Questions and Answers

Inheritance of an unborn child who later dies before estate is shared


A man dies leaving one of the wives pregnant, a child is then born (male or female) & after a few days, weeks or months (before the deceased estate is shared) the baby dies. What is the position of the child? Will he or she have a share? To whom will the share go?


The child will have his/her share. Thereafter, the heirs of the child like mother and siblings will then share the child’s portion.

Inheritance and management of single property by wives, sons and daughters


Salam alaikum, how is a property with a single document managed? Who keeps the document? How is maintenance done on such property left behind for two wives, eight sons and five daughters?


Assalamu ‘alaikum.

Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to contact me. I appreciate the three questions. But I will start answering the last one.

A man is survived by 2 wives, 8 sons and 5 daughters. I assume that both his parents and grandparents are no more. Both wives are to equally share 1/8. The children are to share the remaining 7/8 such that each male gets the share of two females. Using Rule Q from my website, the base number is 48.


1/8 x 48 = 6.

Each wife gets 3 portions.


7/8 x 48 = 42


48 – 6 = 42.

Number of heads of children = 21 (each son has “2 heads” while each daughter has “1 head”).

So, Remaining estate/number of heads of children = 42/21 = 2.

Therefore, each son has 2 x 2 heads = 4 portions; and each daughter has 2 x 1 head = 2 portions.

Check: Total share of wives (6 portions) + total share of sons (32 portions) + total share of daughters (10 portions) = 48 (the base number).

Management of property.

Two options:

1) Sell off the property and share the proceeds among the heirs based on their portions. For example, if the property is worth $1million,

Each wife: 3/48 x 1,000,000 = $62,500

Each son: 4/48 x 1,000,000 = $83,333.33

Each daughter: 2/48 x 1,000,000 = $41,666.67

2) Lease the property and share the proceeds among the heirs based on their portions after all maintenance/running costs have been settled. If the property were to be a house, whenever the tenant pays his rental, necessary costs like repairs, taxes, estate agent’s commission, security, e.t.c. are deducted. (Note that these costs vary from country to country. Also, it depends on the agreement signed by the tenant.) The balance is distributed among the heirs based on their portions.

In a situation whereby one of the heirs is occupying the building, he is to pay the rental, then necessary costs are deducted and the balance is shared. This tenant who is also an heir is entitled to his portion of inheritance.

Who keeps the documents?

I do not know of any explicit rule in Shari’ah regarding custody of documents. But generally, if the property is sold, the buyer owns and keeps the documents. And if it were to be leased, the heirs are to entrust the documents with whomsoever they wish; either one of them or someone else. This person has to be trusted by all the heirs such that he will not sell off the property without their knowledge or use the documents as collateral to collect loan from a bank.

Allah knows best.

Inheritance of daughter, wife, full brothers and full sisters


I am confused. I have only one child -(daughter) , one wife,one full brother and three full sisters. Lets assume I have total assets worth £100.000 and I like to leave 1/3 of my assets to my non heirs. That leaves me with £666,666. How should this money be distributed and where does the residual (left over amount go. I shall truly appreciate your help at your very earliest. Jazak Allah.


Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your question. And Jazakal Lahu khairan for considering giving out 1/3 of your asset (which I prefer to call estate) to non-heirs. Only few people these days do that.

First and foremost, from your question, if your estate is worth one hundred thousand pounds (£100,000), 2/3 of it cannot be six hundred and sixty six thousand, six hundred and sixty six pounds (£666,666). I believe you wanted to type one million pounds (£1,000,000). Therefore, to answer your question, I will assume that:

1) Total value of estate = £1,000,000
2) 1/3 given to non heirs = £333,333
3) Remaining 2/3 to be shared among heirs = £666,666

The distribution will be as follows:

Daughter gets 1/2 of £666,666 = £333,333

Wife receives 1/8 of £666,666 = £83,333.25

Full brother and 3 full sisters then share the residue such that full brother gets twice what each full sister is given. So we assume that the full brother has “2 heads” and each full sister has “1 head”. That’s a total of “5 heads”. Hence we divide the residue £249,999.75 by 5. That gives £49,999.95. As a result,

Full brother = £49,999.95 x 2 = £99,999.90

Each full sister = £49,999.95

If we check for accuracy, adding up all the shares will give us £666,666 i.e

Daughter + wife + full brother + (3 x full sister) = £666,666

£333,333 + £83,333.25 + £99,999.90 + (3 x £49,999.95) = £666,666.

I hope its clear.

Ma assalam.

What are your sources of reference?


السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته 

My name is Waasief. I am currently an Imam in Cape Town. I recently downloaded your inheritance file and am using it as a basis in one of my English classes.

I would appreciate it if you could please elucidate a bit more about your source reference. Great work.


وعليكم السلام و رحمة الله وبركاته

Thank you for your email. I am elated to learn that people as far as South Africa are making good use of my humble effort.

Answering your question, the book is not a direct translation of any single book. A number of books and online sources were used as references. I am sure, I listed them on the last page. However, the “skeleton” of the book is based on a chapter, كتاب الميراث of a book called

إرشاد السالك الى اشرف المساك

popularly known as “Askar” derived from the author’s name

عبد الرحمان بن محمد بن عسكر المالكي البغدادي

But due to the high level of grammar used in the book, a number of students make use of its commentaries for easier understanding. Two well known commentaries of عسكر are:

فتح الجواد في شرح الإرشاد

published in Nigeria, and

اسهل المدارك

published by Darul Fikr, Beirut. Almost all the examples in my book are from these two commentaries.

Nonetheless, in “adding flesh to the skeleton,” I deviated a bit from the original book by:

1) Adding concepts like LCM, HCF, prime numbers, etc.

2) Rearranging the flow of the rules and giving them specific names such as Rule A, Rule B, etc.

3) Discussing contemporary issues like in-vitro fertilization which were not in vogue at the time عسكر was written.

4) Including the rulings of other Schools of Jurisprudence, given that the original book is strictly based on Maliki rules.

Can a wife who attempts to kill her husband inherit?


I have just downloaded your work INHERITANCE IN ISLAM and thank you very much for it.

Please help me answer this question; is a wife that has made an unsuccessful and unequivocal attempt to kill her husband still eligible to inherit?

Do please revert: you are the only author on the subject of INHERITANCE IN ISLAM whose contact email I have been able to get.



Thank you for downloading my write-up and your question.

Let’s say a person enters a bar, orders an alcoholic drink, but was arrested before taking it. Will he be given 80 strokes of the cane? No. Why? He did not actually drink it.

Note that he bought the drink with the intention of drinking but was not able to do so, hence he is not to be punished as someone who has taken alcohol because BUYING is not the same as DRINKING. And 80 strokes of the cane is meant for DRINKING not BUYING even though we know that one who buys has the intention of drinking.

To answer your question, it is clear that an heir who intentionally murders someone he/she is to inherit from is not entitled to any share of the deceased’s estate. Now, an ATTEMPTED MURDER is not the same as ACTUAL MURDER. Therefore, to the best of my knowledge, the wife will inherit from her husband provided she is not the direct cause of his death.

Wal Lahu a’alam.

Assalamu ‘Alaikum.

Inheritance of Zawul-Arham


As-Salaamu `alaykum

Brother, can you tell me what the solution is to the following inheritance scenario?

A man dies leaving behind ONLY the following three relatives:

(1) The Haqeeqi paternal aunt of his father

(2) The Akhyaafi maternal uncle of his father

(3) The Akhyaafi maternal aunt of his father

How will the estate be divided?

Any ideas?

JazaakAllah for any help.



Assalamu Alaikum.

Thank you for your question. First, before attempting to answer, let’s go over some basic issues about inheritance of ZawulArham i.e. Inheritance of non-heirs. This is a subject I didn’t cover in my book (Inheritance in Islam) since it’s a bit advanced and in essence, a rare occurrence.

Rule: A Zawul Rahim (non-heir relative of a deceased) in the absence of all heirs moves into the shoe of the closest real heir and inherits as the substantive heir. The gender of the real heir is taken into consideration, not the gender of the non-heir who is inheriting.

For example: a deceased leaves behind grandson through a daughter (son of a daughter), daughter of granddaughter through a son (daughter of daughter of a son), maternal grandfather (father of mother) and Full (haqeeqi/shaqeeqi) paternal aunt. How will the estate be shared?

The son of daughter steps into the shoe of his mother and inherits as a daughter, even though he is male. So he receives 1/2 of the estate. The daughter of daughter of a son inherits as daughter of a son and is given 1/6; whereas father of mother assumes the position of mother and is entitled to 1/6. Also, the full paternal aunt steps into the shoe of the closest real heir to her i.e. her brother who is the father of the deceased and gets 1/6 of the estate.

