Female heirs

Female heirs are nine (9):

1. Daughter.
A daughter will inherit from her father and mother. This provision does not extend to her children. That is to say, her children cannot replace or represent her to inherit from their (maternal) grandfather or (maternal) grandmother in her absence.

2. Son’s daughter.
If a son has a daughter, she will inherit from the son’s father or mother (her paternal grandparents) in the absence of the son. The rule also applies to son’s son’s daughter, son’s son’s son’s daughter, and so on. This has been explained earlier under “grandson or his descendants.”

3. Mother.
When a son or daughter passes on, his/her mother is entitled to a part of his/her estate. She cannot be excluded no-matter what happens.

4. Either grandmother.
In the absence of mother, both grandmothers i.e. maternal and paternal will inherit from a deceased. Here, the “ascendant rule” applies, such that if one or both grandmothers is/are absent, the great-grandmothers will take their place(s) and inherit from the deceased.

5. Full sister.

6. Consanguine sister.

7. Uterine sister.

8. Wife.
A wife will inherit from her late husband. She cannot be excluded. She will also inherit from him if he dies after divorcing her with one or two pronouncements (revocable divorce) provided her Iddah has NOT elapsed. But if the divorce is irrevocable (three pronouncements), she will not inherit from him whether her Iddah has elapsed or not. However, if the husband were to be “insensitive” and divorces his wife irrevocably DURING his final illness in which he dies, the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence have divergent opinions:

a) As-Shafi’i – She will NOT inherit from him whether or not the Iddah has expired.

b) Abu-Hanifa – If the Iddah has not expired, she will inherit from him, otherwise, she will become a non-heir.

c) Ahmad ibn Hanbal – She has the right to inherit from him whether the Iddah has expired or not provided she has not married another person.

d) Malik – She will inherit from him even if the Iddah has expired or she has married another person.

9. Patroness.
A woman who sets a slave free will inherit from him/her so long as he/she has no heir.

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Your Questions, Our Answers

We have received a number of emails from those who visited this website or downloaded and read INHERITANCE IN ISLAM. Almost all of them were questions on either aspects of inheritance not covered in the book or clarifications needed regarding specific cases. Hence, we thought it wise to reproduce the emails so that others may benefit as well. As always, we welcome suggestions, criticisms and of course, more questions!

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