Non-Muslim son does not inherit from Muslim father
Fatwa No: 358765

  • Fatwa Date:12-9-2017 - Thul-Hijjah 21, 1438
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Question

A muslim man married a christian lady 22 years ago. They have a son who is about 20 years old. The man left his family and settled in another country. The mother raised the boy. The man did help them, but only very little. The lady died 6 months ago. The man died last month. The family of the man do not want to give anything to the boy because he is not Muslim, so he can not inherit from his Muslim father. Please guide with the ruling of the Shariah. Thanks.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

According to the consensus of scholars, a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim. One of the texts supportive of this ruling is the hadeeth reported on the authority of Usaamah ibn Zayd  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "A Muslim does not inherit from a non-Muslim, and a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim." [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, and others]

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the hadeeth, saying, "They (Muslim scholars) unanimously agreed that a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim." [Sharh Saheeh Muslim]

Based on the above, if this Christian woman's son is non-Muslim, then he is not entitled to inherit from his Muslim father.

However, this matter should be investigated further and the case should be referred to a Shariah court or an Islamic center to distribute the deceased's estate properly and identify the eligible heirs whom are entitled to inherit.

Allah knows best.

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