Inheritance Under Muslim Law: Framework of Sharia Law

September 25th, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Further, being a civil law jurisdiction, the impact of precedents is null as compared to other common law jurisdictions. As opposed to other authorities, UAE does not follow the “right of survivorship” wherein the jointly-owned property will be given to the surviving owner, and the UAE courts have exclusive authority to decide upon such matters.

3. Under the law of inheritance, who holds the right to claim the deceased’s estate?

The heirs and descendants have the right to claim the estate of the deceased according to the Shariah Law for Muslims. Whereas, beneficiaries of the will can claim the estate in case of non-Muslims if there is a legally certified will. In case of a deceased Muslim, the estate will only be transferred to those who qualify as an heir under principles of Shariah.

The primary step for courts in the event of the death of a Muslim is to determine the heirs and reconfirm it through two male witnesses along with documentary proof such as marriage or birth certificates. According to the principles of Shariah, spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, grandparents (paternal), uncles/aunts, nephews/nieces are considered as heirs to the estate. It further imposes several conditions on who can become an heir mentioned as below:

Any illegitimate children and adopted children will not be considered as heirs;
Non-Muslim cannot benefit from the estate of a Muslim;
A person committing murder to benefit from the estate will be ineligible to claim the estate;
Divorced women cannot claim from ex-husband’s estate unless they are in “iddat” period.

4. How will the estate be divided among the heirs of a deceased Muslim under the law?

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