah’s Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam said,

 "Allah has Himself given everyone, who has a right, his right. So, there is no will for any inheritor." (Tirmidhi) 

Will cannot exceed 1/3rd of the assets:


A man cannot bequest 1/3rd of his total assets because in this way he will deprive legal heirs of their rights.
This fact has been clearly mentioned in the hadith as follow:

Narrated Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas radi Allahu anhu: "I was stricken by an ailment that led me to the verge of death. The Prophet came to pay me a visit. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have much property and no heir except my single daughter. Shall I give two-thirds of my property in charity?" He said, "No." I said, "Half of it?" He said, "No." I said, "One-third of it?" He said, "You may do so, though one-third is also too much, for it is better for you to leave your offspring wealthy than to leave them poor, asking others for help..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih-Muslim, Muatta, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.)

A wrong will must be reformed:


If a person writes a wrong will his will should be reformed.For example if he bequests ½ of his assets .Then that will should be reformed to 1/3rd of his assets.
This has been clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran in the following way:
But he who fears from a testator some unjust act or wrong-doing, and thereupon he makes peace between the parties concerned, there shall be no sin on him. Certainly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:182)

Tampering of a will is a big sin:


Tampering of a will is a big sin and whosoever tampers a will is  a loser in hereafter.
This fact has been mentioned in Quran in the following way:
Then whoever changes the bequest after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (Al-Baqarah 2:181)
So every one should fear Allah swt and should not make an attempt to change the will of the deceased.
The  last thing related to will is that in the absence of the will all the inheritance must be divided among the legal heirs according to Quran.

Any legal heir cannot claim the share he has forgiven his with his consent:


Any legal heir can forgive his portion or share with his free will and should not claim that share after he/she has forgiven that share .

It has been mentioned in the hadith:

 It is related that Ibn 'Abbas radi Allahu anhu  said that the Prophet salal laho aliehi wasalam said, "Someone who takes back a gift is like a dog returning to its own vomit."
(Sahih Bukharee ,Chapter 54,Hadith no 2449)

There are some other intricated issues related to inheritance  which deals with the rare and exceptional situations .An effort has however been made to summarize the important points  related to the inheritance .May Allah swt keep us always on the right path and save us from the traps of Shaitan Ameen.