The pre Islamic customary system of inheritance has been modified and amended by the introduction of Islam to the great extend to make it more equitable. The Hanafis (Sunni) did not disturb the pre Islamic rules except to the minimum necessary to accommodate the new quarnic heirs. The newly created heirs were mostly females.


  1. Sharers: they are those who are entitled to get a prescribed share from the heritage property. Their shares cannot be altered by the human effort. According to Hanafi law 12 relation constitute class I :
  2. Heirs by affinity:
  3. i) Husband
  4. ii) or wife
  5. blood relation:

iii) father

  1. iv) true grandfather
  2. v) mother
  3. vi) true grandmother

vii) daughter

viii) son’s daughter

  1. ix) full sister

x)consanguine sister

  1. xi) uterine brother

xii) uterine sister

2)  residuaries: they are those who take no  prescribed share but inherit the residue of  heritage property. They have no specific share of their own. It is also known as Agnatic heir because they inherit through male relations.

They are divided into four groups:

  1. Descendants: son, son’s sons
  2. Ascendants: father, true grandfather
  • Collaterals of father: full brother, full sister. Consanguine brother and sister.
  1. Collaterals of true grandfather: full paternal uncle, consanguine paternal uncle,etc

3)distant kindred(uterine heirs): no precise definition of kindred is available. All those person who are related to propitious through blood .

  1. i) Descendants of propitious
  2. ii) Ascendants

iii) Descendants of the parents

  1. Descendants of imitate grand parents


Who are primary heirs?

There are 12 shares who are entitled to get a prescribed share from the heritable property. Out of 12 five shares, 5 are uniquely treated that they are always entitled to some shares of inheritance.

Shares of surviving spouse

WIDOWER: he takes ¼ in presence of child or child of son .

WIDOW: she takes 1/8 in presence of child and child of son

SHARES OF FATHER: he takes 1/6 as sharer in presence of child or child of son how low soever and in their absence he inherit as a residuary and can take to extent to total property in absence of any other sharer.

SHARERS OF MOTHER: she takes 1/6 in the presence of child. Her share  is enhanced to 1/3 when there is no child or child of son.

If mother is with father and there is also spouse then the mother gets only 1/3 of what remains after deducting the share of spouse.

SHARES OF DAUGHTER: a daughter inherits as a sharer only in absence of a son. The share of only one daughter is ½ and if there are two or more daughters, the share is 2/3 to be divided equally among them.

SHARES OF SON: when there is no daughter, the son takes the entire residue. When the son is together with a daughter, the son gets the daughter, the son gets the double the share of daughter.

Author: kanika panwar,
IDEAL institute of management and technology & school of law, 2nd year/BALLB

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