DISCLAIMER: I am not a scholar, imam or lawyer; just a Muslim programmer. You should consult your imam or do your own research before making a decision that can affect the well being of your heirs. God knows best.

The answers to the questions below are based on verses in the Quran and on authentic hadiths. Please bear in mind that scholars may have differed in their interprations of these sources, and, as a result, arrived at different answers to some of the questions.

  1. Is the program a freeware?
  2. Yes. It is covered by the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. You can download, copy and share the program at no cost. "NC" means the program is not to be sold. "BY" means that credit to IslamicSoftware.org as author must always be included. "ND" means no further development of the program is allowed without written approval and supervision by IslamicSoftware.org.

  3. Can I download it?
  4. Yes. Go to the local.html page and follow the instructions.

  5. Is there a mobile app version of it?
  6. No, but you can download it to your device and thus run it locally.

  7. I assume that funeral expenses and such are paid off the top before dividing the estate. Is this correct?
  8. Yes. Whenever "estate" is mentioned here it means the net estate after deduction of legal fees, funeral and burial expenses and payment of all debts.

  9. Who can inherit?
  10. Categories of eligible heirs are specified by the Quran and the authentic hadith. They are the categories you see on the program's main page. Any heir that does not belong to any of these categories is not an eligible heir, e.g., parents-in-law. Each and all of these heirs must be Muslim and must not have been convicted of murder of the testator.

  11. What about adopted children?
  12. They do not inherit, but they can be given a bequest. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate.

  13. What about children of deceased relatives?
  14. If their category is listed, enter them regardless of whether their parents are alive.

  15. Can non-Muslim relatives inherit from a Muslim, e.g., a non-Muslim wife?
  16. Not according to an authentic hadith narrated by Usama ibn Zaid (RA). But they may be given a bequest. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate.

  17. What about relatives not listed?
  18. They do not inherit, e.g., parents-in-law, but again they can be given a bequest. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate.

  19. Can a Muslim inherit from a non-Muslim?
  20. Not according to an authentic hadith narrated by Usama ibn Zaid (RA). But they may be given a bequest. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate.

  21. What is Islamic Treasury?
  22. It's a translation of the Arabic phrase "Bayt-ul-Mal". If this is not officially established in your country, then consider charitable Muslim organizations.

  23. What is a bequest?
  24. A bequest is a gift to a non-heir. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate. See rule 4c of the rules page.

  25. How much can I bequest?
  26. The sum of all bequests cannot exceed 1/3 (one third) of the estate.

  27. Why can't I bequest more than one third?
  28. The portion of one third is the maximum allowed by the Prophet, peace be upon him, when Saad Ibn Abi-Waqqas (RA) consulted him about giving two thirds of his money to charity. The Prophet rejected the two thirds suggestion. Saad then suggested one half. The Prophet rejected that too. Finally, Saad suggested one third. The Prophet reluctantly approved. He said, "A third then and a third is still too much." This hadith has been rated authentic by the top hadith scholars.

  29. Can I bequest to an heir?
  30. This is a judgment call. A hadith, which has been rated less than authentic, forbids it, but some scholars have opined that special circumstances may warrant it, e.g., the heir is particularly poor or needy while the other heirs are more fortunate.

  31. Can I use a bequest to compensate for missed prayers, fasting, Zakah or pilgrimage?
  32. A man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and told him that his mother had died and she had missed fasting days. He asked the Prophet if he could fast for her. The Prophet answered, "If she owed a debt, would you pay it for her?" The man answered "of course!" The Prophet said "Debt to God has more priority."

    While scholars differ on whether missed religious duties can be compensated in kind, I find the above hadith a compelling evidence that they can and should be. Missed Zakah must be deducted from the estate before the estate is distributed. Missed fasting can always be compensated with money or food. That's what fidya-tus-siyam is, so it can also be deducted from the estate. I have no opinion on whether missed pilgrimage can be compensated with money and I find no evidence that missed prayers can be compensated with money either. But both prayers and pilgrimage if missed can, in my humble opinion, be compensated in kind by a relative or a friend. So, a testator may state in his or her will that he or she missed pilgrimage or prayers and hope that one or more of the relatives will be generous enough to make them up for him or her.

