Question: My maternal grandfather had five children, two sons and three daughters. When my grandfather passed away, only two sons and two daughters were alive; my mother passed way during the lifetime of my grandfather. Now my grandfather has passed away, and two sons and two daughters other than my mother are all alive. Will my sister or I have any share in my grandfather’s property? Please explain in the light of Sharia. Thank you
الجواب بعون الملك الوهاب
Answer: The wealth of the deceased is first spent upon the following things, after which the remainder is divided amongst the inheritors:
- The wealth left behind should be used for his preparation and burial (tajhīz and takfīn), meaning that he should be shrouded and buried according to his status and ability.
- The wealth remaining after that should be then used to settle the deceased’s debts.
- After settling all debts, if the deceased had prepared a will, then the will is acted upon. The will is completed using one-third (1/3) of his wealth. Now the wealth remaining can be divided amongst the inheritors.
In the issue that you asked about, the property of your grandfather will be divided into a total of six shares, from which the sons will get two shares each and the daughters will get one share each. Neither you nor your sister will receive anything. In the light of the Islamic Law of Inheritance, you and your sister are barred (based on the principle that a closely related inheritor either completely bars a distantly related inheritor, or reduces that inheritor’s share). It is mentioned in ḥadīth:
ولا يرث ولد الابن مع الابن
(بخاري شريف باب ميراث ابن الابن اذا لم يكن ابن ص ١١٩٤ – مطبوعة دار إحياء تراث العربي – بيروت لبنان)
A grandson will not inherit in the presence of a son.
In the same work, the Noble Nabi ﷺ has said
ألحقوا الفرائض باهلها فما بقي فهو لاولى رجلٍ ذكرٍ
(بخاري شريف ص ١١٩٢ حديث ٤٧٣٢ باب ميراث الولد من ابيه وامه)
Give the inheritance to those who have a right, and the remaining is for the closest male relative.
Therefore, in this case neither you nor your sister will receive anything from your maternal grandfather’s property.
هذا ما ظهر لي والحق عند الله وهو أعلم بالصواب
Muhammad Qamarul Hasan Qadri, may he be forgiven
Servant of Dar ul Iftā’ and Imām and Khaṭīb of Masjid Al-Noor Center
End of Ṣafar ul-Muẓaffar 11, 1439 AH
November 1, 2017 AD
Translated by Omair Shariff