Al Sirajiyyah: Or the Mahommedan Law of Inheritance


Kitāb al-Farāʼiḍ al-Sirājīyah (The Sirajite book of inheritance laws) is a treatise on the laws of inheritance according to the Hanafi School of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is regarded as the most important work in this field. Commonly known by its short title al-Sirājīyah, the treatise is named after its author, Siraj al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Sajawandi, a 12th-century jurist and mathematician. The English philologist and jurist Sir William Jones (1746–94) published the first English translation of this work in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India in 1792. Presented here is an 1890 reprint of Jones’s translation, with an introduction and notes by Almaric Rumsey (1825–99), barrister-at-law and professor of Indian Jurisprudence at King’s College, University of London. The original treatise, a subject of a number of commentaries including one by al-Sajawandi himself, starts with an introduction on the importance of ‘ilm al-farā’iḍ (the science of inheritance and patrimony). It goes on to cover many aspects of the subject, including impediments to succession, the doctrine of shares and the persons entitled to them, and the division of the property among heirs and among creditors. Islamic inheritance law is a complex and refined system of rules that developed over several centuries and that is based on passages in the Qurʼan that specify the fixed fractional shares of a deceased person’s estate that are to be awarded to the relatives of that person. This copy is from the collections of the Law Library of the Library of Congress.

Date Created

Publication Information

Thacker, Spink, and Company, Calcutta

Title in Original Language

Al Sirajiyyah: or the Mahommedan law of inheritance

Type of Item

Physical Description

112 pages ; 20 centimeters

Last updated: June 16, 2016