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['Aalim Network QR] Inheritance of Non-Muslim Relatives (Followup)

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Salaamun alaykum,

	The reply to the follow-up questions was kindly provided by Shaykh
Rasheed.  The original question and answer is reproduced below, followed by
the two recent questions.  


Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network



   Do non-Muslim relatives inherit equally with Muslim relatives at the same
level of inheritance?


Islam does not accord non-Muslim relatives the right to inherit from a Muslim.
When a believer dies only his Muslim relatives have the right to inherit
according to a predefined process. If a Muslim would like to give some of his
property to his non-Muslim relatives, it would be better if this were done
during his lifetime. After death, his estate cannot be legally distributed to

Ayatullah Al-'Uzma Sayyid Seestani in his Risaalah [al-Masaa`il
al-Muntakhabah] says: 

"It is to be taken into consideration for the person inheriting (Waarith)
that he should be Muslim when the deceased person (Muwarrith) is a Muslim. 
Therefore, a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim although a Muslim
may inherit from a non-Muslim..." (Issue 1341, pg. 524). 


Ali Rasheed



Salaam alaykum.  As a follow-up to this question, here is another:

Within the rules of inheritance, two-thirds of the estate must be
distributed in a specified manner.  I understand none of this can go to
non-Muslim relatives.  What of the one-third that is at the discretion of
the individual?  Can any of this go to non-Muslims, either relatives or


The rule is basically the same in the one third that can be stipulated as 
part of a will. If the person making the will is a Muslim, he should name 
only Muslims as recipients of his property. In the words of Ayatullah 
Seestani: "...When the one making the will is a Muslim it should be taken 
into consideration that the one named in the will (Wasiy) is also a Muslim, 
according to precaution." [al-Masaa`il al-Muntakhabah, Issue 1265, pg. 495] 

The ruling of Ayatullah Seestani is typical in this matter. 



Assalamu alaykum

As a convert, I am wondering then who I would leave my money and property
to, since I have no Muslim relatives. Can I leave it to Muslim friends or
Muslim charities, and divide it up however I want?

What about the case of life insurance: would I also have to name a
friend in this case? What if I have no close friends?


When a person dies, he is able to will up to one third of his estate to
someone who is named in his will. This can be an (Muslim) individual,
charity, trust (Waqf) or similar institution. The other two thirds is to
be divided up among family members based on predetermined rules after
payment of debts. When there are no family members to inherit, the estate
is considered to be the property of the Imam, may Allah hasten his
re-appearance. In these times, it means that it should be turned over to
the Marja' whom that deceased person followed in Taqleed. 

The same rules apply to insurance policies. Whatever the value of the 
policy is, it is added to the deceased person's estate. The best thing in 
your situation is that when you feel the time is appropriate, you should 
make a donation of your property while still alive. This will ensure that 
it goes to whomever you like or whatever cause you like. Particularly 
living in non-Muslim countries, we have little control over what happens 
after death when we have no relatives to manage our affairs at that time.


Ali Rasheed    

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