AUTOMATED ISLAMIC INHERITANCE SYSTEM

Diploma

ABSTRACT

Death is an inevitable end that comes only when it comes. Part of the preparation to death is ensuring that one’s assets are shared among the benefactors without rancor. Islam has defined the sharing formula of the properties of the deceased. The concept of inheritance from Islamic perspectives calls for no debate. The major challenge is how to get this knowledge to all in a more convenient and unambiguous form. This study discusses the modeling of a rule-based automated expert system to calculate and keep inheritance shares based on Islamic law.

The system is developed by using HTML and java script language for interface and inheritance accurate calculation of inputs data. The Waterfall Methodology, which is the traditional version and the classic approach of a system development life cycle, is used to develop and build the Islamic inheritance system. The system targets all types of users: The main objectives for developing the application is to educate and ease the community and Islamic Scholars on the benefits of technology.


INTRODUCTION

Over the years, the computer has been put to numerous uses by various individuals and professionals. We find their applications in almost every sphere of life–particularly in fields where computations are required to be done at a very fast speed and where data is so complicated that the human brain finds it difficult to cope up with.  Man’s sojourn on this earth is for a limited period, for death is certain, and it saves no one from its grip – male and female, young and old alike. Upon the death of an individual, the deceased properties would have to be shared amongst his heirs. The death of a person brings about the transfer of most of his rights and obligations to persons who survive him [A. I. Doi, Shari’ah, 1984]. Thus, Inheritance is the practice of passing on of the property, titles, debts, rights and obligations of an individual, upon his death to persons who survive him. 

There are different ways by which inheritance is shared depending on sociological customs, laws of the land or religion [N. Zaini,  L. Hayatullah,  M. K. Zuliza,  M. A. Samuri,  H. M. Amir, E. Y. Salmy, & M. R. Muwazir, 2012]. These methods include patrilineal, matrilineal, primogeniture and ultimo geniture methods of passing down inheritance. Some cultures combine two or more of these methods. In the patrilineal system, only male children can inherit, while in the matrilineal system, only female children can inherit.      

In the primogeniture system, all the property goes to the eldest child, while everything is left to the youngest child in the ultimo geniture system. Religiously however, only the Islamic and Jewish laws of Inheritance have been identified. The focus of this work is the Islamic law of inheritance. In Computer Science, expert system is a branch of Artificial Intelligence. According to An expert system is a computer system that emulates the decision-making ability of a human expert [P. Jackson, 1998]. They are designed to solve complex problems by reasoning about knowledge, like an expert, and not by following the procedure of a developer as is the case in conventional programming. Expert systems are used to solve a wide range of problems such as making financial planning decisions, monitoring real time systems, and performing many services which previously required human expertise [R.C. Chakraborty, 2010]. 


One of the most important branches of the Islamic family law is that relating to inheritance. The Science of Miiraath in Shari’ah gives rules which guide as to who inherits and who is to be inherited, and what shares go to the heirs; thus Islam has formed a complete legal system for inheritance distribution. However, the judges of the Shari’ah court are faced with challenges in dealing with the distribution of inheritance due to their concern for the satisfaction of all parties and the compliance with the Islamic law [N. Zaini, (2012)]. This is due to the fact that some people still hold on to their ancestral customs of inheritance distribution, regardless of its contradiction with Islamic law method in determining the distribution of inheritance [N. Zaini, (2012)]. Also, the calculations needed, in order to share the estate of a deceased amongst his heirs is quite complicated. Some of the difficulties encountered with this system of calculation include [N. Zaini, (2012)]:

·        The calculation of inheritance according to Islamic law is quite complex, and this makes it quite brain tasking, especially when there are many heirs.

·        Due to the infallibility of human beings, errors could be made in the calculations.

·        Also, the manual system of calculating the inheritance makes it time consuming. 

These problems can be solved with the development of an automated expert system, thereby automating the system of calculating the inheritance. 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

 Specifically, this work is aimed at reducing the difficulties and challenges faced by relatives of a deceased in passing on the deceased’s property to the heirs by designing an expert system that would calculate these inheritance shares and specify the value of the share of each heir. Thus, the objectives of this work include:

·        To study the Islamic laws regarding the distribution of inheritance.

·        To develop a rule based model based on the laws of inheritance according to Islamic law.