Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid M.S.Al-Hakeem - Books-Islamic Laws Simplified - Inheritance

Books Islamic Laws SimplifiedInheritance

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Compensation For Bodily Harm (Diyah)

INHERITANCE
 
 
Introduction
 
One inherits from another on the basis of two causes, as follows:
 
(1) Inheritors on the basis of blood relationship have three categories in order of priority, as follows:
(a) The first category consists of the immediate parents and the children and their offspring.
(b) The second category consists of the grandparents and the great grandparents, however far removed, as well as brothers and sisters, and their offspring.
(c) The third category consists of brothers and sisters of one’s parents and grandparents however far removed, and their offspring.
Whoever is in the second and third category, they will only inherit if there is nobody present within the preceding category.
 
(2) Inheritors on the basis of other causes.
A person will inherit from his or her spouse through permanent marriage along with those mentioned in the three categories above. The husband will receive half of his wife’s estate if she does not have a child, and a quarter of it if she does have a child. The wife will inherit a quarter of her husband’s estate if he does not have a child, and an eighth of it if he does.
 
One may also inherit on the basis of guardianship which also has three categories:
(a) Guardianship of liberation;
(b) Guardianship of the liability of the diyah in mistaken killing;
(c) Guardianship of the Imam.
These categories will become effective only if there is nobody present within the previously mentioned three categories and each of these three categories are also similarly in order of priority, so those in the second or third category here will not inherit if anybody is present in the preceding category.
 
Ruling 792: There are three barriers for inheritance:
(1) Disbelief: therefore, a non-Muslim will not inherit from a Muslim, but a Muslim will inherit from a non-Muslim.
(2) Killing: therefore, a killer will not inherit from the person he killed if the killing was not rightful, even if it was by mistake.
(3) Slavery: a slave will not inherit.
 
Inheritance of the First Category
 
Ruling 793: If there is a single person in this category, he will inherit the whole estate.
 
Ruling 794: If only the parents are present, the father will inherit two-thirds and the mother will inherit a third.
 
Ruling 795: If only the children are present, and they are all males or all females, the estate will be divided equally amongst them. If some are male and some are female, each male will receive twice as much as each female will inherit.
 
Ruling 796: If the deceased is survived by either one of the parents or both of them, and has one or more than one son, each of the parents will inherit a sixth of the estate, and the rest will be given to the son or divided equally amongst the sons. The same is the case if he is survived by both parents and at least two daughters.
 
Ruling 797: If the deceased is survived by both parents and one daughter, each of the parents will inherit a fifth and the daughter will inherit the rest, provided that the deceased is not also leave a widow or widower. If the deceased is survived also by a wife, she will inherit an eighth of the estate and the parents will each inherit a fifth of what remains and three-fifths will be given to the daughter. If the deceased is a wife who is survived by her husband, he will receive a quarter of the estate, and each of her parents will inherit a sixth of what remains, and the rest will be inherited by the daughter.
 
Ruling 798: If the deceased is survived by both or one of his parents, as well as one or more sons and one or more daughters, each parent will receive a sixth, and the rest will be distributed amongst the children, each son receiving twice as much as each daughter will receive.
 
Ruling 799: The children of the deceased’s children will stand in place of the deceased’s children if they are all deceased too. The grandchildren of the deceased will receive the same inheritance that his children were to receive if they were present, so the son’s daughter will receive the son’s share, and the daughter’s son will receive the daughter’s share. However, the deceased’s grandchildren can only receive a share if none of the deceased’s children are present, and his great-grandchildren can only receive a share if none of his children and grandchildren are present. If any of the offspring of the deceased is alive, then those in the second category will not inherit.
 
Ruling 800: The eldest son, even if he is in the womb, will receive habwah from his father – i.e. some particular personal items as gift – which are his copy of the Holy Quran, his ring, his sword, and his clothes, even if they are more than one. However, this will come in priority after a debt which the estate can fully pay off. Furthermore, the habwah is only for the eldest immediate son, and it is not given to the grandchildren.
 
Inheritance of the Second Category
 
Ruling 801: If there is nobody in the first category to inherit from the deceased, those in the second category will inherit, i.e. the grandparents and siblings. If there is only one person from this category, he will inherit the whole estate.
 
Ruling 802: If heirs of the deceased are his siblings, whether by both parents or one of them, they will receive the whole estate, and it will be divided equally amongst them if they are all of the same gender or if they are all the deceased’s siblings by his mother only – whether they are of the same gender or not. If they are siblings by the same parents or by the father only and their genders are different, the males will inherit twice the amount as the females.
 
Ruling 803: If the deceased has siblings, some of them being by both parents or by the father, and some of them being by the mother, if the sibling by the mother is only one he will receive one-sixth. If they are more than one, they will all receive a total of one-third of the estate which will be divided equally amongst them. The rest will be inherited by the other siblings by both parents or by the father only, and will be divided equally if they are all of the same gender, or each male will receive double the amount received by each female.
 
Ruling 804: A sibling by the father only will not inherit if there is a sibling by both parents.
 
Ruling 805: A grandparent of the deceased will block the inheritance of a great-grandparent. So if the deceased has grandparents, and their parents are also alive, the former only will inherit, and the latter will not.
 
