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Can you elaborate about the kalala law in Islam


It says in a lot of places about EQUAL division in inheritance among brothers and sister regarding the case OF Kalala kindly discuss in the light of both Sunni and shia law.


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

Kalalah is the term used in Qur’an, which means a person who does not have any ascendants or descendants at the time of death

According to the Shia point of view there are different scenarios which we understand from the Qur’anic verses:

  1. One brother of kalalah from the same father – he will get the whole inheritance (Surah Nisha/176)
  2. One sister of Kalalah from the same father – she will get half of the inheritance (Surah Nisha/176)
  3. Two sisters – two third of the inheritance (Surah Nisha/176)
  4. Brothers and sisters – males will get double of the female (Surah Nisha/176)
  5. One or two sisters and brother – each will receive one sixth of the inheritance (Surah Nisha/12)
  6. Three or more brothers and a sister – in total they will inherit one third (Surah Nisha/12)

According to Sunnis:

If he only has a brother or a sister through the mother, then he or she takes one-sixth as an allotted share and the rest of the estate comes to him (or her) according to the Hanafis and Hanbalis. Thus he (or she) takes the entire estate.

Maalik and al-Shaafa‘i were of the view that the remainder of the estate should go to the bayt al-maal if there are no male relatives on the father’s side (‘asbah).

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (6/186): To sum up, if the deceased did not leave behind any heir except those who are entitled to an allotted share, such as daughters or sisters or grandmothers, and there is some wealth left over, then what is left over from the allotted shares should be given to them on the same basis as the allotted shares, except in the case of a husband or wife. This was narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Ali, Ibn Mas‘ood and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him). It was also narrated from al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen, Shurayh, ‘Ata’, Mujaahid, al-Thawri, and Abu Haneefah and his companions. Ibn Suraaqah said: Things are done on this basis now in the regions.

Zayd ibn Thaabit was of the view that what is left over from the allotted shares should go to the bayt al-maal and no one should be given more than his allotted share. This was also the view of Maalik, al-Awzaa‘i and al-Shaafa‘i (may Allah be pleased with them). End quote.

And he said: With regard to the spouses, what is left over (after giving the allotted shares) should not be given to them, according to the consensus of the scholars, but it was narrated from ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) that he did give the left-over wealth to the husband, but perhaps he was a relative on the father’s side (‘asbah) or on the mother’s side (dhu rahm), so he gave that to him or he gave it from the bayt al-maal and not by way of inheritance. End quote.

When it comes to matters of inheritance, it is important to ask about every case according to what the deceased has left behind in his estate, lest there be any error in applying the rulings in a given case.

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider