Additional Inheritance Rules

The Estate

The inheritable estate is comprised of:

  1. real and movable property, whether in deceased’s actual acquisition of not (e.g. in hands of leaseholder or usurper)
  2. monies due to the deceased but uncollected at time of death (included waqf)
  3. rights in rem, not money per se – but likely to be assessed in or related to monies such as water rights, rights of way or right of mortgage
  4. rights of recession – right of a buyer to cancel sale contract (in case of defect) and right of buyer to choose from among several objects


Charges on the Estate

Possible charges on the estate are comprised of (for example):

  • funeral costs
  • debts of the estate, payable from the gross estate
  • valid and effective legacies or bequests within one-third of the remainder
  • shares of heirs from what is left – if none, goes to Treasury


Other Provisions

  • if there are no descendants or ascendants; if a man dies childless and has a sister she gets half and he would have inherited from her had she died childless
  • if there are two sisters, then theirs are two thirds of the heritage
  • if they are brethren (siblings) male and female the male gets the equivalent of the share of two females
  • maternal uncle inherits from him who leaves no other heir
  • If an heir caused the death, that heir is excluded from succession.

Source: Jamal J. Nasir, The Islamic Law of Personal Status, second edition (Graham and Trotman, 1990), 225-226, 231