Can one inherit from non Muslim parents or relatives?

Question

1- My father died as a non-Muslim. We cannot inherit from him. Does his entire estate now go to his non-Muslim relatives (inheritors)?

2- What if my Christian uncle who inherited from my dad, wants to give me (while he is alive) what he inherited from my dad, can I accept it?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātu

1- The Prophet ﷺ said that a Muslim cannot inherit from a Kafir, nor can a Kafir inherit from a Muslim. This is in regard to inheritance. If however, the non-Muslim father leaves behind a bequest (will) for his Muslim children and relatives, they (Muslim children/relatives) would be able to benefit from his estate by virtue of the bequest (not exceeding a third of the net estate) and not inheritance. If however, there was no bequest the Muslim children/relatives will have no legal claim to the estate.

However, if the non-Muslim relatives are willing to share the estate with the Muslim children/relatives, it will be permissible for the latter to accept. This, however, would be considered a gift (from the non-Muslim relatives) and not inheritance.

2- Yes, it would be permissible for you to accept. However, it should be distributed among all the legible heirs (of your deceased father) based on the Islamic laws of inheritance. *Nb*: This response is based on the assumption that your father was a Muslim when he died and you were from among his legible heirs.

If however, your father died as a non-Muslim, your uncle would have inherited legally from your father’s estate. That being the case, if he decides to give you what he inherited from your father, not only would it be permissible for you to accept rather, the entire amount will be yours entirely and would be considered a gift from your uncle to you.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Marabella Trinidad