The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Books » Islamic Laws

Chapter thirty-eight » Miscellaneous rules of inheritance → ← Chapter thirty-eight » Inheritance of the third group

Chapter thirty-eight » Inheritance of husband and wife

Ruling 2781. If a woman dies without any offspring, half of her estate is inherited by her husband and the remainder by her other heirs. But if she has offspring from that husband or from another husband, then her husband inherits one-quarter of the estate and the remainder is inherited by her other heirs.

Ruling 2782. If a man dies without any offspring, a quarter of his estate is inherited by his wife and the remainder by his other heirs. But if he has offspring from that wife or from another wife, then his wife inherits one-eighth of the estate and the remainder is inherited by his other heirs. A wife does not inherit anything from the land of a house, garden, plantation, or from any other land, neither from the land itself nor from the value of it. Furthermore, she does not inherit from what stands on the land, such as buildings and trees; she does, however, inherit from their value. The same applies to the trees, crops, and buildings that are on the land of a garden, plantation, or on any other land. However, she does inherit from the actual fruit that was present on the trees at the time of her husband’s death.

Ruling 2783. If the wife wishes to have right of usage over things which she does not inherit, such as the land of a residential house, she must obtain permission from the other heirs. It is not permitted (jāʾiz) for the other heirs – as long as they have not given the wife her share – to have right of usage without the permission of the wife over those things of which she inherits the value, such as [the value of] buildings and trees.

Ruling 2784. If the heirs wish to undertake the valuation of the buildings, trees, and similar things, they must do so in the way experts usually undertake valuations. That is, they must disregard the particulars of the land it is situated on, and not base their valuation on how much it would be worth if it were [per impossibile] uprooted from the land or if it remained unrented on the land.

Ruling 2785. The watercourses for subterranean canals and suchlike have the same rule as land, and the bricks and other things that were used for their construction have the same rule as buildings. As for the water itself, the actual water is inherited.

Ruling 2786. If the deceased has more than one wife and no offspring, then one-quarter of the estate must be divided equally among his wives. And if he has offspring, then one-eighth of the estate as per the explanation given previously must be divided equally among his wives. This rule applies even if the husband did not have sexual intercourse with all or some of them. However, if he married a woman during his terminal illness and did not have sexual intercourse with her, then that woman does not inherit from him and nor is she entitled to a dowry.

Ruling 2787. If a woman marries a man while she is ill and subsequently dies from that illness, her husband inherits from her even if he did not have sexual intercourse with her.

Ruling 2788. If a woman is given a revocable divorce (al-ṭalāq al-rijʿī) in the manner explained in the rulings pertaining to divorce, and she dies during the prescribed waiting period (ʿiddah), her husband inherits from her. Furthermore, if her husband dies during that ʿiddah period, his wife inherits from him. However, if one of them dies after the expiry of the ʿiddah period or during the ʿiddah period of an irrevocable divorce (al-ṭalāq al-bāʾin), then the other does not inherit from him/her.

Ruling 2789. If a husband divorces his wife while he is ill and dies before the expiry of twelve lunar months, his wife inherits from him on fulfilment of three conditions [as below], irrespective of whether the divorce was revocable or irrevocable.

During this time, she has not married another man. If she has married another man, she does not inherit, although the recommended precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-mustaḥabb) is that they [the ex-wife and the heirs] arrive at a settlement.
2. The divorce has not taken place at the request of the wife, otherwise she does not inherit, irrespective of whether she paid her husband something to divorce her or not.
3. The husband died with the same illness he had when he divorced her, and he died due to that illness or some other cause. Therefore, if the husband recovers from that illness and dies later due to some other cause, the divorced wife does not inherit from him unless his death happened during the ʿiddah period of a revocable divorce.

Ruling 2790. The clothes that a husband buys for his wife to wear is treated as part of his estate after his death even though she may have worn them, unless he gave ownership of them to her. A wife is entitled to seek ownership of clothes from her husband as part of his obligations to provide maintenance (nafaqah) for her.
Chapter thirty-eight » Miscellaneous rules of inheritance → ← Chapter thirty-eight » Inheritance of the third group
العربية فارسی اردو English Azərbaycan Türkçe Français