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Submit an item Staff Only. Ashgate Islamic Law Series Full text not available from this repository. Altmetric Data There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item. Statistics Download activity - last 12 months. Downloads since deposit. Accesses by country - last 12 months. Accesses by referrer - last 12 months. Repository staff only Edit Item. Islam provides fixed shares of heritable property of the deceased that can be inherited by the relatives of the descendants.

This heritable property is calculated after subtracting several items from the total value of the property. These are:. Bequests, which are limited to one-third of the total property. These are reckoned as debts of the deceased, and must therefore be accounted for with other debts incurred. This would then be paid in addition to the full amount that she would be entitled to out of the heritable property.

Heritable property includes both moveable and immoveable property, and unlike in Hindu law, no distinction is made between ancestral and self-acquired property. Also, no Muslim has a right in property by birth by law, and the entire property devolves upon heirs only at the moment of death.

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Thus, if a Sunni female dies leaving a husband and distant kindred, her husband gets half and the rest is divided among the distant kindred. But when a male dies, his wife would only get a quarter, with the rest left for the distant kindred. This pattern continues for all classes of heirs, which differ for Shias and Sunnis.

This is justified on the basis of reasons already explained, and therefore the researcher shall not discuss them again. In Sunni law, the first category of heirs is relatives by marriage and blood, sub-divided into sharers, residuary and distant kindred.

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In the absence of the first category, unrelated successors may inherit, being acknowledged kinsmen and the universal legatee. These heirs inherit in the order which they have been named, and depending on the number of heirs, later classes may get excluded. These sharers all have pre-determined shares depending on their closeness to the deceased, but all female sharers get half of what males are entitled to. In fact, this applies to residuaries and distant kindred too. The residuaries consist of descendants, ascendants, descendants of father and descendants of true grandfather, in that order of succession.

The nearer in degree exclude the more remote, but males do not exclude females of the same degree. This applies in all categories.

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Though no definition is given anywhere of distant kindred, they may be taken to be those blood relatives who are neither sharers nor residuaries. When there are more than one class of heirs, different rules apply. When either sharers or residuaries exist, the distant kindred get completely excluded. However, when there are both sharers and residuaries, the claims of sharers are settled first and then the residue is distributed among residuaries — hence the name given to the class. In some cases, an heir may inherit in more than one capacity. Shias divide heirs on two grounds: heirs by blood relationship and heirs by marriage, i.

Blood relations are divided into three classes, each of which is divided into two. These classes are created on the basis of nearness to the deceased. Thus, Class I heirs are parents and children and other lineal descendants.

Class II are grandparents true or false and brothers, sisters and their descendants. Class III heirs are paternal aunts, uncles, descendants and ascendants and maternal aunts, uncles, their descendants and ascendants. In all these classifications, there is no lineal limit. Though heirs of different sections in a class do not exclude each other, the nearer degree in each section excludes the more remote.


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However, heirs by marriage are never excluded, but inherit together with the nearest heir by consanguinity accorded to pre-ordained rules. Like Sunnis, Shia heirs inherit fixed shares, but these shares are different in the Shia system. However, the inheritance rules for women are the same, and they get half of what male relatives of equal degree are entitled to. In the course of this project, the researcher has attempted to demonstrate the nature of the Islamic law of inheritance, and see how it applies to women. This law is heavily criticised in the present day since it continues to discriminate against women, by giving them only half the share of property that men get.

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