As a general rule, paternal uncles and aunts of whatever level, whether full (haqeeqi/shaqeeqi), consanguine (allaati/li-abb) and uterine (akhyafi/li-umm) all assume the position of the FATHER. So they receive the whole estate, 1/6 of the estate or 1/6 plus residue depending on the situation. Similarly, maternal uncles and aunts move into the shoes of the MOTHER and are given 1/3 or 1/6 of the estate as the case may be.

Now, in a situation whereby a full (haqeeqi) paternal uncle/aunt is inheriting along a consanguine (allaati) paternal uncle/aunt, the former takes 1/2 of the share of father and the latter is given 1/6 of the share of father. If a uterine (akhyafi) paternal uncle/aunt is also present, he/she receives 1/6 of father’s share. The same applies to the maternal uncles and aunts.

Answering your question, the closest heir to full (haqeeqi/shaqeeqi) paternal aunt of father is her brother, i.e. grandfather of the deceased. And the closest real heir to both uterine (akhyafi/li-umm) maternal uncle and maternal aunt of father is their sister, i.e. grandmother of the deceased.

So, this is a case whereby grandfather is inheriting along with grandmother or simplifying it further, a case whereby father and mother are the only surviving heirs. Thus, grandfather/father receives 2/3 and grandmother/mother gets 1/3. But then, the maternal uncle and maternal aunt in question will share the 1/3 equally since they are both uterine (akhyafi).

Therefore, haqeeqi paternal aunt of father = 2/3 = 4/6 of whole estate

Akhyafi maternal uncle of father = 1/2 of remaining 1/3 = 1/6 of whole estate

Akhyafi maternal aunt of father = 1/2 of remaining 1/3 = 1/6 of whole estate.

Check:  4/6 + 1/6 + 1/6 = 1.

Wabil Lahi tawfiq.

Inheritance of grandparents


As-salaamu `alaykum

I was wondering if you could help me with something, insha’Allah

Based on what I’ve read, there are three types of grandparents that are zaawil arhaam:

  1. Maternal Grandfather
  2. Maternal grandfathers mother
  3. Paternal grandmothers father

Based on this, I made a 5-generation ascendants tree (attached in PDF form).

M —-> Grandmother

F —–> Grandfather

The M and F immediately above the mayyit are the Mother and Father. They are not included in this discussion.

The grandparents crossed out with the red lines are zaawil arhaam, the rest are zaawil furoodh.

Can you look over the the diagram and let me know if its correct? Are their any I’ve left out that should be crossed out?



Wa’alaikum Salam.

Sorry for the late reply.

I have edited your pdf to create an image file to answer your question. It’s attached. I circled the non heirs (those who are not suppose to inherit) which you left out. Note that at level 1, there are only 2 grandmothers. Then from level 2 upwards, there are only 3 eligible grandmothers. More explanation here

Ma’ ssalam.


JazaakAllah for your reply.

According to a Hanafi `aalim I showed the diagram to, he says the only zaawil arhaam I left out are the mothers of the zaawil arhaam paternal grandfathers. He sent me the revised diagram which I have attached to this e-mail.

But you have also circled other grandmothers in addition to those . Are you sure you are correct?



Assalamu ‘Alaikum

Laws of Shari’ah including inheritance are guided by proof not assumptions. So, we know by proof that

  1. Maternal grandmother and her ascendants are Zawil furoodh
  2. Paternal grandmother and her ascendants are Zawil furoodh
  3. Paternal grandfather’s mother and her ascendants are Zawil furoodh.

These are clear. No contradictions.

In your research, have you come across where Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother is also a Zawil furoodh? The fact that Paternal grandfather’s mother is a Zawil furoodh does not automatically mean that Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother is also a Zawil furoodh unless we have proof.

Let’s consider this. You have a son and a daughter. The children of your son can inherit from you. But the children of your daughter can not inherit from you. Why? Are they not your grandchildren? But that is what Shari’ah stipulates. Though I am not Hanafi, you may ask the ‘aalim to show you the evidence in Hanafi fiqh where Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother is a Zawil furoodh. If he does, Alhamduli Lah. I have also learnt something new.

However, according to Maliki jurisprudence, only 2 levels of grandparents  (i.e. Maternal grandmother and her mother; paternal grandmother and her mother; paternal grandfather and his mother; then paternal greatgrandfather) are Zawil furoodh. Every other grandparent is Zawil Arhaam.

Finally, even if Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother is a Zawil furoodh, what difference does it make? How many people lived to see their Paternal greatgrandfathers? Talkless of his mother. And what is the probability that Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother will still be alive to inherit from the mayyit? Remember, she is entitled to a share of the mayyit’s estate in the absence of Mother, maternal grandmother, maternal greatgrandmother, paternal grandmother, paternal greatgrandmother and paternal grandfather’s mother. So, practically, how feasible is this?

