Syarifah binti Abdurrahman perished in the tsunami of 26 December 2004. The Banda Aceh Shari'a Court (lower court) stipulated as the deceased's beneficiaries: Nurhayati binti Abdurrahman (sister and first appellant); Nurjannah binti Abdurrahman (sister, deceased); Jumiati binti Abdul Wahab (daughter and co-first appellant); M. Amin bin Abdul Wahab (daughter and co-second appellant); Maisarah binti Abdul Wahab (daughter and co-third appellant); Hazmin bin Abdan (nephew and first respondent); and M. Ali bin Abdan (nephew and second respondent).
The lower court stipulated as the deceased's estate three shops and three parcels of land, and divided the estate among the parties as follows: the first appellant (one-quarter); Nurjannah binti Abdurrahman (one-quarter, transferred to the second-eighth appellants and fourth co-appellant); the co-first, co-second and co-third appellants (one-quarter); and the first and second respondents (one-quarter).
The appellants appealed the decision on the grounds that the respondents' initial claim lacked clarity. The Court, however, found that it was sufficiently clear both in terms of identifying the then-defendants (now appellants), as well as the property subject of their claim as the deceased's estate.
The Court found fault with the way in which the lower court had distributed the estate among the beneficiaries. It noted that two or more sisters were only entitled to a two-thirds share, in accordance with surat An-Nisa, verse 176 from the Qur'an. As one of the deceased's siblings (Ansari binti Ibrahim) had passed away before her, art 185 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws dictated that Ansari's inheritance claims devolved to her heirs. Accordingly, Nurjannah binti Ibrahim's share became that of her heirs as well, as she had passed away in 2007 after the deceased.
In accordance with the Qur'an and art 182 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, sisters that pass away are only entitled to a two-thirds share, and are not entitled unless there are no ashabah beneficiaries (beneficiaries from the father's side, not specifically bequeathed any part of the deceased's estate), per art 193 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws. Based on the hierarchy of ashabah beneficiaries, the Court found that the respondents as nephews of the deceased were indeed ashabah beneficiaries in this instance, as no closer male relative existed.
Accordingly, the Court distributed the deceased's estate as follows: the first appellant (two-ninths); Nurjannah binti Abdurrahman (two-ninths, transferred to the second-eighth appellants and fourth co-appellant); the co-first, co-second and co-third appellants (two-ninths); and the first and second respondents (three-ninths).