Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was on the plains of ‘Arafah when Allah Ta‘ala revealed the following aayah to him:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion, and I have completed My favour upon you and I have chosen for you Islam as your Deen.” (Surah Maaidah, v3)

Thus we have a perfect religion and a complete way of life. Just as this perfect Deen teaches us how to perform our salaah, fast in the month of Ramadhaan and perform hajj, in the same manner the perfect Deen of Islam teaches us how to live our social lives and how to conduct our business dealings, etc. The importance of these latter aspects, which are termed as huqooqul ‘ibaad (rights of fellow men) in the sharee‘ah, can be gauged from the following hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) once asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), “Do you know who is a bankrupt person?” “A bankrupt person among us is that person who neither has any wealth nor any property,” they answered. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Verily the pauper in my Ummah is that person who will come on the Day of Qiyaamah with much salaah, fasts and zakaah to his credit (as well as many other good deeds such as hajj, ‘umrah, zikr, tilaawat, etc.), but he will come in the condition that he had sworn at someone, slandered another, usurped somebody’s property, killed someone and hit another. Hence, these people (who were wronged and oppressed) will be given from his good deeds (i.e. the salaah, hajj, ‘umrah, etc. will be given to them in lieu of what they were harmed in this world). If his good deeds are exhausted before his matter can be settled, their sins will be loaded upon him and he will be thrown into the fire.” (Saheeh Muslim #6579)

The aspect of inheritance and other related matters also form part of huqooqul ‘ibaad. Thus it is imperative that estates are wound according to the sharee‘ah and that every heir be given fully what is due to him/her. Due to lack of knowledge of many basic but fundamentally important aspects in this regard, disputes in matters of estates and inheritance are an almost daily occurrence.

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