Therefore, answering your question directly, Yes I am correct based on Maliki jurisprudence. So, in the diagram, (1) Paternal greatgrandfather’s mother (2) Paternal greatgrandfather’s maternal grandmother (3) Paternal greatgrandfather’s paternal grandmother are Zawil Arhaam.


Solving multiple generation munaasakha problem with single chart


As-salaamu `alaykum

After having read your book on Inheritance, I went to more advanced topics, like munaasakha. My question is: Is there a way to solve munaasakha problem with only a single chart?

For example, take a look at this problem;

1st generation.

Shahid passes away leaving behind a wife (Raashida), son (Saajid), son (Ahmad) and daughter (Khadija) and 5000000 in property

2nd generation.

The inheritance was not yet distributed and the son Saajid passed away. He left his mother (Raashida), brother (Ahmad), sister (Khadija), a daughter (Maryam) and son (Abdur Raheem)

3rd generation.

The inheritance was not yet distributed and Abdur Raheem passed away. He left a grandmother (Raashida), uncle (Ahmad), Aunt (Khadija), sister (Maryam), son (Abdul Ghafoor), daughter (Sanjeeda) and wife (Sa’eeda).

The question is that how much wealth will Abdul Ghafoor and Sanjeeda get?

Now, of course I know how to solve his problem using three separate charts. But is there a way to calculate the shares of all heirs all in one go, with one chart?



Wa’alaikum Salam.

Sorry for the late reply.

I am not conversant with solving munaasakha problems with a single chart.

Seven inheritance questions


  1. A deceased is survived by father, mother, spouse and two or more brothers/sisters. Could this still be described as Umariyyatain Case?
  2. A deceased is survived by a daughter and a full sister, which of the following solutions is/are correct (with details)?
    a. Base is 6, daughter gets 3 and full sister gets 3.
    b. Base is 6, daughter gets 3, full sister gets 1 and the remaining 2 belongs to Muslim Treasury.
    c. Base is 4, daughter gets 3 and fill sister gets 1.
  3. A deceased is survived by a daughter, a son’s daughter, a son’s granddaughter and a (full or half) sister. What is going to be their shares?
  4. How could the inheritance of two (or more) daughters, one (or more) son’s daughter, one (or more) son’s granddaughter, and a (full or half) sister be calculated?
  5. A deceased is survived by two full sisters, a half sister and a paternal uncle. What is going to be their shares?
  6. A deceased is survived by a daughter, a son’s granddaughter, a full sister and a paternal uncle. What is going to be their shares?
  7. A deceased is survived by a daughter, a full sister and a half brother. Can full sister deprive half brother from inheriting?


Assalamu ‘Alaikum.

Answers to your questions.

  1. Yes, this is a case of Umariyyataini because Father excludes brothers/sisters. Hence, the only heirs of the deceased are Father, Mother and spouse.
  2. Daughter receives ½ of the estate. The Full sister gets the remaining ½. This is because she gets the residue whenever she is inheriting along with daughter(s), granddaughter(s) through son(s) or a combination of daughter and granddaughter(s) through son(s). Thus, option (a) is correct but the Base Number is too high. It should have been 2; since the LCM of shares under consideration i.e. ½ and ½ is 2. So daughter receives 1 portion and full sister gets the other portion. Options (b) and (c) are wrong.
  3. Son’s granddaughter is excluded because the combination of Daughter and Son’s daughter (SD) will exhaust the 2/3 maximum share of daughters. Then, note that half-sister can be Uterine sister (same mother different father) or Consanguine sister (same father different mother). Since I am not sure which one you are referring to, I will consider all possibilities.

a) Daughter + SD + Full sister

DaughterSDFull sister
½1/6Residue (1/3)

The same rule applies for consanguine sister.

b) Daughter + SD + Uterine sister

DaughterSDUterine sister

The remainder of 1/6 goes to the Muslim treasury or distributed among non-heirs.

4) Any number of Son’s daughters and number of Son’s granddaughter through son (SSD) are excluded by two (or more) daughters. Therefore, two (or more) daughters and Full or half sister are the only rightful heirs. So, the possibilities are:

a) Two (or more) Daughters + Full sister

Two (or more) DaughtersFull sister
2/3Residue (1/3)

Same rule applies for Consanguine sister

b) Two (or more) Daughters + Uterine sister

Two (or more) DaughtersUterine sister

The residue of 1/6 goes to the Muslim treasury or distributed among non-heirs.

