Blood Relationship as a Basis of Inheritance Under Islamic Law

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Blood Relationship as a Basis of Inheritance Under Islamic Law: A Case Study of the Inner and Outer Circles of Family


Life on earth depends largely on inheritance from generation to generation for its continuous existence. Without inheritance, there would be no meaningful development anywhere in this world. Thus, human beings have succeeded in building and beautifying this world through inheritance, which today provides an aesthetic value in our cities and towns.

However, the method and procedure of such inheritance differ from one society to another. Therefore, past and present societies have their systems of inheritance. For example, the Arabs before Islam, Christians and Jews may have things in common but would differ in certain degrees. The people in this world have been struggling to acquire wealth. The tendency to “get” is so strong that they struggle throughout their lives. However, man always reminds himself that “life is short” and, therefore, he is also in “need” of somebody who can succeed him in his property and continue the struggle. Naturally, he would prefer his blood relatives and spouse to inherit him. Considering this phenomenon, the knowledge of Islamic law of inheritance becomes necessary. The Prophet (S.A.W) said, “learn the knowledge of inheritance and teach it to others because it is half of knowledge and it is easily forgotten, and it is first knowledge to be lifted from my Ummah”.

This researcher hopes to align with the above Hadith and discuss the topic “Blood Relationship as a Basis of Inheritance under Islamic Law: a case study of the Inner and outer circles of family.” Through this topic, the researcher will contribute little to the development of the science of inheritance. In order to provide a solid foundation, the research has traced the historical development of succession from the period before Islam to when the three verses of inheritance were revealed. It has also considered the inheritance of Jewish and Christian laws of inheritance. The research work has classified the heirs into four categories of blood relationships. Under these categories, each legal heir’s inheritance, how he is excluded and excluded others have been considered. The succession right of the heirs of the inner and outer circles of the family has also been analyzed.




NASAB in Arabic terminology means paternity or blood relationship, which gives the heirs the right to inherit. The heirs include Quranic, agnatic and cognatic heirs related to the praepositus by blood, both near and remote. Under the Islamic law of inheritance, there are four main grounds for inheritance. They are NASAB or blood relationship, NIKAH or marriage, WALA-AL-ITAG or a right given to the master of an emancipated slave2 and Baitul Mal or Islamic public treasury3. Before the distribution of the estate of the praepositus among the legal heirs, their relationship must be established. That they are either related by blood relationship or affinity. The relationship in both cases must be legal; that is, the blood relationship must be one which is legitimate, and the marriage must be valid and subsisting at the time of the death of the praepositus4. This research is concerned with blood relatives of the inner and outer circles of the family. The former is categorized into four as follows:

Ascendants: They are parents and grandparents of the praepositus. They include father, mother, father’s father, mother’s mother and father’s mother how high soever.

Descendants: They are the children of the deceased, either direct or issues of the male issue of the deceased person.

The direct children are a son and a daughter. The example of grandchildren are; son’s son and son’s daughter how low soever.

Collaterals: They are brothers and sisters. They are as follows:

Germane brothers and sisters have the same father and mother with the praepositus. Also, the son of the germane brother can inherit…


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Blood Relationship as a Basis of Inheritance Under Islamic Law