At Josh and Mak International, we understand the intricacies of Islamic law and its impact on matters of inheritance. Pakistani Inheritance is based entirely on Shariah (Islamic law).A common query we often get from members of the public is about how their shares will be divided under Pakistani law which is basically Islamic law.
Our team of experienced lawyers specializes in navigating the complexities of Islamic inheritance rules, providing expert guidance to our clients. In this article, we shed light on the key aspects of Islamic inheritance laws, highlighting the importance of seeking professional advice to ensure a fair and compliant distribution of assets.
Islamic law, also known as Shari’a (or Shariah) law, encompasses a wide range of legal matters, including family issues, succession, property, and criminal law. While Islamic law shares common elements across different jurisdictions, the sources of jurisprudence can vary, leading to variations in its application.
One fundamental aspect of Islamic inheritance law is the strict and rigid rules that govern the division of a Muslim’s estate among their heirs upon death. Testamentary freedom (the ability to make a Will) is limited to one-third of the deceased’s net estate after accounting for debts and funeral expenses. The remaining two-thirds are distributed in accordance with Shari’a principles.
The distribution of the estate under Shari’a rules depends on the Islamic sect to which the deceased belonged. Typically, it follows a hierarchical structure of three classes of heirs:
- Quranic Heirs or Sharers: This first class of heirs includes the husband/wife, son, daughter, father, and mother. Each heir is entitled to specific shares, although some shares may exclude others. For example, a husband may inherit half of his deceased wife’s estate if she has no children, or a quarter share if she has children. Similarly, a wife may inherit a quarter share of her deceased husband’s estate if she has no children, or one-eighth if she has children. Sons generally inherit twice as much as their sisters.
- Residuary Heirs: In the absence of Quranic heirs, the estate passes to the second class of heirs, which includes grandparents, siblings, nephews, and nieces. Specific rules govern half-brothers, half-sisters, step-parents, and other relatives within this group.
- Further Relatives: If no Quranic heirs or residuary heirs exist, the estate may pass to a third class of heirs, which includes paternal and maternal aunts, uncles, and their descendants.
It is important to note that adopted children are not considered primary heirs under Islamic law. However, the deceased can leave them a bequest from the one-third portion of their estate, known as testamentary freedom. Additionally, non-Muslims who are Christians or Jews, referred to as the “Followers of the Book,” may inherit from the testamentary portion of the estate, provided it aligns with the deceased’s wishes and complies with Shari’a requirements.
Here are some key points about succession of Grandchildren of Deceased heirs in Pakistani Law :
- Granddaughter’s Entitlement: If the daughter of a person (propositus) dies before the opening of succession, her daughters (granddaughters) are entitled to inherit the share that their mother would have received if she had survived until the death of the propositus. This means that the granddaughters step into their mother’s place and inherit her portion.
- Heirs of Predeceased Children: According to the provisions of Section 4 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, the children of a predeceased son or daughter have the right to inherit the property of their grandfather upon his death. This provision is considered valid and not contradictory to the principles of Islam.
- Limitations on Increase: The entitlement of children (grandchildren) of a predeceased son or daughter is limited to their respective shares as determined by the applicable laws. Their shares cannot be increased or augmented in any way beyond what they are entitled to receive.
- Inheritance of Predeceased Daughter’s Children: The children of a predeceased daughter of the last full owner will inherit the share that their mother would have received if she were alive at the time of the opening of the succession. This implies that the grandchildren of the propositus inherit their mother’s portion as if she were alive during the distribution of the inheritance.
At Josh and Mak International, we emphasize the importance of seeking professional advice to navigate the intricacies of Islamic inheritance laws. Our team of expert lawyers can guide you through the process, ensuring a fair distribution of assets while adhering to the principles of Islamic law. Whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim with concerns regarding inheritance matters, we are here to provide tailored solutions based on your specific circumstances.
In conclusion, understanding Islamic inheritance laws requires expert knowledge and guidance. With our extensive experience in Islamic law, we can help you navigate the complexities of inheritance matters and ensure a smooth and compliant distribution of assets. Contact us today to discuss your situation and benefit from our specialized legal services.