Jumu’ah Khutbah: Fara’id – Muslim Inheritance Law – Part2~The Legend News 

23rd Rabi’ath-Thaani 1444 AH

 

Assalamu alaykum warahmatullah wabarakaatuh.

 

All praises belong to Allah Who has dominion over all that exist. He created all creatures as He pleases and has provided them with the manual of instruction to operate and live a happy life and to eventually return to Him. Allah Who is the All-Seer of what we do and All-Powerful to subdue us for our arrogance and misdeeds, yet He is Patient and Oft-Forgiving.

I bear witness that there is no god worthy of adoration/worship except Allah Alone having no partner. From Him was the beginning and to Him will be the end and return. I also bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and messenger, who was the best man to worship Allah and surrender to Him. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions and upon all those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Recompense.

O servants of Allah! I exhort you and myself to worship Allah alone and not ascribe any partner to Him. Show gratitude for what Allah has bestowed upon you of His favours and be patient for what He is yet to give you. Know that Allah created Adam (mankind) and gave him free will to act but also provided him with needed guidance to ensure that he acts rationally so as not to be a threat unto himself, the environment, other creatures and most importantly, not to compromise the worship of Him and Him alone. Allah (SWT), as part of His guidance unto humanity provided that “For men is a share of what parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much- an ordained share” (Q4:7).

We shall, insha Allah, continue from where we stopped last week on subject topic.

The Share of Parents

Allah prescribed: “… 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 …” (Q4:11).

It should be clear that brothers and sisters do not have share in the estate unless where the deceased has no surviving child or parent. The existence of any of the parents and children precludes them from inheritance. Both father and mother have inheritance rights on the estate of their children just like the children have on their parents.

The Share of the Spouses

“In that which your wives leave, your share is 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 might have bequeathed or debts. In that which you (the husband) 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 legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forbearing” Q4:12

The wife inherits the husband and the husband inherits the wife and the shares and condition are clearly stated. In all instances the payment of legacies which the deceased has bequeathed (which we had explained earlier that it should not exceed one third of the estate) and debts owed should be paid before the sharing commences.

The rules prescribing the entitlement of Specified Heirs to a share of the net estate of the deceased are fairly simple, although the computation of their respective shares can be fairly complex depending on the configuration of Specified Heirs surviving the deceased. What we are attempting to demonstrate is the practical application of this all-important aspect of the Muslim life. It falls in the category of fard kifaya meaning not all are required to possess the knowledge but if few in the community have it, it will suffice.

The table below provides general guidance on the application of the various verses of the Qur’an which have bearing on the distribution of estate among qualified Heirs assuming simple cases. For practical cases, the specialist Scholars should be contacted.

Heir

Share

Husband – If the wife dies

If there is no child or grandchild surviving the deceased

1/2

If there is a surviving child or grandchild of deceased

1/4

Wife – if the husband dies

If there is no child or grandchild surviving the deceased

1/4

If there is a surviving child or grandchild of deceased

1/8

Son –

If there is no daughter

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

If there is a daughter (he shares with his sister in the ratio of 2 (son) to 1 (daughter))

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

Daughter

If sole daughter

1/2

If 2 or more daughters (the daughters_ portion is shared equally among them)

2/3

If there is a son, (she shares with her brother, but is entitled to 1 share for every 2 shares given to him)

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

Father, upon the death of his child

If there is a child or grandchild surviving the deceased

1/6

If there is no child or grandchild surviving the deceased

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

Mother

1/6

Paternal Grandmother (her portion is shared with maternal grandmother)

1/6

If Mother or Father survives

Nil

Paternal Grandfather, upon the death of grand child

 

If no father, child or grandchild survives

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

If son or grandson survives

1/6

If father survives

Nil

Maternal Grandmother (her portion is shared with paternal grandmother) if mother is deceased

1/6

Maternal Grandmother (If Mother survives)

Nil

Brothers, upon death of sibling

If father, son or grandson survives

Nil

If no father, son or grandchild survives

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

Sister, upon death of sibling

 

If father, son or grandson survives

Nil

If sole sister

1/2

If 2 or more sisters (they share equally)

2/3

If Brother survives (they share 2:1 with Brother)

Residuary after all the qualified heirs have been settled

O servants of Allah! What we have tabulated above is to simplify some of the possibilities that come up in inheritance distribution to guide us on who qualify as a heir and what share he/she is entitled to. Applying the table and all the rules earlier explained let us take a hypothetical example of a deceased Muslim woman, Aisha.

At her death, Aisha was married to Harun and had two sons, Ilyas and Mustafa, and one daughter, Fatima. Her parents, Bilqis and Suhail also survive her. She also has two brothers, Ishaq and Ya’qub, and a sister, Sarah. Inheritance from Aisha would be distributed as follows:

· Harun: As Husband; and the wife left parents and children gets ¼
· Bilquis and Suhail: As parents get 1/6 each (totaling 1/3 of the distributable estate)
· Ilyas and Mustafa (the sons) and Fatima (daughter) share the residue in the ratio of 2:2:1. The residue in this situation is 1 less 1/3 less ¼ which equals 5/12
· Ilyas and Mustafa will get 1/6 (equivalent to 2/12) each; while
· Fatima gets 1/12
· Her brothers and sister do not inherit at all because of the presence of the parents and children.

If we change the facts a little though, Say Aisha is not survived by her father but is survived by everyone else I mentioned above. In that instance, the brothers and sister still do not inherit, the husband Haroon and mother Fatima get the same amount as before, but all the children get more. So, the universe of heirs has not increased. The sons then get 7/30, and the daughter gets 7/60. The husband remains at ¼ and the mother at 1/6.

However, as you can see, the various permutations of how inheritance can be distributed can be endless. If we added a paternal grandfather or removed the surviving husband or the sons, the changes would be substantial.

O servants of Allah! Know that inheritance is the right of the heir that Allah has ordained be the beneficiary of your wealth after death as you cannot take the with you to the grave/hereafter. It is not your right to decide who gets what after you die. That is part of the deal in being Muslim – which entails an acknowledgement that all our possessions are from Allah, belong to Allah and Allah has the right to specify who inherits them after us.

O servants of Allah! I call you and myself to remember when the Bani Isra’il (the Jews) complained to Musa (AS) about Fir’awn’s oppression against them and Musa (AS) said to his people, ‘Seek help from Allah (Who is more powerful than Fir’awn) and be patient. Surely the earth belongs to Allah. He gives (ownership) as inheritance to whichever of His bondsmen He desires. The ultimate good shall be in favour of those with Taqwa – (those who obey and fear Allah for they shall be successful in the Aakhirah)’” (Q7:128)

 

PART 2

All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds; The Beneficent; the most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. For Him is the Kingdom. The Clear Truth. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the guide, the trustworthy. May Allah send salutations on him and on all his family and companions.

O servants of Allah! The legislation around inheritance in Islam is quite elaborate and few weeks discussions will not do complete justice to it. However, all we have attempted to do here is to open our eyes to the criticality of the matter and ensure that we play our roles as much as we can before the time we depart comes around.

There are some special cases that we also need to be aware of in respect of inheritance. These include:

When there is a situation of successive deaths where the death of some of the heirs occur before the distribution of the estate of the deceased. In this case, the date of death of the first deceased is ascertained and those heirs who are alive and qualified to share in the share in the estate are apportioned their shares to be included in their own estate for purposes of determining the total value of his estate and for the benefit of his survivors.
A situation may arise where there is simultaneous death of people who normally would have inherited each other through an accident like air crash, fire or drowning. In this case, if it is possible to determine the sequence of death then it reduces to a successive death as in (1) above. However, where it is impossible to determine the sequence, they would not inherit from each other.
Where a man dies leaving behind a pregnant wife, the embryo is a qualified heir if it is subsequently born alive even if it dies after the first cry of the baby. Its inheritance can be treated in either of the following ways:
v Delay the distribution of the estate until it is born to determine its sex and consequently its exact share in the estate; or
v Distribute the estate before the birth of the baby and assume it to be a male child and setting aside its share as such. However, upon delivery, if it turns out to be female, its share shall revert to the exact entitlement and the residue will be distributed again to those entitled.

4. There is also the case of missing persons. A missing person’s estate may not be divided among the heirs until it is known for sure that he is dead or until a competent Islamic judge issues a decree considering him dead.

We may also have the case of a hermaphrodite, an individual with both male and female sexual organs or an organ that resembles neither. In some cases, one of the hermaphrodite’s organs will be ineffective allowing the other organ to determine its gender. In terms of inheritance, the hermaphrodite is considered to be of the stronger gender. But where it is difficult to specify its gender, the share of the hermaphrodite will then be halfway between a male’s and a female’s share.
Specific rules govern half brothers and sisters and step parents. Half-brothers and sisters only inherit if there are no full brothers or sisters alive at the date of death.

Lastly, adopted children are not considered as the couple’s own and therefore are not within the primary heirs but the deceased can leave them a bequest from the one third of his/her estate over which he has testamentary freedom. He can also give them lifetime gifts.

The remaining one third share provides some degree of testamentary freedom. Having said this, this distribution must also comply with Shari’a.

A further important matter is the issue of a non-Muslim member of the family. It is generally accepted that a non-Muslim, even if he is a Follower of the Book, cannot inherit from a Muslim although non-Muslims who are Christians or Jews (i.e., those who believe in revealed scriptures) can generally inherit from the part of the estate over which the deceased has testamentary freedom.

If no testamentary requests are made, the remaining proportion of the estate will be distributed amongst the surviving relatives.

O servants of Allah! “Hasten towards (achieving) forgiveness from your Lord, and (attaining) Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the pious. Those who spend (in Allah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger and who pardon men; verily Allah loves the good-doers.” [Q3:133-134]

O servants of Allah! “Verily, Allah commands justice, and the doing of good and giving (help) to the kith and kin and He forbids evil deeds, polytheism and oppression. He admonishes you that you may take heed.” Q16:90
We besiege Allah thus: O Allah! Reliever of grief, Reliever of worry, the Answerer of the distressed when they call unto You, the Merciful of this world and the hereafter, have mercy upon us in our needs through their fulfillment and success for us, such mercy that come abundantly that we will not be in need of the mercy of any other. Aaamen YA Rabbil aalameen.

Aquulu qawliy hadha wastagfirullah liy walakum innahu huwal ghafurun Raheem. Wassalamun alal mursaleen wal hamdulillahi rabbil aalameen.

Suleiman Zubair

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