5) a) Two Full sisters + Consanguine sister + Paternal uncle

2 Full sistersConsanguine sisterPaternal uncle
2/30Residue (1/3)

Note: Two or more Full sisters exclude Consanguine sisters

b) Two Full sisters + Uterine sister + Paternal uncle

2 Full sistersUterine sisterPaternal uncle
2/31/6Residue (1/6)

6) Notice that Son’s granddaughter may either be Son’s son’s daughter (SSD) or Son’s daughter’s daughter (SDD). The latter is a non-heir. Also, Full sister and Paternal uncle are both residuaries and one cannot exclude another, hence they are to share any left-over in the ratio of 1 to 2. Thus,

a) Daughter + SSD + Full sister + Paternal uncle

DaughterSSDFull sisterPaternal uncle

The residue is 2/6.

Full sister = 1/3 x 2/6 = 2/18 = 1/9

Paternal uncle = 2/3 x 2/6 = 4/18 = 2/9

b) Daughter + SDD + Full sister + Paternal uncle

DaughterSDDFull sisterPaternal uncle

The residue is 1/2.

Full sister = 1/3 x 1/2 = 1/6

Paternal uncle = 2/3 x 1/2 = 2/6 = 1/3

7) No, Full sister cannot deprive or exclude half-brother from inheriting. If the Half-brother were a Consanguine brother, he will share the residue with the Full sister in the ratio of 2 to 1; whereas if he were a Uterine brother, he gets 1/6 of the estate while Full sister is given the residue.

Allah knows best.

Follow-up Answer

Assalamu ‘alaikum,

I hope you and your family are doing fine.

I discovered an error in the answer to the first question you asked which was “A deceased is survived by a father, mother, spouse and two or more brothers/sisters. Could this still be described as Umariyyatain case?”

My response was “Yes, this is a case of Umariyyataini because Father excludes brothers/sisters. Hence, the only heirs of the deceased are Father, Mother and spouse.”

The answer is correct in that the brothers/sisters are excluded by Father. However, it is not a case of Umariyyatain because in Umariyyatain, the only surviving heirs are father, mother and spouse. Hence, the shares of the rightful heirs in this question (Father, mother and spouse) may not be the same as in a pure Umariyyatain case.

Note that in Umariyyatain, if the surviving spouse were to be husband, he takes ½, Father takes 1/3 and mother takes 1/6. Whereas if the surviving spouse were the wife, she takes ¼, father is given ½ and mother is entitled to ¼.

As a rule, Mother is relegated from inheriting 1/3 to 1/6 due the presence of two or more brothers/sisters even if those brothers/sisters are excluded i.e. will not be inheriting. Therefore, my new response is: No, this is not a case of Umariyyatain. Thus, the sharing formula will be:

a) Husband + Mother + Father

½1/6Residue (1/3)

b) Wife + Mother + Father

¼1/6Residue (7/12)

Incidentally, the shares of the husband, mother and father will be the same as if it were Umariyyatain. But actually, it’s not.

Allah knows best.

Difference between Share and Portion


Salam alaykom brother

Brother, I’m translating inheritance concepts from Arabic into English, but my problem is that I don’t have enough knowledge in the matter, I don’t make the difference between two words: Share and portion, would you please provide me with the original terms in Arabic please.

Jazakom ALLAH kheir, ameen.


Different books use different Arabic terminologies for SHARE. Some use “mirath” while others use “fard.” It is the fraction of the estate each CATEGORY of heir is entitled to. I created the term PORTION, hence you may not find the Arabic equivalent in any book – at least that I know of. PORTION technically means the same thing as SHARE but it is the fraction of the estate each individual heir gets.

For example, if a man dies leaving behind a wife and no surviving son or daughter, she gets ¼ of the estate. If the number of wives were to be 2, 3 or 4, they are to divide ¼ of the estate among themselves equally.  So, if the value of the estate were to be $1000, the share and portion or the Wife “category” shall be:

1 wife

Share: ¼ of $1000 = $250

Portion of wife = $250

2 wives

Share: ¼ of $1000 = $250

Portion of wife A: $125

Portion of wife B: $125

3 wives

Share: ¼ of $1000 = $250

Portion of wife A: $83.33

Portion of wife B: $83.33

Portion of wife C: $83.33

4 wives

Share: ¼ of $1000 = $250

Portion of wife A: $62.5

Portion of wife B: $62.5

Portion of wife C: $62.5

Portion of wife D: $62.5