Lesson 3


In this lesson there are few things to be understood and few to learn. Go through this lesson again and again. Things which are not clear to you leave them. You will learn them as you go to the next lessons and things will be more clear.


  • Understand and use the abbreviations.
  • All abbreviations must be learnt
  • Understand fully the terminology used
  • Understand fully the term agnate, cognate

Learn & remember

  • Learn Order of Heirs
  • Learn names of heirs

Very important to know

  • All Relations mentioned in inheritance are to the person died
  • Person died can be male or female
  • Father means father of the person died, son means son of the person died
  • If a heir is not alive then he does not inherit.

E.g. A has died leaving 2 sons and 2 daughters. But A had one more son who had died before A’s death. Here the dead son does not inherit.


H Husband
W Wife
D Daughter
S Son
SS Son’s son
SD Son’s daughter
SSD Son’s son’s daughter
F Father
M Mother
TGF True grand father
TGM True grand mother
FM Father’s mother
MM Mother’s mother
Bf Brother full
Bc Brother consanguineous
Bu Brother uterine
Sf Sister full
Sc Sister consanguineous
Su Sister uterine
PUf Paternal uncle full
PUc Paternal uncle consanguineous
PUu Paternal uncle uterine
PUfS Son of Puf
PUcS Son of PUc
PA Paternal aunt

Terminology: Full & consanguineous

Full brother /sister Brothers from same father same mother
Consanguineous brother/sister
Paternal half brother/sister
Same father different mother
Uterine brother/sister
maternal half brother/sister
Same mother different father.
This can arise in 2 situations.
1. Mother has married the father after the death of first husband.
2. Father has died and mother has married again.

Terminology: Agnate

Agnate = a person is called agnate when he /she can be traced to the deceased (or the person whose inheritors are to be decided ) without a female link. Person died can be male or female and the heir can be male or female but the link in between must be males only.

Only the link should be males.

  • Agnatic Ascendants
    • male - F, FF, FFF
    • female - FM, FFM
  • Agnatic descendants
    • male S,SS, SSS
    • female D, SD, SSD
  • Agnatic Collaterals
    • male - Bf, Bc, BfS,BcS, PUf, PUc, PUS
    • female Sf, Sc, BfD…
  • Cognate = female link between the person and the deceased
    e.g.: DD, Mother’s father, sisters son

Understanding of this in a family tree is required for the following reasons

  1. It decides the persons for residual shares - Asaba or balance heirs. All male agnates are in this category
  2. It is required in calculation of shares of H,W,F,M,TGF

In the family tree below blue colour with green border indicates male agnates and pink colour with green border indicates female agnates


  1. Fixed share Heirs - 12 in number
  2. Balance share heirs - male agnates
  3. Radd – fixed heirs as balance heirs if group 2 are not there
  4. Distant blood relatives- in the absence of above 1&2 – All blood relatives excluding 1&2 groups are included here
  5. Spouse in the absence of above
  6. One who freed the slave
  7. Successor by contract
  8. Acknowledged kinsmen
  9. One who was given more than 1/3 as waseeyat
  10. Baithul maal

Classification of Heirs

Based on importance:

  • Primary Heirs :Always inherit – e.g. H, W, F, M, S, D (Never excluded)
  • Secondary Heirs: Excluded by other heirs e.g. Bf, SS

Based on nature of relationship:

  • Relations by blood
  • Relations by affinity-marriage

Let us discuss these classes in detail.

Principle Classes — of prime importance

  1. Fixed share Heirs
  2. Residuary Share Heirs
  3. Distant Kindred

Secondary Classes — of less importance

  1. Freeing of a slave
    • If a slave who has been freed dies and there are no residuary to take the balance then the master who freed the slave becomes a residuary. Some place this class above the distant kindred. In the present day this is of no significance
  2. Successor by contract
    • A successor by contract is a person with whom the deceased has made a contract to inherit his property after his death for some consideration. Shafei, Maliki and Hanbali do not recognize
  3. Acknowledged kinsmen
    • Here the deceased has acknowledges some one else from a different family as his kinship. E.g.. Person recognizes someone as his brother (kinship through father) or as uncle (kinship through grandfather). Acknowledgement of kinship through oneself like accepting someone as son is not considered as acknowledged kinsmen. Shafei do not recognise this
  4. One who was given >1/3 as waseeyat
    • In the absence of above all if there are no one then the person who has been mentioned in the waseeyat or the will takes the inheritance

Order of priority: Heirs

  1. Quranic sharers - Fixed share Heirs - 12 in number
  2. Asaba or residuary heirs or Balance share heirs - male agnates
  3. Sharers to excess - Radd – fixed heirs as balance heirs if group 2 are not there(except spouses)
  4. Distant blood relatives
  5. Spouse who become heirs to excess
  6. One who freed the slave
  7. Successor by contract
  8. Acknowledged kinsmen
  9. One who was given more than 1/3 as waseeyat
  10. Baithul maal

Fixed Share Heirs

They can be classified in to three groups:

  1. Only fixed shares : 6 –H, W, M, TGM, Bu, Su
  2. Either fixed or balance shares : 4 – D, SD, Sf, Sc
  3. Both fixed and/or balance share : 2 – F, TGF

Another classification can be made as per their relationship with the deceased:

  1. Heirs by Affinity:
    1.Husband, 2.Wife
  2. Ascendants:
    3.Father, 4.Mother, 5.TGF, 6.TGM
  3. Descendants:
    7.Daughter, 8.Son’s daughter
  4. Collaterals:
    9.Sister full, 10.Sister consang., 11.Sister uterine, 12.Brother uterine.

Balance Heirs (Asaba)

Male 1. Son
2. Son’s son…
3. Father
4. True grand father
5. Brother full
6. Brother consanguineous
7. Brother full’s son
8. Brother consang.’s son
9. Paternal uncle full
10. Paternal uncle consang.
11. Paternal uncle full's son
12. Paternal uncle consang's son
13. Releaser of a slave
Female 1. Daughter
2. Son's Daughter
3. Sister full
4. Sister consanguineous
5. Releaser of a slave

Each Sharer - Characteristics

In the coming chapters the following charecteristics of each sharer will be described in detail:

  • Primary or Secondary
  • Excluded by e.g.; FM excluded by F
  • Excludes e.g.: S excludes all B & S
  • Share fraction and the conditions favouring them
  • Effect on other sharer e.g.; S and D reduce spouse’ share
  • Effect of other sharers on the person e.g.; M share reduced by 2 or more B/S
  • Special occasions
<< Go to Lesson 2 – General Things    Go to Lesson 4 – Calculation of shares: H, W, F & M >>