Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Article on Inheritance in Pakistan

SsrnShahbaz Ahmad Cheema (Punjab University-Law College) recently published an article entitled, Socially Abhorrent But Legally Acceptable: A Study of Alleged Conversions of Sunnis and Shias In Cases of Inheritance in Pakistan, (January 13, 2014). South Asian Studies, A Research Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1, January -July 2014, pp. 281-291.  Provided below is the abstract of the article from SSRN:

There are two main sectarian divisions among Muslims living in Pakistan; these are Sunni and Shia schools of thought. It is socially abhorred within these sects that a person belonging to them converts to another. This seems to be the reason that conversions from one sect to another are not found often in Pakistani society. If this social phenomenon of non-conversion is compared with the cases of inheritance contested in and decided by the apex judiciary of Pakistan we would be surprised by the fact that there are numerous stories of alleged conversions from Sunnism to Shiaism and vice versa. Analyzing the cases of inheritance decided by the apex judiciary of Pakistan, the paper explores the reasons of such conversions or assertions thereof. The analysis suggests that these conversions are mostly alleged and contested by the parties to such cases to enrich themselves financially or deprive the other party from any financial benefits which would have accrued had the propositus proved to be belonged to the other sect. The paper also brings to light how this space of maneuvering has been facilitated by different interpretations of law of inheritance by Sunni and Shia schools of thought.


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