This world consists of various tribes, race, cultures and religions. This condition provides its own uniqueness for our world. On the other hand, this condition also often creates conflicts in the application of religious law, including Islamic law.
One of the quite complicated and sensitive applications of Islamic law is the law of shadaqah to non-muslim and the application of inheritance distribution law. Not a few families consisting of various adherents of religion in it.
This has led some people to ask questions about the law of giving inheritance to families who are not Muslim or receiving inheritance from non-Muslim relatives.
In the previous article, we already know how to divide inheritance in Islam and the importance of inheritance in Islam. In this article, we will only discuss the Islamic law of receiving inheritance from non-Muslim relatives. What is it like? Check this out.
Most ulama’(Islamic scholars) believe that accepting inheritance from non-Muslims is prohibited. This is because one of the conditions for receiving and giving inheritance is to have the same religion.
Opinions of these ulama’ are based on authentic hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. The following hadith listed below:
لا يَرِثُ الْمُسْلِمُ الكَافِرَ ، ولا يَرِثُ الكَافِرُ الْمُسْلِمَ
“Muslims cannot inherit infidels (and vice versa) infidels cannot inherit Muslims,” (HR. Bukhari and Muslim).
From the hadith above clearly explained that Muslims cannot inherit people who are not Muslim and vice versa. This hadith based on the four largest Muslim fiqh imams; Imam Shafi’i, Imam Hanafi, Imam Hambali, and Imam Maliki.
The four high imams agreed that Muslims cannot receive inheritance from people who are not Islam. The majority of other ulama’ also agree with this argument.
However, there are some ulama’ who disagree and say that Muslims are allowed to receive inheritance from people outside of Islam. They are Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, and Yusuf Qardhawi.
Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Qayyim said that Muslims could inherit from non-Muslims based on one of the history of the Prophet’s best friend, Muaz ibn Jabbal. Meanwhile, contemporary ulama’, Yusuf Qardhawi, said that giving inheritance is not based on religious equality, but based on helping one another.
However, the majority of ulama’ consider that the opinion of the three scholars is not based on authentic history. Thus, the majority of ulama’ are more in agreement and stipulate the law that Muslims should not accept inheritance from non-Muslims.
Law of Receiving Inheritance in Another Country
With the majority of ulama’ who do not allow Muslims to receive inheritance from people who are not Islam, how can we apply this law? Do we really have to reject the inheritance given while there is a family relationship that must be maintained?
Maybe, we can learn from a country with the biggest Muslims population in the world, Indonesia. The application of the law of receiving inheritance in Indonesia can be said to be more flexible.
This is because Muslims can give their inheritance to non-Muslim family members and Muslims can also inherit from non-Muslim family members.
This is regulated by a law called mandatory bequests (wasiat wajibah). Mandatory bequests are a will intended for heirs or relatives who do not obtain part of the inheritance from the person who died, because of an obstruction of sharia’. The obstruction of sharia’ is that one of them is a different religion.
In Indonesian law, mandatory bequests to be regulated in chapter 209 of the Compilation of Islamic Law listed in Presidential Instruction article 1 in 1999. While according to Islam, mandatory bequests are based on the word of God, namely the QS. Al-Baqarah verse 180:
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِنْ تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ
“Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.” (Al-Baqarah verse 180)
The verse above is interpreting that Muslims must help their own relatives. In the verse it is not explicitly stated that what must be helped is fellow Muslims, this can be interpreted that Allah indeed asked Muslims to help their entire family and relatives even though they were not Muslims.
This is certainly in accordance with other verses of Allah, in surah Al-Hujurat verse 13 which commands all humans to know each other, in other words to know each other so that they can help one another, and commands lesson of peace learn from Islamic value:
يا أيها الناس إنا خلقناكم من ذكر وأنثى وجعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم إن الله عليم خبير
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.“(Al-Hujurat verse 13)
By implementing the inheritance distribution law in accordance with Islamic law plus the compulsory testament like Indonesian law, it can be peaceful way how to deal with family conflicts in Islam and Islamic sharia is still able to be upheld.
Wallahua’lam bish shawwab.