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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The 3 Main Types of Heirs

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There are 3 main categories of heirs when it comes to Islamic Inheritance. These are:

1 – Zaawil Furoodh: These are the “obligatory heirs”. They are all the heirs who have fixed shares prescribed to them.

2 – `Asabaat: These are the “residuaries”. After the zaawil furoodh get their respective shares, the left over estate (if any) will be given to them.

3 – Zaawil Arhaam: These are relatives through the female line. Although they do inherit in some cases, right now we will simply refer to them as “non-heirs”. As far as you are concerned, these relatives are automatically deprived from inheriting. Insha’Allah, these will be explained at a later, more advanced stage.

It should be noted that anytime a relative is being talked about, it is from the point of view of the mayyit (deceased). So “Father” means, “The mayyits father”. Now lets list the relatives in each category.

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