وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُولُو الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ وَقُولُوا لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا
“And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” [4:8]
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 21 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Some people claim that the order in the above Verse is cancelled, by Allah, it is not cancelled, but the people have stopped acting on it. There are two kinds of guardians (who are in charge of the inheritance): One is that who inherits; such a person should give (of what he inherits to the relatives, the orphans and the needy, etc.), the other is that who does not inherit (e.g. the guardian of the orphans): such a person should speak kindly and say (to those who are present at the time of distribution), “I can not give it to you (as the wealth belongs to the orphans).”
Ibn Kathir comments:
Ath-Thawri said that Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid that implementing this Ayah, “Is required from those who have anything to inherit, paid from whatever portions their hearts are satisfied with giving away.” Similar explanation was reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Musa, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ash-Sha`bi and Al-Hasan. Ibn Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata’ bin Abi Rabah, Az-Zuhri and Yahya bin Ya`mar said this payment is obligatory. Others say that this refers to the bequeathal at the time of death. And others say that it was abrogated. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah,
﴿وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ﴾
(And when are present at the time of division), refers to divisions of inheritance. So, when poor relatives, who are ineligible for inheritance, orphans, and the poor attend the division of the inheritance, which is sometimes substantial, their hearts will feel eager to have a share, seeing each eligible person assuming his share; while they are desperate, yet are not given anything. Allah the Most Kind, Most Compassionate, commands that they should have a share in the inheritance as an act of kindness, charity, compassion and mercy for them.
This directive is addressed to the heirs of the deceased. They are told not to be niggardly towards their relatives whether they be close or distant. Nor should they be niggardly towards either poor and needy members of the family or towards orphans who are present when the inheritance is distributed. Although they are not legally entitled to any share it is seemly for people to act magnanimously and give them something out of their inheritance, and especially to desist from making hurtful remarks.
Ahadith 2398 – 2402 (below) are repeats. See linked text for related posts.
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 5 :
Narrated by Sad bin Abu Waqqas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) came visiting me while I was (sick) in Mecca, (‘Amir the sub-narrator said, and he disliked to die in the land, whence he had already migrated). He (i.e. the Prophet) said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on Ibn Afra (Sad bin Khaula).” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! May I will all my property (in charity)?” He said, “No.” I said, “Then may I will half of it?” He said, “No”. I said, “One third?” He said: “Yes, one third, yet even one third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor begging others, and whatever you spend for Allah’s sake will be considered as a charitable deed even the handful of food you put in your wife’s mouth. Allah may lengthen your age so that some people may benefit by you, and some others be harmed by you.” At that time Sad had only one daughter.
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 6 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
I recommend that people reduce the proportion of what they bequeath by will to the fourth (of the whole legacy), for Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “One-third, yet even one third is too much.“
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 7 :
Narrated by Sad (radiallaahu `anhu)
I fell sick and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) paid me a visit. I said to him, “O Allah’s Apostle! I invoke Allah that He may not let me expire in the land whence I migrated (i.e. Mecca).” He said, “May Allah give you health and let the people benefit by you.” I said, “I want to will my property, and I have only one daughter and I want to will half of my property (to be given in charity).” He said,” Half is too much.” I said, “Then I will one third.” He said, “One-third, yet even one-third is too much.” (The narrator added, “So the people started to will one third of their property and that was permitted for them.”)
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 8 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) (the wife of the Prophet)
Utba bin Abi Waqqas entrusted (his son) to his brother Sad bin Abi Waqqas (radiallaahu `anhu) saying, “The son of the slave-girl of Zam’a is my (illegal) son, take him into your custody.” So during the year of the Conquest (of Mecca) Sad (radiallaahu `anhu) took the boy and said, “This is my brother’s son whom my brother entrusted to me.” ‘Abu bin Zam’a got up and said, “He is my brother and the son of the slave girl of my father and was born on my father’s bed.” Then both of them came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and Sad (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “O Allah’s Apostle! This is my brother’s son whom my brother entrusted to me.” Then ‘Abu bin Zam’a got up and said, “This is my brother and the son of the slave-girl of my father.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Abu bin Zam’a! This boy is for you as the boy belongs to the bed (where he was born), and for the adulterer is the stone (i.e. deprivation).” Then the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to his wife Sauda bint Zam’a, “Screen yourself from this boy,” when he saw the boy’s resemblance to ‘Utba. Since then the boy did not see Sauda till he died.
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 9 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
A Jew crushed the head of a girl between two stones. She was asked, “Who has done so to you, so-and-so? So-and-so?” Till the name of the Jew was mentioned, whereupon she nodded (in agreement). So the Jew was brought and was questioned till he confessed. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) then ordered that his head be crushed with stones.
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 10 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The custom (in old days) was that the property of the deceased would be inherited by his offspring; as for the parents (of the deceased), they would inherit by the will of the deceased. Then Allah cancelled from that custom whatever He wished and fixed for the male double the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy) and for the wife an eighth or a fourth and for the husband a half or a fourth.
InshaAllah we’ll learn about inheritance and shares in detail once we reach Kitaab-ul-Faraa’id, but for now, here are some resources to look into for general/advanced knowledge (depending on how deep you look):
Outline of inheritance shares (with evidences)
Video lectures on Fiqh of Islamic Inheritance
Inheritance calculator (cool stuff)
Hadith no. 2393 (below) is a repeat. Read about it here.
Volume 3, Book 50, Number 895 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
Umar bin Khattab (radiallaahu `anhu) got some land in Khaibar and he went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) to consult him about it saying, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! I got some land in Khaibar better than which I have never had, what do you suggest that I do with it?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If you like you can give the land as endowment and give its fruits in charity.” So Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) gave it in charity as an endowment on the condition that would not be sold nor given to anybody as a present and not to be inherited, but its yield would be given in charity to the poor people, to the Kith and kin, for freeing slaves, for Allah’s Cause, to the travelers and guests; and that there would be no harm if the guardian of the endowment ate from it according to his need with good intention, and fed others without storing it for the future.”
Kitaab-ush-Shuroot [Book of Conditions] ends here.
Kitaab-ul-Wasaayaa [Book of Wills] starts today..
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 1 :
Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.”
Allah says in the Quran:
“It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).” [al-Baqarah 2:180]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah was being generous to you when He allowed you to give one-third of your wealth (in charity) when you die, to increase your good deeds.”
(Narrated by Ibn Maajah, al-Wasaayaa, 2700; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah, no. 2190)
It is permitted to write a will concerning one third or less. Some of the scholars said it is preferable for it to be less than one-third, and the will does not apply to any of the heirs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“There is no will for the heirs.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Wasaayaa, 2047; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 1722).
The will comes into effect when the person dies. It is permissible for the person who writes the will to revoke it or cancel it or revoke part of it. Carrying out the will is an important matter which was confirmed by Allaah and mentioned before other things, and there is a stern warning issued to those who change it.
With regard to the distribution of personal belongings, he does not have the right to state how they should be distributed after he dies, because the share of each heir has been defined by Allaah, and He has explained who inherits and who does not inherit. So it is not permitted for any person to transgress the limits set by Allaah, because Allaah has warned against doing that. Allaah says in Soorat al-Nisaa’ (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit; (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allaah. And Allaah is Ever All‑Knower, All‑Wise.
In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third, after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allaah; and Allaah is Ever All‑Knowing, Most‑Forbearing.
These are the limits (set by) Allaah (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.
And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment”
And Allaah knows best.
Further reading: A 6-Step Guide to Making Your Will