By Mufti Mahmud Hasan Ajmeri
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami – 29 Rabi II 1437 | 10 February 2016
Those eligible to inherit, sometimes due to a certain causes can be impeded (mahrum) from inheriting. These causes are known as ‘Mawani’ al-Irth’. There are four such causes: Riqq (slavery), Qatl (homicide), Tabayun Din (religion), and Tabayun Darayn (nationality). The details are mentioned below.
(1) Riqq refers to full or partial slavery such as a slave, mudabbar, mukatab or umm walad. The reason being, these people do not fully own themselves or anything in the possession. Hence, if any relative of theirs dies, they will not be eligible to get anything from the tarkah. Furthermore, they cannot impede others from inheriting either.
(2) Qatl [in this case refers to homicide] which necessitates qisas or kaffarah. The homicide which impedes the killer from inheriting are three types: Qatl ‘Amad,, Qatl Shibh ‘Amad (voluntary manslaughter) and Qatl Khata’ (involuntary manslaughter).
(a) Qatl ‘Amad (murder) is the purposeful killing of an innocent human life with a lethal weapon such as a sword, sharp stone, canon, gun and fire. This results in sin and qisas but not diyyat or kaffarah.
(b) Qatl Shibh Amad (voluntary manslaughter) is the purposeful killing of an innocent human life with a non-lethal item such as ordinary stone or wood piece. This results in diyyat, sin and kaffarah but not qisas.
(c) Qatl Khata’ (involuntary manslaughter) is the accidental killing of an innocent human life such as a hunter who shot at a target but accidentally hit a person due to which he died. This results in diyyat and kaffarah but not qisas and sin.
As there is qisas in ‘amad and kaffarah in shibh ‘amad and khata’, all these forms killing will impede inheritance.
(3) Tabayun Din refers to when from the deceased and the heir, one is a Muslim and the other is a non-Muslim. This difference (tabayun) in their religion impedes the heir from inheriting. Yes! amongst non-Muslims (disbelievers) regardless of how much difference [between them], they will be considered as one religion under the principal of ‘kufr millatun wahidah‘ (kufr is all one religion). Hence, non-Muslims of different religions will not be impeded [from each other].
(4) Tabayun Darayn refers to when non-Muslims live in two different nations. This is a cause of them being impeded. This is irrespective if the difference is real such as one is harbi and the other is zimmi or if the difference is assumed such as one is zimmi and the other is musta’min or both are from two separate dar al-harb. Muslims being of different nations does not impede them [from inheriting].