Mu’in al-Fara’idh #3: Succession

By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 28 Rabi II 1437 | 9 February 2016

The estate which remains after shroud, burial, payment of debts and fulfilment of bequest will be distributed amongst the heirs in accordance to the Quran, sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and ijma.

There are three types of heirs (waratha): Zawil Furudh, ‘Asabat, and Zawil Arham. Their order of priority will be mentioned below.

(4)  Zawil Furudh: They are those who have been fixed a specific share in the Quran, Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and through ijma. From the inheritors, the zawil furudh are the first to be given their fixed shares. After their share, if any amount remains, it is given to the eligible ‘asabat.

(5) ‘Asabat: They are those who if alone take the entire tarkah and if with a zawi al-furudh take all that remains tarkah after their share. These ‘asabat are of two types:

(a) ‘Asabat Nisabi: They are those who are related to the deceased [by blood] such as father, father’s father, son, son’s son. The details will come in the ‘asabat section.

(b) ‘Asabat Sababi: They are those who freed the deceased or the ‘asabat of those who freed [the deceased]. As in the deceased was a slave who was freed by his owner. If this free person dies and there is no heir from the above category to inherit, the master who freed or if unavailable the master’s ‘asabah nisabi will be inherit. Note! If the master is not alive, only the male relatives may inherit – not the females. The reason being, females can only inherit [as ‘asabah] from their freed slave or the freed-slave of their freed slave – they cannot inherit [as ‘asabah] from the freed-slave of their relatives.

(6) Radd bi Zawil Furudh: Give the fixed share to the zawil furudh and thereafter if any amount remains give it to the ‘asaba nisabi and if they are unavailable give it to the ‘asaba sababi. However, if the deceased has neither of the ‘asabat, redistribute the remaining amount amongst the zawi al-furudh according to their proportions. This is called radd which we will discuss in detail in the radd section. Here, just remember that radd is only done to zawi al-furudh nisabi and not zawi al-furudh sababi (spouse).

(7) Zawil Arham: All relatives other than zawil furudh and ‘asabah are classed zawil arham such as the daughter’s son and daughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister, mother’s sister, mother’s brother, and mother’s father etcetera. If there is no one from the above mentioned categories, the tarkah (estate) of the deceased will be given to the zawil arham. The detail will come in the zawil arham section. If from the zawil furudh there is only the spouse and there are no ‘asabah, give the remaining amount to the zawil arham.

(8) Mawla Muwalat: They are those who the deceased formed a pact of fealty. As in the deceased had no known family and so made a pact,

You are my mawla and after I die, you will receive my money. However, if a crime occurs on my part due to which I must pay diyyat (blood money), you shall fulfil it.

If after forming the pact, this person with no known family dies and leaves no eligible heirs from the above categories, the estate will be given to this mawla muwalat with whom the pact was made whilst alive. Hence, if the spouse is alive but after their share there is no heir from the above groups, the remaining amount will be given to the mawla muwalat with whom the pact was made.

(9) Muqirr lahu bi al-Nasab ala al-Ghayr: They are those regarding whom the deceased admitted to being related. However, the relationship could not be established by admittance alone as it entails including them in the lineage of another. For example, the deceased admitted a stranger to be his brother or uncle. As this entail this stranger being included in his father or grandfather’s lineage, the relationship will be established so long as the father or grandfather do not confirm. The mere admittance will not be sufficient be establish the person as his real brother or uncle. However, If the one remains adamant on their claim till death and after dying there is no one from the above categories or they have a spouse and there is no one from the above categories to receive the remaining amount, the muqir lahu bi al-nasabi ala ghayr will be given the remain estate.

(10) Musa lahu bi Jami’l Mal: They are those to whom the deceased bequeathed their entire estate. However, in accordance to the shariah, they were given a third and two-thirds was held for others who may be eligible. But on further investigation it was discovered there is no one eligible of the two-thirds from the above mentioned categories. Consequently, the remaining amount will be given to this musa lahu bi jami’l mal.

(11) Bayt al-Mal: If no one from the above mentioned categories, the estate will be given to the bayt al-mal (Muslim treasury) which then should be spent on [the needy who are destitute and have no one].

(12) Radd bi Zawjayn: If there no one from the above mentioned categories, the general books of fiqh state that the tarkah of the deceased be given to the bat al-mal. However, when the later scholars have seen that in our time there is no bayt al-mal or [if there is] they do not spend it in an Islamic cause, they deemed that if there is a spouse and for the remain amount there is no one from above mentioned categories, the spouse should be given the remaining amount.