This research article explores the rationale behind Islamic injunctions regarding inheritance. Unlike other Islamic injunctions, which are briefly enunciated in the Quran but elaborated in Sunnah, inheritance has been detailed in considerable length in the Quranic text itself. This coupled with numerous Prophetic traditions underpins the unique importance Islam accords to the question of inheritance. However, despite its exceptional importance, the subject of Islamic law of inheritance remains mostly a neglected one, even among the students of Islamic seminaries and Ulema. Resultantly, Islam's brilliant system of inheritance is often not implemented by the adherents of Islam, much to the miseries and hardships of the legal heirs, especially the children and women. Thus these marginalized segments of society are deprived of their rights today just as they were treated before the advent of Islam.
This research brings home the fact that the divinely ordained Islamic injunctions of inheritance are based on sound rationale and justification in the best interest of humanity, and that the believers must adhere to these injunctions that are based on three key principles: proximity in relationship, need, and distribution of wealth. The paper explains in great length the types of relatives and legal heirs, the principles of distribution among them, the justification for such shares, and the limits imposed by Quran and Sunnah with regard to the right of the deceased, the heirs, relatives and the state. It also discusses some of the contentious issues in contemporary debate on Islam: an orphan grandson's title to inheritance, and the philosophy behind 2:1 inheritance distribution formula between son and daughter. In doing so, the author has not only relied on the main sources of Islamic jurisprudence viz.Quran and Sunnah, in addition to classical and modern Islamic scholarship but also sound argumentation and logical exposition.