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[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.65 –:– A Muslim Cannot be the Heir of a Disbeliever

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

A Muslim Cannot be the Heir of a Disbeliever

Ali Ibn al-Hasan: One Hadith

[65] From Malik from Ibn Shihab from Ali Ibn Husayn Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib from Amr Ibn Uthman Ibn Afan from Usamah Ibn Zayd that the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “A Muslim cannot be the heir of a disbeliever”


Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri clarified hearing (this hadith from Ali Ibn Husayn) in al-Humaydi (with my verification no.542) and Ibn Majah (no.2730)


Al-Muwatta (Yahya’s narration 2/519 hadith no.1127, book 27, chapter 13, hadith no.10) and with it “Umar Ibn Uthman” and it is a mistake, the most correct is “Amr Ibn Uthman Ibn Afan” at-Tamhid (9/160) al-Istidhkar: (no.1051)              

Transmitted by Nasa’i in al-Kubra (4/81 hadith no.6372 – 6375) from the hadith of Malik and transmitted by Bukhari (no.6764) and Muslim (no.1614) from the hadith of Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri.


1) According to the majority of the companions, Tabi’in and those who came after them, a Muslim cannot be the heir (inherit from) of a disbeliever. See Sharh Sahih Muslim of An-Nawawi (2/33)

Jabir Ibn Abdullah al-Ansari (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, “A Muslim doesn’t inherit from a Jew or Christian and neither does a Christian or Jew inherit from a Muslim except that the person is his slave man or slave woman. (Musanaf Abdur Razzaq (6/18 hadith no.9865 and its chain is authentic, as-Sunan al-Kubra of al-Bayhaqi 6/218)

2) For more details concerning this issue see my article “The inheritance of the non-Muslims and the Mas’udiyah sect” (al-Hadith Journal: 30 pg no.43 to 46.

3) A summary of one of the sayings of Imam Malik is, that it is the ijma of our scholars that a Muslim does not inherit from a non-Muslim, whether they are related or if it is a direct family (heir) relation. See al-Muwatta (2/520 under hadith no.1131)

4) A high position trustworthy narrator can sometimes make a mistake just as the mistake which is in the published manuscript of Muwatta Imam Malik of the name of Amr Ibn Uthman. Leaving the mistaken part, this trustworthy narrator’s narrations will be all authentic and used as a proof.

5) There is an addition at the end of this narration in Sahih Bukhari (no.1764) and Sahih Muslim (no.1614 [no.4140] that says, “and a non-Muslim doesn’t inherit (can’t be the heir of) a Muslim”. It is clearer than the Sun that the trustworthy (narrator’s) addition is accepted and a proof.

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