The Muslim Law of Succession is based on four sources: the Holy Quran, Sunna (prophetic tradition), Ijma (a network of educated men who agree on a certain topic), and Qiyas (a network of educated men who agree on a specific topic) (findings in light of similarity on what is correct and just as per great standards). In Muslim law, there are two types of beneficiaries: sharers, who are eligible for a specific offer in the deceased’s property, and reliquaries, who may take up the offer in the property that remains after the sharers have taken their share.

The most noticeable difference between Sunni and Shia legal systems is their separate inheritance laws, according to Islamic research. These divisions are so entrenched that bridging them is nearly impossible. This isn’t to say that there isn’t any space characterised by similarity. At the very least, there are a few areas where these various legal traditions rely on the same sorts of shares and propose similar answers to practical difficulties. It’s a tall order to explain them all under one elaboration scheme, given their different architectures. This appears to be the reason why the authors on the subject chose to discuss both systems of inheritance in separate chapters rather than attempting to do so in the same one.

Difference Between Shai and Sunni Law

Shia law treats cognates and agnates equally when it comes to inheritance. Sunni law favours close kinship over distant kinship.

According to Shia law, class I heirs completely exclude class II and III heirs, while class II heirs completely exclude class three. The remoter is excluded from class III nears degree.

The doctrine of representation is not taken into account in both Shia and Sunni law. It is not possible for a person to inherit in the place of his or her father or mother. It is used in Shia law to determine the quantum of a person’s share, while it is not used at all in Sunni law.

A daughter’s daughter, as a uterine related, has no claim to inherit the property in Sunni law. She only receives it once all of the heirs have exhausted themselves. In Shia law, a daughter’s daughter has the right to inherit her mother’s portion.

When a son’s children cohabit with a daughter’s children, the son’s children are entitled to 2/3rds of the property, while the daughter’s children are entitled to 1/3rd of the property under Shia law. As long as the sharers and reliquaries remain depleted, the daughter’s children are not entitled to a share under Sunni law.

The notion of primogeniture is partially accepted in Shia law, with the eldest son inheriting the sabre, Quran, and other vestments of his deceased father. Sunni law does not recognise it.

Under Shia law, the property between a half-brother by the same mother and the son of a full brother goes to the half-brother, whereas under Sunni law, the half-brother only gets 1/6th of the property and the rest goes to the full brother’s son.

Under Shia law, paternal uncles receive double the shares as aunts, however under Sunni law, the paternal uncles receive the entire estate and the aunts receive nothing.

The allocation of property is done according to per-stripe in Shia law and per-capita in Sunni law.

Females, regardless of how far away from the son they are, can inherit property with him under Shia law. Under Sunni law, the situation is the polar opposite.

Under Shia Law, if a woman gets divorced by her husband during his illness and he subsequently dies of the disease, the woman will retain her inheritance right for one year, whereas under Sunni Law, the woman will retain her inheritance right till the end of her probation period.

If a non-Muslim dies and leaves behind a Muslim and a non-Muslim heir, the Muslim heir will be given preference over the non-Muslim successor, despite the fact that the Muslim heir is distant in degree, whilst non-Muslims have no right to inherit under Sunni Law.

The doctrine of increase only applies to the daughter and sister in Shia law, whereas it applies to all sharers under Sunni law.

Only purposeful murderers are barred from inheriting property under Shia law, whereas everyone accused of murder is barred under Sunni law.

In the case of an illegitimate child, Shia law bans the kid from inheriting both the father’s and mother’s property, whereas Sunni law allows the illegitimate child to inherit only the mother’s property. These heirs-father, mother, husband, and wife-are never excluded from the succession under Shia or Sunni law.


In India, unlike other religions, Muslim law is not codified. It is based entirely on religious texts, such as the holy Quran. When a law is codified, it makes governing issues much easier than when it is not codified. Almost every problem is covered in detail by codified legislation. Despite the fact that it is not codified, Muslim law contains minute specifics regarding the law governing inheritance rights. The Muslim faith is divided into two groups: Shias and Sunnis. There are some similarities between the laws of both subparts, but there are some discrepancies as well. We have examined various disparities between the rules controlling Shia and Sunni inheritance rights in this project. We can observe that Sunni law is more rigid than Shia law, as we mentioned earlier. On the one hand, Shia law recognises women’s rights, whilst Sunni law disregards women’s rights. Sunni law prioritises the male part of the family and pays little attention to the female’s needs. In terms of inheritance rights, the Muslim law appears to be more stringent than the current Hindu law. Previously, Muslim law was thought to be more liberal than Hindu law because it gave women a higher priority than Hindu law. However, it has become more permissive since Hindu Law was codified. However, Muslim law was the first to grant women inheritance rights and provide sufficient documentation for property distribution. Finally, Islam presents a complex system of inheritance that is both stable and scientific, as well as elegantly harmonious.

Aishwarya Says:

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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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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