I was trying to find a ruling in Surah Nisa (v 7-14) but was unsuccessful.

What is the ijtehad among the Ulema on how the wealth of a female Muslim is to be distributed if she has no parents, no husband, no siblings and no children after her?

Do we have anything in the Quran or the Sahih Hadiths that guide in this matter?


It depends on various factors, such as exactly who survived the deceased, the madhab being implemented, whether a will was made etc. Broadly speaking the following are potential heirs of a person who has no immediate kinship such as parents, children, siblings or spouses:

  • Those for whom a bequest was made. The deceased can make a bequests of up to 1/3rd of their estate.

  • The closest male (and in some cases female) who is related to the deceased through a male link. After any bequests and prescribed shares are distributed, the remaining estate (if any) goes to this person. Your list excludes immediate kin but that still leaves other candidates like paternal grandfathers, paternal grandsons, paternal nephews, paternal uncles, paternal cousins.

    ألحقوا الفرائض بأهلها فما بقي فهو لأولى رجل ذكر

    Give the shares to those who are entitled to them, and what remains over goes to the nearest male heir.


  • Blood relations who are not an included in the above and related to the deceased through a female link. It includes relatives such as maternal uncles, maternal aunts, maternal grandchildren, maternal grandparents etc. These are heirs in the absence of the above, in some madhabs and not in others.

    وأولو الأرحام بعضهم أولى ببعض في كتاب الله

    But those of [blood] relationship are more entitled [to inheritance] in the decree of Allah

    Quran 8:75

    الخال وارث من لا وارث له

    The maternal uncle inherits from the one who has no heirs.

    Sunan Abi Dawud

  • Some madhabs include the possibility for a specific stranger to inherit in the total absence of relatives. This includes bequests of more than a third and a person to whom an oath is given.

  • Bait al-Maal - the public treasury.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .