In India, personal matters are governed under personal laws of every religion. The Succession of the Properties of Hindus and Muslims are governed under their own personal laws. There are many differences between the succession laws of Hindu and Muslims. The following differences can be recognized between the Muslim and Hindu Succession Laws-

  1. The Hindu law is codified law whereas the Muslim law is not codified law.
    The Hindu Succession Law is codified and is arranged in a particular manner. The Hindu Succession Law is governed under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. The Muslim Law, on the other hand, is not codified at all. The Muslim procedures are not arranged or codified.
  2. Property can be inherited by adopted child under Hindu law but not under Muslim law.
    Under Hindu Law, the adopted child has as equal right as the natural child to inherit the property under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 has also provided with provisions which allow the inheritance of property by the adopted child by the adoptive parents, the adopted child can even inherit property which is vested in him by his natural parents. While under Muslim Law, the adopted child does not have any right in the property of the adoptive parents. There is no mention in any schools about the right of adopted child to inherit the property. Adoption is considered valid under some schools but the right to inherit property is not mentioned anywhere.
  3. The way of succession in Muslim Law and Hindu Law is different

Under the Hindu Law, the succession of a property is according to the categorization of the legal heirs. The following are included under the categorization –

  1.  Class I legal heirs
  2.  Class II legal heirs.
  3. Agnates
  4. Cognates

The property of the Hindu will be devolved on the basis of the above order. The class I legal heirs have 12 members and after the Amendment of 2005, the number of legal heirs were increased to 16.
Class II legal heirs starts from the father and involves sister and main aimed at distant relatives.

  1. Father
  2. Son’s daughter’s son, (2) son’s daughter’s daughter, (3) brother, (4) sister (1) Daughter’s son’s son, (2) daughter’s son’s daughter, (3) daughter’ daughter’s son, (4) daughter’s daughter.
  3. Brother’s son, (2) sister’s son, (3) brother’s daughter, (4) sister’s daughter.
    (1) Father’s father; father’s mother.
    (2) Father’s widow; brother’s widow.
    (3) Father’s brother; father’s sister.
    (4) Mother’s father; mother’s mother
    (5) Mother’s brother; mother’s sister

Agnates are those members of the family who are related by the way of male in of descendant and it involves the father, grandfather and great grandfather Cognates are those members of family who are related by the way of female line of descendant and it involves mother, mother’s sister and some other related people. The general rule of succession of property under HSA, 1956 is given under Section 10 the said Act.
Under Muslim law, if a Muslim person dies without any will, i.e., intestate the property will be dealt under their own personal Shia and Hanafi laws but when the person dies not-testamentary the Muslim Personal Law Application Act, 1937 gets applied. Under Muslim law there are three types of sharers-

  1. Quranic Sharers (Zavi ul Furuz): They are specified in the Holy Quran along with their fixed shares. They are 12 in number. 4 males and 8 females comprising Father, True Grandfather, Mother, True Grandmother, Husband, Widow, Daughter, Son’s Daughter, Sister Full, Sister Consanguine, Sister Uterine, Brother Uterine.
  2. Residuary (Asaba): They are entitled to take the residue, left after the specific shares have been provided to Quranic Sharers. All male agnates belong to this class.
  3. Distant Kindreds (Zavi ul Arham): They inherit only in the absence of above mentioned two kinds of sharers. It comprises of all cognates and all female agnates except the four who are members of Quranic sharers category i.e., Daughter, Son’s Daughter, Sister Full, Sister Consanguine.
  4. Female property rights
    The female property rights also differ in both the personal law. Under Hindu law, females did not have a right in the property till the year 2005. Females were not treated equally and the property used to devolve only on the ale heirs of the family. Even the widows were not given any right to inherit. After the amendment of 2005, under Section 6 of the HSA, 1956 the females were given the same right to inherit the property as a male. The widows were also given the right to inherit the property over the property of her deceased. This amendment was enActed in 2005, and it is widely regarded as a defining moment in the treatment of women as human beings who are not inferior to men. The Hindu Succession Act, Section 15, deals with the distribution of property to female heirs, with several exceptions’ priorities. It outlines how the property should be dissolved and how it should be done.
    Under the Muslim, on the other hand, the females were always given the right to inherit the property. The right to inherit property by the females was present at the enActment of the law as well. The share of the property held by the women was low than the males but it was still not worse than Hindu law. The share of the women was less as the women were awarded with Mehr and maintenance also whereas Muslim men have to maintain his wife and children in the future.
  5. Classification of property
    The property under Hindu law is classified as ancestral property and self –acquired property. The ancestral property is also known as the coparcenary property. The devolution of ancestral property is governed under Hindu succession Act, 1956. The self-acquired property need not to be governed under HSA, 19566. Under Muslim law there is no mention of ancestral property. They will have single or join property. The right of inheritance over those properties will eb governed by the Muslim law and the property will devolve as per captain or per stripes.
  6. Rights of child in womb
    Under the Hindu law, if any child is in the womb of the mother it is considered to be alive and a share will be allotted to it over the coparcenary property the child in the womb also has the right in the partition which happened during the child being in the womb.

Under Muslim law the child in the womb of the mother is entitled to inherit the property if the child is born alive. The property right of the child will be granted only when the child is born alive and if not the interest the property will be cancelled and the shares of the child will be distrusted as the child never existed.