In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

DISINHERIT/ REPUDIATION (ʿĀQ)

DISINHERIT ('AAQ)

 

Disinheriting someone who is an heir under Sharīʿa is forbidden and a sin. It also has no standing in Pakistani law, it goes against article 227 of the Pakistan Constitution; there is a landmark ruling on this issue, Lahore High Court, case 697 in 2011.

  • Disinheriting or repudiation of a prospective or presumptive heir by the propositus with the intention of depriving the prospective or presumptive heir of his legal share of the inheritance is invalid and illegal according to Sharīʿa. Such disowning/ repudiation has no legal consequence in the context of inheritance.
  • In the Indian sub-continent the practice of dis-inheriting (disowning a relative) is called ʿaq in Urdu (عاق).
  • he legal share entitlement of an heir must not be tampered with as warned in the Qurʾān, sūrah al-Nisā’ verses 13-14.

Imām al-Shawkānī () , d. 1834) writes in his tafsīr of the Qurʾān, Fata al-Qadīr, “The word ‘these’, in the aforementioned verse, refers to the laws of inheritance which are discussed in the two verses (4:11-12) preceding these two verses mentioned above. Allāh  () refers to these laws as ‘limits’ because it is impermissible to exceed the limits of these rules or violate them. The phrase ‘…and whoever obeys Allāh and His messenger…’ means: whoever obeys Allāh and His messenger in applying the laws of estate division or any other Islāmic rulings, as implied by the general meaning of the phrase ‘…will be admitted by Him to gardens under which rivers flow…’ ”

Imām al-Shawkānī  () then adds, “ It is also related by Ibn Mājah on the authority of Anas ibn Mālik  () that the Prophet of Allāh  ()  said, Whoever deprives an heir of his inheritance share, Allāh will deprive him of Paradise on the day of judgement. ” (also Ibn Abī Shaybah no. 31032).

 

See also Questions and Case Studies section

*Adapted from "The Islamic Law of Wills and Inheritance" Dr. A. Hussain (2015)