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Types of Heirs and their Shares

One: Five kinds of heirs may take a share of one-half:The husband, when his deceased wife has no male or female offspring by that marriage or an earlier one. The deceased’s daughter, when she has no siblings, male or female, who are also heirs of the deceased. The deceased’s son’s daughter, when she is the only heir. The deceased’s full brother, when he has no siblings to share with him and the deceased has neither offspring nor parents or grandparents. The deceased’s half sister born to his father, when she has no siblings to inherit with her, and the deceased has neither offspring nor parents or grandparents, nor a full brother or a full sister.

The heirs

Heirs may be males or females. There are nine types of male relatives: 1) son; 2) grandson and lower male grandchildren; 3) father; 4) grandfather and higher male grandparents; 5) brother or half-brother; 6) nephew who is the son of a half-brother who has a different mother. If the deceased has the same mother then his nephew does not inherit; 7) paternal uncle; 8) son of a paternal uncle who is a full brother of the deceased’s father or a half-brother born to the same father; 9) husband

What prevents inheritance

Murder: All scholars agree that a deliberate murder is a cause that precludes inheritance. The murderer cannot inherit from his victim.Slavery: During the time when slavery was a recognized system, slaves could not inherit.If the heir and his deceased relative belonged to different faiths. The Prophet says: ‘A Muslim does not inherit from an unbeliever, nor does an unbeliever inherit from a Muslim.’

Conditions of Wills

The testator must be a person who is qualified to make a donation, by being an adult of sound mind. There are, however, two exceptions: a young testator who makes a will regarding his own funeral and burial, as long as this is within what is reasonable, and a weak-minded person making a will for charitable purposes, such as teaching the Qur’an or building a hospital.

Types of wills

Obligatory: A will to ensure the repayment of debts and return things held in trust; Recommended: A will made in favor of relatives who are not heirs and for charitable purposes;  Reprehensible: A will made in favor of people who indulge in sin; Forbidden: A will created for a forbidden purpose, such as building a temple. A will is also forbidden if it amounts to harming any of one’s heirs. Permissible: A will made in favor of relatives and non-relatives who are well off. A will is deemed to have been made in one of three ways: a verbal statement, a written document, and a clear signal.