Succession Under Muslim Law

“Learn the laws of Succession and teach them to people, for they are one-half of the useful
               –Prophet Mohammed.

Meaning of Succession
The word succession means the action or the process of inheriting property, title or, office one after another. In terms of law the Succession is Defined as with regards to an estate, succession laws determine how property is to be distributed upon the death of the state owner.

Under Muslim law, all properties devolve by succession, the right of heir-apparent does not come into existence till the death of the ancestors. Succession opens only on the death of the ancestors, and then alone the property vests in the heirs.

1. The Holy Quran
2. Sunna (Practice of Prophet).
3. Ijma(consensus of the learned men of the community or over the decision over a particular subject matter).
4. Qiyas (deduction based on analogy on what is right and just in accordance with good principles.

The succession means transfer of the properties of an Ancestors after their death, to the rightful heir. Thesuccession in Muslim law is derived from the customary law of succession and it is based on the Patriarchal family system.
Here the word Patriarchal means the legal dependence.

In transferring of property,the daughter as well as son both have equal rights to hold and dispose the transferred property. After holding the Transferred property, they can do whatever they want to do with that property that means they can mortgage, lease, or bequeath the property i.e., they become owner of property after transferred to them.

There are two types of Heirs under Muslim Law
1. Sharers (Quarnic Heirs)
2. Residuary (Agnatic heirs)

1.Sharers (Quranic Heirs)
They are those persons who are entitled to certain share in the deceased’s property.
There are 12 sharers defined under The Muslim law~
Father, Mother, Husband , Wife , Daughter , Son’s Daughter , Full sister , Consanguine Sister , Uterine Sister , Maternal Grandmother , Paternal Grandmother , Uterine Brother.

Father becomes sharer when the deceased has left a child or son’s or grandson’s child, otherwise he is not sharer.

For mother there is three different conditions:
i).1/3rd of share if there is no child or child’s son & no brother or Sister to deceased.
ii).1/3rd of remaining share after deduction the share of deceased partner when there is Father or Partner of deceased only.
iii).No share – where there is a child or son’s child, and if there are 2 or more brother or sister or 1 brother and 1 sister.

If man of death wife is surviving then the property is transferred to husband.
If couple has child or Child’s son then the husband is 1/4th share of property, but if couple has no Child or child’s son, then he is share to 1/2th of the property transfer.

If husband dies, then wife in entitled with husband property.
But there are some conditions
a). If there have no child or grandson then 1/4th property is entitled.
b). But If they have child then wife is entitled to 1/8th of property.


Only in absence of son daughter are Heirs. Single Daughter receives 1/2 share but if there are more than 1 daughter, then all of them are inherit 2/3 of share equally.

Son’s Daughter
The son’s Daughter become a sharer only when she has predeceased the son of the deceased & such a son has not left with any son of his own.

Full Sister
A single full sister receive 1/2 share if there is no son, father, grandfather, daughter, son’s daughter, or brother.
When there are 2 or more full sister and no excluded, the sister will get 2/3 shares.

Consanguine Sister
When there is no full sister & no excluder, then the consanguine sister entitled to receive 1/2 share.

Uterine Brother & Sister
If there is no child or son’s child, no father and grade father alive then only uterine sister & brother are entitled to become heirs.
Then share of such brother & sister is 1/2 and it is divided equally in all by share of 2/3.

Maternal Grandmother
When the mother of the deceased is dead, then maternal grandmother is entitled to inherit of share.

Paternal Grandmother
When both the parents of deceased are dead then only paternal grandmother become sharer.

2. Residuaries (Agnatic heirs)
When after dividing the heritable estate between the sharers, then Agnatic heirs chance arises. Residues are those who would take up the share in the property after that is left over after the sharers have taken their parts. The residuary are through male only, which are related to deceased. No female is included into the Residuary only male are counted.

According to The Sharee ‘ah (Islamic Law), a widow is indeed entitled to a share of the inheritance from the property which belonged to her deceased husband. The wife’s share is one-fourth if her husband leaves no child, but if he leaves a child, she gets an eighth. Allah said in the Holy Quran.

Succession under Muslim Law in the absence of a will, i.e., non-testamentary succession is governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. On the other hand, in case of testamentary succession when the deceased has made a will, the Shariat law of Muslim applies for the inheritance of the property of the deceased which is generally practiced by Shia and Sunni Muslims.

According to Hanafi law in absence of Sharers and the Residuary, the estate passed to other relations who are “Distant Kindred and The State by Escheat”. The third category of heirs are the Distant kindred who are related by blood Or Affinity (zavilarham). Distant kindred can inherit the property of departed person only in absence of the Sharers and Residuary.

The State by Escheat
Under Muslim Law where a deceased Muslim who has no legal heir then Government inherits his properties through the escheat process. For every deceased State is regarded as the ultimate heir.

In, 1993 Rukmani bai V. Bismilla Bia. It was held that where a person dies behind leaving single daughter and no residuary, shall be entitled to her share as well as residuary share in the property of deceased.

AIR 1990 case Abdul Matin Vs Abdul Azeez Gau it was held that where one of the two sisters who had succeed to take over their father’s property as a heir, died leaving behind only a son and the other sister died who had no child only husband as a survivor latter half property was allotted to her husband and the other ½ property was given to her sister’s son as a uterine heirs. The Holy Quran it is states that The Allah has purchased from believers their persons and their wealth in alternative of Jannah’. Man may be trustee of his wealth which he owns till his life span but When the span of his life ends, the trusteeship over his wealth and property.

Pdf of as visited on 11 /March/2021
Dr.Paras Diwan Family Law book.

Anjali Patel
I Anjali Patel, a law student of SRMU Lucknow, currently perusing B.A.LL. B(hons.). My interest is towards Criminal law and family law. Sometimes my focus bend towards the Indian Politics too. I love to write and create my own space in field of creative writing and research writing too. In my spare time I use to cook. I want to following passion in field of my profession as (Future Judge).