Ruling 806: If the deceased is survived only by his grandfather and grandmother, if they are his father’s parents the grandfather will receive two-thirds and the grandmother will receive one-third. If they are his mother’s parents they will both receive a half each.
 
Ruling 807: If the deceased is survived by his grandparents and siblings, the grandfather will inherit the amount that a brother by both parents will receive, and the grandmother will inherit the amount that a sister by both parents will receive, whether they (the grandfather and grandmother) are paternal or maternal.
 
Ruling 808: The children of one’s siblings will stand in place of their fathers or mothers only if all the siblings are deceased. If a brother or sister is present, the nephews and nieces will not inherit.
 
Inheritance of the Third Category
 
Ruling 809: If there is nobody in the first of second category, those in the third category will inherit; and if there is only one uncle or aunt, he or she will be the sole heir.
 
Ruling 810: If there is an uncle or aunt who is a brother or sister of the deceased’s father by his father only (i.e. his half-brother or sister), then he will not inherit if there is a brother or sister of the deceased’s father by both parents (i.e. his real brother or sister). In fact, the presence of a cousin whose father is a real brother to the deceased will prevent the deceased’s uncles from inheriting if the uncle is the deceased’s father’s half-brother by the father only.
 
Ruling 811: If the deceased is survived by only his paternal uncles and aunts, then his estate will be divided amongst them equally if their gender is the same. If some of them are uncles and some are aunts, the uncles will get double the amount received by the aunts, whether they are the siblings of his parents by both parents or by either one of them.
 
Ruling 812: The maternal uncle who is the deceased’s mother’s brother by the father only will not inherit if there is a maternal uncle who is his mother’s brother by both parents.
 
Ruling 813: If the deceased is survived by only his maternal uncles and aunts, then his estate will be divided equally.
 
Ruling 814: If paternal and maternal uncles and aunts are the heirs, the maternal uncles and aunts will receive a third of the total which will be divided amongst them equally, and the rest will be divided amongst the paternal uncles and aunts as explained above.
 
Ruling 815: The children of the uncles and aunts will inherit only if all the uncles and aunts are deceased, in which case each of them will inherit the portion of his father or mother – i.e. the uncle or aunt of the deceased.
 
Inheritance on the Basis of Guardianship
 
Ruling 816: Inheritance by guardianship will not be applicable unless nobody in the above-mentioned three categories of heirs is present. As mentioned above, the inheritance here is also of three categories in order of priority, so nobody in the second and third categories will inherit unless there is nobody in the preceding category to inherit.
 
Ruling 817: The three categories are as follows:
(1) Guardianship of Liberation: Whoever liberates a slave, he is his heir. The details of this category are not relevant nowadays.
(2) Guardianship of the Liability of the Diyah in Mistaken Killing: The details of this category have been explained in other detailed books of Islamic laws.
(3) Guardianship of the Imam (peace be upon him): If a person has nobody in the preceding categories, the Imam (peace be upon him) will be the heir of the one who has no heir.
This is so provided that:
(a) The deceased does not have an heir except his wife, as she will receive a quarter of the estate, and the remainder will go to the Imam (peace be upon him).
(b) The deceased is not a woman who is survived only by her husband, in which case the husband will inherit all her wealth.
(c)  The deceased has not willed that all his wealth will go to the Muslims and the poor and the stranded travellers; such a will is valid for such a person. However, if he willed for other causes it can only be executed in respect to a third of one’s estate and the remainder will go the Imam (peace be upon him).
In the time of the occultation of the Imam (peace be upon him), this category of inheritance will be treated in the same manner the Imam’s share of the khums is treated, i.e. one should revert to the hakim shar’i.
 
Other Important Rules about Inheritance
 
Ruling 818: The husband and wife in a permanent marriage inherit from each other, despite which category of heirs is present.
 
Ruling 819: The husband will inherit from his wife his portion from all parts of her wealth, just like the other heirs; however, the wife will not inherit from the land of her husband, whether it is used or not; she will inherit from what is on the land, like buildings, trees, crops, etc. If another inheritor offers to buy what she inherits, she is obligated to accept it.
 
Ruling 820: A person who was born illegitimately will not inherit from his parents who committed the adultery and those who are related through them, such as siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents, nor will they inherit from him. He will inherit from other relatives, such as his children and spouse, and they will inherit from him.
 
Ruling 821: An unborn child at the time of the death of the deceased will inherit from him if it is born alive.
 
Ruling 822: If somebody is missing and has been absent, and it is not known whether he is alive or dead, his wealth should be kept aside for him for four years with searching, or ten years without searching. Thereafter, it should be divided amongst his heirs. Excluded from this ruling is if the missing person has somebody who he was obligated to provide for, like his needy children, in which case they should be provided for from the wealth of the missing person before the end of the waiting period.
 
Ruling 823: The diyah of the killed person and the diyah of his body parts while he was alive are to be included in his estate. As for the diyah of his body parts after his death, it will not be included in it and will not be inherited – rather, it will be spent on his behalf for good purposes, amongst which is the payment of his debts if this is the only means to do so.
 
Ruling 824: The inheritable diyah is inherited by all heirs, except his siblings by his mother only.
 
Ruling 825: If the heir of the deceased is not from the Shia Ithna-Ashari sect, and he establishes that a believer has a portion of the deceased’s estate according to his method of distributing the estate, while he does not actually have such a portion according to us, the believer is permitted to take it.

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