The Mahomedan Law of Inheritance According to the School of Shafii


The Mahomedan Law of Inheritance According to the School of Shafii is a treatise on the laws of inheritance according to the Shafiʻi School of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. The author, Charles Herbert Withers Payne, was advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements (present-day Malaysia and Singapore). The book, he wrote, was meant to “clear some of the complexity with which this subject is enshrouded” and assist “those who have occasion to deal with problems arising therefrom.” This short book is comprised of a general introduction on Muslims and Islamic jurisprudence, followed by five other chapters detailing the rights of sharers, of residuary heirs, and of distant kindred, the three main classes eligible for inheritance. Two appendices provide a table of succession, as well as pedigrees showing all kinships involved in inheritance division. There is also a list of cases cited in the book. 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. The Shafiʻi school was founded by Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafiʻi (767−820), the third of the four great imams of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. It is credited with organizing the concept of usul al-fiqh (the principles of Islamic jurisprudence). In addition to the Malay Peninsula, the Shafiʻi school predominates in Egypt, East Africa, and Southern Arabia. The Straits Settlements was a British crown colony on the Strait of Malacca. It consisted of four distinct trade centers: Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Labuan, the first three of which were initially controlled by the British East India Company.

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Printers Limited, Singapore


Title in Original Language

The Mahomedan law of inheritance according to the school of Shafii

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Physical Description

41 pages ; 26 centimeters

Last updated: June 16, 2016