`Ilm-ul Faraa’idh is “the knowledge of the obligatory (shares)” and refers to the fiqh of meeraath (inheritance).
The science of `Ilm-ul-Faraa’idh deals with the laws of inheritance and the rules by which the estate is distributed. This oft-neglected branch of the deen is an all-too important part in the life and death of every Muslim, and the detailed and explicit instructions by which it was revealed in the Qur’an is a testament to this fact.
Rasulullah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) has placed great emphasis on the importance of learning this knowledge. Among the narrations regarding `Ilm-ul-Faraa’idh, we find:
“I shall be taken away. Learn Faraa’idh and teach it (to others).”
“O people! Learn Faraa’idh. It is half of knowledge.”
Predicting the disappearance of this knowledge, Rasulullah (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) has been reported to have said:
“The first (branch of) knowledge which will be taken away from my Ummah will be `Ilm-ul-Faraa’idh.”
Hadhrat `Umar (radhiallaahu `anhu) has said about this branch of knowledge:
“O people! Learn Faraa’idh with the same concern and effort with which you learn the Qur’an.”
“O Muslims! Learn Faraa’idh. It is an essential part of the knowledge of your deen.”
Abu Musa (radhiallaahu `anhu) has said:
“Whoever has learned the Qur’an, but not Faraa’idh is like a head without a face.”