Question # 359: If a man dies leaving behind her only daughter (only child), wife, one half-brother (same mother but different father), one half-sister (again same mother but different father), one full nephew and one full niece (their father who was the full brother of the deceased passed away before him), what will be the shares of inheritance?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: From the information provided in the question, the inheritance shares will be as follows: Wife: 1/8 (12.5%), Daughter: 1/2 (50%) and Nephew: 3/8 (37.5%); Maternal (Uterine) siblings will be excluded because of the presence of female descendant (Daughter) as uterine Brother and Sister gets the share only if the deceased was Kalala (one who has neither ascendants or descendants) as mentioned in Soorah an-Nisa’a (4:12). Lastly, Nephew will inherit as residuary in the absence of ancestor, male descendant, male sibling or female sibling asabat (residuaries) while Niece is deprived due to presence of Ashab-ul-Furud (possessors of obligatory share).
Long Answer: The division in this case is one of the issues of al-faraa’id (division of inheritance) which is governed by two verses in the Book of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى):
- The verse in which Allah states the inheritance of the wife: “…But if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave…” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:12)
This verse allocates to the wife one-eighth of the estate because of the presence of a child (daughter in this case).
- The verse in which Allah states the inheritance of the daughter: “…But if (there are) women (daughters) more than two, then for them two-thirds of the inheritance; and if there is only one then it is half…” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:11)
This verse allocates to the only daughter one-half of the estate if there are no other sisters or brothers.
- The verse in which Allah states the inheritance of the maternal siblings: “If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has neither ascendants nor descendants, but has a (maternal) brother or sister, each one of them two receives a sixth; and if they were more than two, they share a third…” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:12)
Among the instructions that we derive from this verse are the following:
- There is a consensus among the ‘ulama that the brothers and sisters mentioned in this verse are the maternal siblings, because the shares of the other siblings are mentioned in the verse 176 of Soorah Nisa’a.
- The maternal siblings are the only exception to the rule where male receives twice as much as a female. If there is only one maternal sibling, he (or she) receives one-sixth. If there are two or more, they share one-third.
- Nevertheless, Uterine /Maternal Brother(s) and Sister gets the share only if the deceased was Kalala.
- Nieces are defined as daughters of brothers or sisters. All the nieces inherit in the capacity of distant kindred and hence are a long way down the inheritance line. They are only entitled to inherit if a long list of ascendants or descendants are present. In this case, the presence of Ashab-ul-Furud (possessors of obligatory share), namely, daughter and uterine siblings.
- Nephews are defined as sons of brothers and sisters. Sons of full or consanguine (paternal) brothers inherit as class III residuaries, meaning they can only inherit if none of the following are amongst the heirs: sons, son’s son h.l.s. (however low soever), father, father’s father h.h.s. (however high soever), full brother, consanguine (paternal) brother, full sister inheriting as residuary, and consanguine (paternal) sister inheriting as residuary. In this case, in the absence of any of the above-mentioned relatives, nephew will inherit as residuary.
Based on this, the estate is to be divided as follows:
- The wife gets one-eighth (1/8) of the estate.
- The daughter gets one-half (1/2) of the estate.
- The nephew gets 3/8 in the absence of ancestor, male descendant, male sibling or female sibling asabat (secondary heirs).
- Maternal (Uterine) siblings are excluded because of the presence of female descendant (Daughter)
- Niece is deprived due to presence of Ashab-ul-Furud (possessors of obligatory share).
(The above calculation of share of inheritance has been verified by Shaykh Ibrahim Zidan)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.
 Kalala is either man or woman who does not have descendants or ascendants, i.e. neither they have sons or daughters, nor do they have father or grandfathers. Inheritance from Kalala is defined in Soorah An-Nisa’a, verse 4:12 and 4:176.