  33. I ran the program and some of my heirs, e.g., my uncles, did not get any shares. I would like to give them something. Can I bequest to them?
  34. See the answer to the question above about bequesting to an heir.

  35. How can more than one wife be specified?
  36. It is not necessary because they share equally in the share that would be given if there is only one of them. Notice, however, that only the first four who have not been divorced are eligible for inheritance.

  37. What if an heir belongs to more than one category?
  38. Simply enter the heir in both categories. Their share will be the sum of the two shares.

  39. How do I specify the juristic school I follow?
  40. This program does not implement juristic schoools. It is intended for people who do not follow any one juristic school or prefer not to. If you follow a juristic school or prefer to do so, then you may find the IRTH program more useful to you.

  41. Why doesn't the calculator implement the rulings of the four mazaheb?
  42. This calculator is meant for people who prefer to not follow any one mazhab (juristic school or sect). It therefore implements only the rules set in the Quran and the authentic hadith. If you follow a mazhab or prefer to do so, then you may find the IRTH program more useful to you.

  43. How are these shares computed?
  44. The rules of dividing up an estate are mentioned in the Quran and the authentic hadith. The inheritance calculator implements these rules.

  45. How do I know the computed shares are correct according to Islamic law?
  46. You can compare the results against The rules of dividing up an estate as set in the Quran and the authentic hadith.

  47. I live in a non-Muslim country, how do I make sure my estate is divided up according to the Quran and authentic hadith?
  48. You should consult an attorney who specializes in wills, probate and estate planning. He or she can prepare a will for you where you specify how you want your estate divided and will have it legally binding. You can reference the inheritance calculator, if you wish, as a way to ensure that the division of your estate follows the Quran and the authentic hadith. The Internet address of the calculator is http://www.IslamicSoftware.org/irthq/irth.html

  49. Is a will necessary?
  50. A will conveys your wishes, in a legally binding way, of how you want your estate divided. Without a will, you leave the decision of how to divide your estate to the probate court of your state! It can be a lengthy, expensive procedure for your heirs. For small estates, you may be able to designate a beneficiary of your bank account, for instance, whom you trust, who will receive your money and divide it up according to Islamic law. In this case, a will may not be needed.
    Prior to the revelation of inheritance verses, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said that it was unlawful for a Muslim to let three nights go by without making a will. Obviously this underscores the importance of wills. If you live in a country that does not recognize Islamic inheritance law, then I would say that the Prophet's hadith applies to you.

  51. Is a will sufficient?
  52. According to Ahmed Shaikh, an estate planning and probate lawyer in the USA, a will is not very practical by itself for estates that are not simple. In fact, he says, some wills have been ignored by judges in probate court. He recommends setting up a trust as well. Contact him for more details.

  53. Can I copy the calculator to my computer or to my web site? Can I distribute it to my friends?
  54. Yes, you can, if you keep the credit statements to the author and if you distribute the program at no cost only. The inheritance calculator is not to be sold for profit. The main page has a link that you can use to download the program.
    Having said that, it is actually not a good idea to copy the program, because you will miss out on future improvements, bug fixes and additions. The whole idea behind porting this program to the web was to have a central resource and thus avoid the software update problem. It is a much better idea to link to the program's Internet address instead, http://www.IslamicSoftware.org/irthq/irth.html

  55. What does the "Show Details" button do?
  56. After the program calculates the shares, it outputs them in a new window called the results window. Modern browsers also shows the results on the main page next to the number of heirs. If you click on the "Show details" button, the detailed report written to the results window is displayed. It shows the estate distribution and the details of how it was calculated.

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