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The life on earth depends largely on inheritance from generation to generation
for its continuous existence. Without inheritance there would be no meaningful
development any where in this world. Thus, human beings have succeeded in
building and beautifying this world through inheritance, which today provides
an aesthetic value in our cities and towns
However, the method and procedure of such inheritance differ from one society
to another. Therefore, the past and present societies have their systems of
inheritance. For example the Arabs before Islam, Christians and Jews may have
things in common but would differ in certain degrees. The people in this world
have been struggling to acquire wealth. The tendency to “get” is very strong that
they continue to struggle for the whole of their lives. However, man always
reminds himself that “life is short” and, therefore, he is also in “need” of
somebody who can succeed him in his property and continue with the struggle.
Naturally he would prefer his blood relatives and spouse to inherit him.
Considering this phenomenon the knowledge of Islamic law of inheritance
becomes necessary. The Prophet (S.A.W) said “learn the knowledge of
inheritance and teach it to others, because it is half of knowledge and it is easily
forgotten and it is first knowledge to be lifted from my Ummah”.
This researcher is hoping to be in line with the above Hadith and intends to
discuss the topic “Blood Relationship as a Basis of Inheritance under Islamic
Law: a case study of the Inner and outer circles of family.” By this topic the
researcher will contribute however little to the development of the science of
inheritance. In order to provide a solid foundation the research has traced the
historical development of succession from the period before Islam to the time
when the three verses of inheritance were revealed. It has also considered the
inheritance of Jewish and Christian law of inheritance. The research work has
classified the heirs into four categories of blood relationship. Under these
categories each legal heir inheritance, how he is excluded and excluded others
have been considered. The succession right of the heirs of inner and outer circles
of family has also been analyzed.




NASAB in Arabic terminology means paternity or blood
relationship which gives the heirs right to inherit. The heirs
include Quranic, agnatic and cognatic heirs who are related
to the praepositus by blood both near and remote relations.1
Under Islamic law of inheritance there are four main grounds
of inheritance. They are: NASAB or blood relationship, NIKAH
or marriage, WALA-AL-ITAG or a right given to the master of
an emancipated slave2 and Baitul Mal or Islamic public
treasury3. Before distribution of the estate of the praepositus
among the legal heirs their relationship must be established.
That they are either related by blood relationship or affinity.
The relationship in both cases must be legal, that, is the
blood relationship must be one which is legitimate and
the marriage must be valid and subsisting at the time of the death of the praepositus4. This research work is
concerned with blood relatives of inner and outer circles of
family. The former is categorized into four as follows:
a. Ascendants: They are parents and grand parents of
the praepositus. They include father, mother, father’s
father; mother’s mother and father’s mother how high
soever. 5
b. Descendants: They are the children of the deceased
either direct or issues of the male issue of the deceased
person. The direct children are: son and daughter. The
example of grand children are; son’s son and son’s
daughter how low soever.6
c. Collaterals: They are brothers and sisters. They are as
i. Germane brothers and sisters, they have the
same father and mother with the praepositus.
Also, the son of the germane brother, can inherit and related to the praepositus by blood
ii. Consanguine brothers and sisters are related to
the praepositus through father only. In addition we
have consanguine brother’s son.7
iii. Uterine brothers and sisters; they linked to the
deceased person through their mother only.8 This
writer has the opinion that the uterine should be
classified under the list of the heirs of inner circle
of family. Hence, the Holy Quran 4:12 has fixed
their shares among the Quranic heirs, thereby
giving them special position among the Dhawul
Arham or heirs of the outer circle of family. It is
also, argued that those who are linked to the
praepositus through females cannot inherit.
However, the uterine are exception to this
general rule9. Furthermore, the classification of
the research topic, heirs of the inner and outer circles of family is based on the classification of
heirs. Since the Holy Quran classified uterine
under Quranic heirs,10 this research work is
justified to do the same.
iv. Uncles: They are descendants of the grand
parents. They are limited to paternal uncle (both
germane and consanguine) and their sons’ only.11

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