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Homicide


     The schools concur that homicide when intentional and without legal authority impedes inheritance. Thi6i6basedonthetradition:



     There is no (share in) inheritance for a murderer.



Moreover, since the murderer's act expedites inheritance, his intention will be frustrated. Apart from this, the schools differ.     The Imámís observe: He who kills hi6 relative as qisas or in self-deience or on the orders of a just judge, or for similar other reasons justified by the Shari'ah, in these instances homicide is no obstacle to inheriting. Also, unintentional homicide (al-qatl khata') is no hin drance.l °  

The author of a-Jawaahir states: The intentional act of a child and a lunatic is considered khata' (mistake). Similarly kha~a' includes a quasi-intentional act (shibh al-'amd). An instance of shibh al-'amd is where a father beats his child with an intention of correcting him and the child dies as a result of the beating. Al-Sayyid Abu al-Hasan al 1sfahani writes in al-Wasllah: "Some of the causes ~rhich lead to death —like digging a well on a road, if a relative falls in it—the person having dug the well will inherit him, though he will be liable to pay the com pensation (diyah)." Accordingly, there i6 no hindrance to the concur rence of the liability to diyah and inheritance.  

 Each one of the four Sunni Imám6 has a separate opinion in this case. The opinion of Imám Malik concurs with the Imámís. The opinion of al-lmam al-Shaafi'ee is that unintentional homicide is an ob6tacle to inheritance, just like intentional murder; the same is the case where the murderer is a child or a lunatic. The opinion of Imám Ahmad is that a homicide that calls for punishment, even if of a monetary kind, impedes inheritance. Thi6 exclude6 lawful killing, such as killing for qi~, or in self-defence, or in war, the killing of a rebel (baghf) at the hands of an 'add person -- in all these cases he will inherit. The opinion of Imám Abu Hanifah i6 that a homicide which hinders inheritance is one which necessitates qisa~ or diyah or kaffarah (atonement). This includes al-qatl al-kha~a, but not al-qatl bial-tasbfb (where the accused is an indirect cause of homicide) or homicide by a lunatic or a minor.

(al-Mughni, vol. 6, and Abu Zuhr~'~M'rdth al-JaYariyyah)

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