The Hanafi law of succession and the Shia law of succession, both derived from Indian common law, are two types of Islamic inheritance laws. The Muslim Personal Law Application Act of 1937 gives them legal standing. The transmission of an ancestor’s property to the legitimate heir is referred to as succession. It is referred to as testamentary succession when property is passed down according to the deceased’s “will.” When a person passes away without leaving a will, the succession is carried out according to the usual principles. Intestate succession is the term for this situation. The fundamentals of intestate succession were compared to pre-emptive rights in the case of Gobind Dayal (v) Inayatullah,1885.
The Islamic succession is based on a patriarchal family system and is drawn from customary rule of succession. In Islamic law, heirs are divided into seven divisions: three main classes and four minor classes. The Quranic heirs or sharers, the agnatic hairs or residuaries, and the uterine heirs or distant kindred are the three main groupings. The subsidiary classes include successors by contract, acknowledged kinsman, sole legatee and escheat.
Following the loss of a loved one, the first order of business is to pay for funeral expenses, debts, and bequests. The property is then distributed among the various relatives or sharers in accordance to the portions they are entitled to. If there is any residue left, it is distributed among the residuaries. If there are no sharers or residuaries, the distant kindred will receive the entire estate. A person who is eligible to inherit in the absence of any relation in the major classes and the first two subsidiary classes is known as the single legatee. Finally, in the absence of any of the principle or subsidiary heirs, the property of the deceased is inherited by the state and his whole estate would escheat to the government.
All heirs are important, but Quranic heirs are the most important. These are the deceased’s relatives whose portion of the estate has been established by the Quran. The Quran specifies their portion and order of priority in succession. There are 12 heirs in the Quran.
A surviving husband inherits his wife’s property in case he has a child or child of a son, how low so ever. His share is one fourth of the inheritable estate. If he does not have a child of a son, how low so ever then he inherits half. A surviving wife is entitled to receive one fourth of the inheritable property where the husband has not left any child or son’s or grandson’s child. If the husband has left a child, the wife inherits one eighth of the property. In an exceptional case of more than one wife, they have to divide this share equally among themselves.
The father of the deceased becomes a Quranic sharer only if the deceased has left a child or son’s or grandson’s child. Otherwise, he is not a Quranic sharer. A father who is a Quranic heir will inherit one sixth of the estate. There are three distinct scenarios for the mother of the deceased. She gets one sixth share if there is a child or son’s child how low so ever, or where there are two or more brothers or sisters or one brother or sister. She gets one third share when there is no child or child of the son, how low so ever, no brothers or sisters. She gets one third of the remaining after deducting wife’s or husband’s share where there is a father, wife or husband.
Maternal grandmother in case the mother of the deceased is absent, will be entitled to inherit one sixth of the share. Only in those cases where both parents of the deceased are absent, the paternal grandmother becomes a Quranic heir. She is entitled to one sixth share of the heritable estate. A paternal grandfather becomes a Quranic sharer only when the father of the deceased is absent. He is entitled to receive one sixth of the share. Maternal grandfather is not a Quranic sharer.
Daughters become Quranic heirs only in the absence of a son. Single daughter receives half of the share. If there are more than one daughter, then all inherit two third share collectively which they share equally. The son’s daughter becomes a Quranic sharer only if she has predeceased the son of the deceased and such a son has not left behind any son of his own. A single son’s daughter receives half share while two or more son’s daughters receive two third collectively.
A single full sister receives half share of the estate when there is no son how low so ever, father, grandfather, daughter, son’s daughter or brother. When there are two or more full sisters and no excluder, the sisters will get two third share collectively. When there is only one consanguine sister, with no full sister and no excluder then she is entitled to receive half share. If there is one fulll sister, then she will get only one sixth share. Uterine sister or brother will receive a share only if there is no child, son’s child how low so ever, father or grandfather. The share of one such sister or brother is one sixth and if two or more are there, they collectively inherit two third. Quranic sharers hence form the most significant and foremost class of heirs.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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