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Eligibility of Share in Inheritance for Non-Muslims…

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Question

Kindly advise me if the ELIGIBLE recipients of inheritance are COMPLETELY turned off from Islam or they elected to choose religion other than Islam EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE BORN MUSLIMS AS DESCSENDANTS OF THE DECEASED, can they be EXCLUDED partially or totally ACCORDING TO SHARI’AH from getting their distribution from the inheritance money left by the deceased?

Ja Zaak Allaah.

Answer

According to the opinion of most of the Muslim jurists, they shall be excluded from inheritance and shall not receive their share prescribed by the Qur’an.

In our opinion, however, every inheritor, whose share has been prescribed by the Qur’an, shall receive his prescribed share (in full), even if he has converted to another religion unless the deceased,during his life,has clearly documented that he/she be excluded from my inheritance.Our opinion is based on the following arguments;

The Qur’an mentions that the rationale behind the shares the Almighty has suggested for various close relatives, is that “you dont know who amongst them (close relatives) is closer to you in benefit” (Qur’an; 4:11).Hence,after this directive,under normal circumstances,no one has the right to bequeath his wealth in favour of the heirs alloted by Allah.As is obvious from the verse that the right of inheritance is based on the benefit one can have from a relative.If there is a situation where this benefit is lost for any reason then the distribution of wealth can be altered or completely annulled.It is exactly in view of this prophet(sws) said;”A muslim cannot be heir of a Kafir nor can a Kafir be heir of a Muslim”(Bukhari).This hadith,however,should be understood in its context.In the presece of a Rasul(Messenger)addressees of Rasuls are left with no excuse to deny the truth.Their rejection is out of sheer arrogance and enemity and consequently there is no possibility of either of them(muslim and kafir) benefitting from each other despite their close kinship.That situation cannot be applied after the institution of Risalat has come to an end.In the present times,therefore,despite changing his religion,if a child has been dutiful towards his parents’ needs, his rights may not be terminated or should not be terminated depending on how parents or a society sees it.In our opinion,it is only if the child becomes rebellious or poses harm to the parents can his inheritance be invalidated.

Allah knows the best

UIUK team

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