introduction

Introduction to Zaawil Arhaam

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In the very first post, The 3 Main Types of Heirs, we learned about the three major types of heirs in `ilm-ul-faraa’idh. These were: zaawil furoodh, `asabaat and zaawil arhaam. At this point, we know quite a bit about the first two types, alhamdulillah. Now, insha’Allah, as promised in the first post, its time to commence a a detailed study of the third type of heir.

Until now, we have been referring to the zaawil arhaam members simply as “non-heirs” for the sake of simplicity. We will no longer be doing this. Now, the only non-heirs are The True Non-Heirs. From this point on, the zaawil arhaam will simply be referred to as zaawil arhaam.

The members of the zaawil arhaam group can be loosely defined as potential heirs who are not already zaawil furoodh or `asabaat.

The zaawil arhaam are divided into four categories:

  1. Descendants (grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc.)
  2. Ascendants (grandparents, great-grandparents etc.)
  3. Nephews and Nieces
  4. Uncles, Aunts and Cousins

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Introduction to Radd

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Below is the answer to the problem presented at the end of the previous post:

The estate will be divided into 30 equal portions:

The Husband gets 9 portions.
Each Haqeeqi sister gets 4 portions.
Each Akhyaafi brother gets 2 portions.
The Mother gets 3 portions.

The rest are all deprived.

As usual, if there is any confusion as to how the above answer was reached, please let us know in the comments section, insha’Allah.


Consider a problem in which only zaawil furoodh heirs are inheriting, and there shares add up to less than 1. Who would get the residue? Usually we would give it to the `asabaat, but this time there are no `asabaat. So what happens now? This is where the principle of radd comes in. The principle of radd can be thought of as the opposite of the principle of `awl. While in `awl the shares add up to greater than 1, in radd the shares add up to less than 1.

Radd is applied when the shares of zaawil furoodh heirs add up to less than 1 and there are no `asabaat inheriting to claim the residue. The basic idea behind radd is to increase the share of each category of heirs in proportion to their shares or  – thinking of it another way – in proportion to the portions they received. Simply speaking, by the time we are done applying radd, the residue will be redistributed among each of the zaawil furoodh categories according to the ratio of their respective portions.

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Introduction to `Awl

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Consider the following scenario:

A man dies leaving behind:

  • 1 Wife
  • Mother
  • Father
  • 2 Daughters

All of them inherit, no one is excluded. Upon adding up the shares, we find something seemingly strange. Take a look:

1/8 + 1/6 + 1/6 + 2/3 = 1.1259/8

The shares add up to greater than 1. Has there been a mistake? No, not at all. In fact, there are numerous scenarios in which the shares of the heirs add up to greater than 1. Consequently, in these types of problems, when we calculate the base number and the portions given to each heir, we find that the sum of all portions is actually greater than the base number. In such scenarios, we apply the principle of `awl.

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