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Golden principles

Position of Spouses

(1). The husband is entitled to 1/2 (maximum) or 1/4 minimum) share from the property of their deceased husband.

(2). The wife or wives are entitled to 1/4 (maximum) or 1/8 (minimum) share from the property of the deceased husband.

(3). The spouse (husband or widow/s as the case may be) get the maximum share i.e. Husband 1/3 and the widow 1/4 if the deceased spouse does not leave behind his or her (i.) child and (ii.) any agnatic descendant (the child of any agnatic male descendant however so low).

(4). If the above two conditions are not satisfied the spouse is entitled only to the minimum share (1/4 in case of husband and 1/8 in case of widow/s).

(5). Widow/s who were divorced by the deceased husband are entitled to their right of inheritance provided the divorce was 'Rajai' (revocable) or it was 'Bain' (irrevocablee) but the husband died during iddat period of the widow. (6). Spouses are primary heirs so they are never excluded. Neither they exclude blood relations nor they are exclude by any blood relation.

(6). Spouses are primary heirs so they are never excluded. Neither they exclude blood relations nor they are exclude by any blood relation.

Position of Parents

(1). Both mother and father are primary heirs so they are never excluded. If alive they are always entitled to a share: mother 1/3 (maximum) or 1/6 (minimum); father 1/6 (minimum) or the entire amount if no other heirs are present. Mother excludes all types of grandmothers maternal as well as paternal. Paternal grandmothers are also excluded by father.

Position of Grandparents

(1). Paternal grandparents and great grandparents substitute parents if they are predeceased. The nearer one excludes the distant. However grandfather is not entitled to the special treatment; when mother and spouse are alive they take their maximum share. Grandfather does not exclude paternal grandmother. The grandmother/s, unlike mother, gets only 1/6. She never gets 1/3.

Position of Children and Descendants

(1). Sons and daughters are primary heirs. They always inherit.

(2). A son's daughter/s become heirs like a daughter if he, the son, is predeceased. If there is one daughter, then son's daughter/s get 1/6; if there are more than one daughter then son's daughter/s are excluded. In the presence of her male counterpart (e.g. son's son) a son's daughter becomes a residuary and shares the residue according to the principle 'double share to male'. Daughter' or son's daughter's position is not affected by marriage, dissolution of marriage, place of residence etc.

(3). A son's son is completely excluded by a son.

Position of Brothers and Sisters

(1). Uterine brothers and sister (related through mother only) do not inherit in the presnece of father, grandfather, daughters, son, son's son and son's daughters.

(2). Full brothers and sisters do not inherit in the presence of father, sons and son's sons. They are also excluded by the true grandfathers, with few exceptions.

(3). The full brother converts the full sisters into a residuary and they inherit the residue in the ration 2:1. Same principle applies to consanguine brothers and sisters.

Position of Other Relatives

(1). The following relations have no claim except if they are mentioned in No. 1 above or in article VII. Stepchildren, daughter/s-in-law, son/s-in-law, parent/s-in-law, brother/s and sister/s-in-law, adopted children, any other person not related by blood to the deceased.

(2). In some cases where certain heirs mentioned above do not survive, certain distant blood relatives may be entitled. In all such situations, a knowledgeable Muslim may be consulted to determine their share.

Principle of Awl and Raad

Principle of Awl (When the total sum of the fractional shares allotted to the Quranic heirs exceeds unity, the already allotted shares are readjusted by using a procedure where all shares are reduced proportionately. This situation arises only in the presence of daughters or sisters.) and Raad (When the total sum of the fractional shares allotted to the Quranic heirs is less than unity. The shares are readjusted in proportion to their already allocated shares. This situation may arise in the absence of a residuary heir.) may be applied in cases where necessary.

For explanation of technical terms an authentic book on Islamic Law of Inheritance may be consulted. One such book is 'Islamic Law of Inheritance' by Muhammad Mustafa Khan, published by Kitab Bhavan.


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