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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 27: Wills and Inheritance (Hadith -- The Traditions)


Chapter 27:
Wills and Inheritance (Hadith -- The Traditions):


 

(Note: The superscript-numbers [e.g., intention2] that appear in the text [in pink] refer to the numbers of the explanatory footnotes that appear at the end of each Hadith [Tradition].)


1 Ibn `Umar reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"It is not right for a Muslim who has property regarding which he must make a will that he should sleep for two nights (consecutively) but that his will should be written down with him. (B. 55 : 1.)


2 Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, used to visit me at Makkah, in the year of the Farewell pilgrimage, on account of (my) illness which had become very severe. So I said, My illness has become very severe and I have much property and there is none to inherit from me but a daughter, shall I then bequeath two-thirds of my property as a charity? He said, "No". I said, Half? He said, "No". Then he said:

"Bequeath one-third and one-third is much, for if thou leavest thy heirs free from want, it is better than that thou leavest them in want, begging of (other) people; and thou dost not spend anything seeking thereby the pleasure of Allah but thou art rewarded for it, even for that which thou puttest into the mouth of thy wife."1 (B. 23 : 36.)

1 Sa`d later rose to prominence under `Umar as the conqueror of Persia. The incident related here took place in the 10th year of Hijrah as the mention of the Farewell pilgrimage shows. This shows conclusively that the order to make a bequest, as laid down in 2 : 180, was never abrogated. The hadith further shows that the will was prescribed especially for charitable objects, and therefore only one-third of the property could be disposed of by will, so that the heirs may not be deprived altogether.


3 Abu Umamah said
I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say in his sermon in the Farewell pilgrimage :

"Surely Allah has given to every one entitled to anything his due, therefore there shall be no bequest for one who inherits."2 (AD-Msh. 12 : 20.)

2 As the shares of the heirs are fixed by the Holy Qur'an, a will in favour of the heirs would practically be an annulment of that injunction. If, however, the heirs agreed, there would be no objection to a testator disposing of his property in a particular manner.


4 Anas reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said to Abu Talhah:

"Give it to the needy from among thy near relatives." So he gave it to Hassan and Ubayy ibn Ka`b, . . . . and they were nearer to him than myself. 3 (B. 55 : 10.)

3 Here we are toldAbu Talhah had certain property which he wanted to devote to charitable objects. The Holy Prophet advised him to give it to his own needy relatives who were not entitled to receive anything as heirs.


5 It is mentioned that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, ordered the debt to be paid before the execution of the will.4 (B. 55 : 9.)

4 The debts take precedence because the property to which the will relates can only be ascertained after the debts are paid.


6 Usamah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"The Muslim does not inherit from the unbeliever, nor does the unbeliever inherit from the Muslim."5 (B. 85 : 25.)

5 For eight years at Madinah the Muslims and the disbelievers were divided into two camps at war with each other, and this order was probably given under these circumstances.


7 `A'ishah reported,
When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, died, the wives of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, intended sending `Uthman to Abu Bakr, demanding their share of inheritance. `A'ishah said, Did not the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"We are not inherited; whatever we leave is a charity." (B. 85 : 2.)


8 Ibn `Abbas reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Give the appointed portions to those entitled to them. Then whatever remains is for the nearest male."6 (B. 85 : 4.)

6 This is considered to be the, basic rule in inheritance. The appointed portions are given in v. 3. If anything remains after that, it goes to the nearest male relative.


9 Zaid said,
When a man or a woman leaves behind a daughter, she gets one-half; and if there are two (daughters) or more, they get two-thirds; and if there is a male with them, beginning is made with him who inherits with them and he is given his appointed portion, and what remains (is divided among the children), the male having the portion of two females.
7 (B. 85 : 4.)

7 The application of the rule given in the first part fails in some cases. A person leaves both parents who would take one-third, two or more daughters who would take two-thirds, and a husband or wife for whom nothing remains. If all the children are treated alike, whether there are only sons or only daughters or sons and daughters, the difficulty would not arise. In the latter part of the hadith it is stated that if there are sons and daughters, beginning should be made with the person who inherits with them. If this rule is applied in all cases, the difficulty does not arise. Thus, if there are parents and husband or wife along with children, they will receive their shares first, one-sixth each in the case of parents and one-fourth or one-eighth in the case of husband or wife, and the remainder would go to sons or sons and daughters; but if there are daughters only, they would take one-half or two-thirds of the remainder, as the case may to be.


10 Zaid said,
The children of a son take the place of a son, when there is no son besides them; their males are like their males and their females like their females; they inherit as they inherit and they preclude (other relatives) as they prelude; and the son of a son does not inherit with the son.
8 (B. 85 : 6.)

8 The son's children are thus deprived if there is a son living. There is nothing related from the Holy Prophet in this respect and the companions had different opinions in matters relating to inheritance (h. 11). The opinion given by Zaid is, therefore, not final. In B. 85 : 7, it is stated that Ibn Mas`ud gave a certain portion to the daughter of a deceased son, treating her as a second daughter. Taking this case into consideration, a deceased son's children should take the place of their father.


11 Ibn `Abbas said,
My son's son inherits from me precluding my brothers, why should I not inherit from my son's son? And different opinions are related from `Umar and `Ali and Ibn Mas`ud and Zaid. (B. 85 : 8.)


12 Buraidah said,
A man from among the Khuza`ah died, and his inheritance was brought to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him. He said, "Search for his heir or one related to him on the female side." But they could not find a heir for him, nor one related on the female side. So the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said :

"Give it to the nearest connected with him through a great-grand-ancestor from among the Khuza`ah"9 (AD-Msh. 12 : 19.)

9 In this case the inheritance was given to a very remote ancestor's descendants. According to the hadith that follows, when no other heirs could be found it was given to a freed slave. Only in extreme cases was the property made over to the State treasury (bait-al-mal), as stated in h. 14. But then the State was also made responsible for paying justly contracted unpaid debts of deceased persons.


13 Ibn `Abbas reported,
A man died, and he did not leave any heir except a slave whom he had set free. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said,

"Has he any one (to inherit)?"

They said, None, except a slave whom he had set free. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, gave his inheritance to him. (AD-Msh. 12 : 19.)


14 Miqdam said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"I am nearer to every believer than his own self; so whoever leaves behind a debt or children to support, it shall be our charge; and whoever leaves property, it is for his heirs; and I am the heir of the person who has no heir -- I inherit his property and liberate his captivity.10 (AD-Msh. 12 : 19.)

10 If there is a Muslim state, it would take the place of the Holy Prophet; if not, the Muslim community would inherit from the man who has no other heir, near or distant.


15 Jabir said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"When a child is born crying, funeral service is held over him and he is inherited." (IM-Msh. 12 : 19.)


16 Abu Hurairah said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"The murderer does not inherit." (Tr.-Msh. 12 : 19.)


17 `Amr ibn Shu`aib reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Whoever holds illicit intercourse with a free woman or a slave-girl, the child (thus born) is illegitimate, and he does not inherit, nor is he inherited." (Tr-Msh. 12 : 19.)
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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 27: Wills and Inheritance (Hadith -- The Traditions)

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