Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
Muhammad Qudri Basha in his al-Ahwal al-Shaksiyya, an Ottoman law code in Muslim personal law, outlines the basic rules regarding inheritance in the sacred law. He mentions in Article 587 that a Muslim cannot inherit from a non-Muslim, nor can a non-Muslim inherit from a Muslim. (Al-Fawa’id al-‘Aliyya ‘Ala al-Ahkam al-Shar’iyya fi al-Ahwal al-Shaksiyya, Maktaba ‘Arafa) Therefore one may not give money to one’s non Muslim relatives as inheritance.
A daughter has a right to one half of one’s estate. If there are no other inheritors then she will receive the other half as well due to the principle of radd (returning what remains to the remaining inheritors). Resort is only made to radd if it is established that there are no other inheritors who inherit through fixed shares (warith bi al-fard). These include other daughters or daughters of sons, sisters, parents, and grandparents. (ibid, Articles 589-595). After this it must also be established that there are no other inheritors who inherit by taking whatever ever remains after distribution of fixed shares (asaba bi nafsihi). These are the son or sons of a son, father or father of the father, a full brother or a half brother on the fathers side, a son of a full brother or of a half brother on the fathers side, a full uncle (i.e. a full brother of the deceased’s father) or a half uncle on the father’s side (i.e. a half brother of the deceased’s father on the father’s side), or the son of a full or half uncle (ibid, Articles 608-610). In the absence of all of the above then we can, by means of radd, give the entire estate to the single daughter.
One may, however, give a wasiya to one’s non-Muslim relatives. A wasiya is a gift that is made upon one’s death. It may be made to anybody Muslim or non-Muslim, relative or non-relative, but may not be made to one of the inheritors except with explicit permission of the other inheritors. It may be equivalent to a third of one’s entire estate. A wasiya any larger would require explicit permission of the other inheritors. (ibid, Articles 530-546)
And Allah knows best.
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