“What is our share? A look at the laws of inheritance”

Qur’anic verses define as heirs several classes of kin that were previously unable to inherit – most notably women such as wives, daughters, mothers and sisters – and distributed the estate in an equitable way that was a drastic improvement from the pre-Islamic scheme. The Qur’an specifies three main classes of heirs: (1) the Qur’anic heirs called “Sharers,” (2) agnatic heirs called “Residuaries,” and (3) uterine heirs called “Distant Kindred.” Not all possible heirs always inherit; some classes may exclude others, and some heirs within a class may exclude others within the same class. However, the spouse, parents and children of the deceased cannot be excluded, although their shares may be decreased by the existence of more heirs.

Chaudhry, Zainab
Source publication: 
Azizah Volume 3, Issue 3, August 2004