In a case before Karnataka High Court in Smt. Ashabi vs Smt. Faziyabi And Ors. (ILR 2004 KAR 3599) "A person who according to Muslim law is an heir of the deceased remains so and gets his legal due. He or she cannot be excluded either by other heirs and survivors of the deceased or even under a specific direction left in that behalf by the deceased himself. One can be excluded from inheritance only under a rule of Muslim law, if applicable in India. It is also well settled that only that relative can be an heir of the deceased who is alive at the moment of the latter's death. A person who died before the deceased cannot be his heir……………….It is a well- recognised proposition of law that the estate of a deceased Mohammedan devolves on his heirs in specific shares at the moment of his death."

The Shariat Act was passed by the Central Legislature in 1937. It became for the first time extended to Part "B" States by virtue of the Central Act 48 of 1959 (which came into force on February 1, 1960), called the Miscellaneous Personal Laws (Extension) Act, 1959, which amended its extent clause in such a way as to apply the statute to whole of India except to Jammu and Kashmir. The principal operative section of the said Act is section 2, which reads : "2. Notwithstanding any custom or usage to the contrary, in all question regarding intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of Personal Law, marriage, dissolution of marriage, including talaq ila, zihar, lian, khula and mubarrat, maintenance, dower, guardianship, gifts, trusts and trust properties and wakfs (other then charities and charitable institutions and charitable and religious endowments) the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat)."

Supreme Court in Mohammad Yunus v. Syed Unnissa. AIR 1961 SC 808, Interpreting the force or effect of the words in section 2 of the Shariat Act to the effect that in all matters enumerated therein, the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be the Muslim Personal Law, their Lordships state that the statute would apply not only to suits and proceedings instituted subsequent to the coming into force of the statute but also to suits and proceedings pending on that date whether in original courts or tribunals or in appeal.

Inheritance is an integral part of Shariah Law and its application in Islamic society is a mandatory aspect of the divine teaching of Islam. Muslims inherit from each other as stated in the Qur'an: “ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا ” {“4:7 There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large - a legal share.“} [An-Nisa 4:7] Hence, for Muslims in India there is a legal share for relatives of the deceased in his estate/property. When a person dies there are four rights that need to be performed his property:
1. Pay his/her funeral and burial expenses
2. Pay his/her debts
3. Execute his Will/bequest (max 1/3 of his/her property)
4. Distribute remainder of his/her estate/property according to Shariah Law

In relation to inheritance, Mohammad said: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: “The Prophet said, "Give the Fara'id (the shares of the inheritance that are prescribed in the Qur'an) to those who are entitled to receive it. Then whatever remains, should be given to the closest male relative of the deceased." Thus it can be seen that under Muslim Law no stranger outside the family shall succeed under Shariat Law of Inheritance or Under Quranic Commands.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Excellent page to get clearity as reference in the light of law.
thnx for sharing.