I only have daughters. Can they inherit my entire estate when I die?

It depends on which opinion you want to follow.

If both a son and daughter survive, the son and the daughter take the balance of the estate after the prescribed shares. The presence of the son blocks brothers, nephews, and uncles from inheriting. But if only a daughter survives, she will take her prescribed share and the brothers, nephews, or uncles take the balance of the estate by taʿsīb.

The opinion that a daughter—unlike a son—does not block your siblings is based on a tradition in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri. It says that the prophet said whatever remains in the estate after the distribution of the prescribed shares should be distributed to the closest male relatives.

A daughter is a prescribed-share heir if she does not have a brother. She becomes a residuary heir, taking by taʿsīb as a derivative of another (ʿaṣaba bi ghayrihā), if she has a brother. The scholars read this tradition to mean that after the daughter takes her prescribed share in the case of no brothers, the balance of the estate goes to the closest male relatives by taʿsīb. This is the mainstream majority position.

But there is a modern opinion based strictly on the Qur’an that holds a daughter—like a son—will block siblings. This means if only daughters survive, then after the prescribed shares, daughters will take the balance of the estate by taʿsīb.

This opinion is supported by verse 176 in surat al-Nisa which says: “If a man dies leaving no issue, but has a sister, her share is half of what he leaves, and he inherits her if she has no issue” (4:176). In this verse, siblings only inherit if the decedent has no issue, meaning the decedent had no children. The modern opinion reads this verse to mean that a daughter would be able to take the balance of the estate like a son.

In the end, you have to decide which reading is closer to your understanding of the Qur’anic moral message and authorities. Allah Knows Best.

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