Wala' al-'Itq

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Walāʾ al-ʿitq (Arabic: وَلاء العِتق) or kinship by emancipation is a terminology in fiqh referring to a sort of relationship or kinship between an emancipated slave and the person who emancipated him or her. In the Islamic jurisprudence, there are kinships other than marriage that can create an affinal kinship. One such relation is "wala' al-'itq".

The word "wala'" in Arabic means affinity and proximity. "Wala' al-'itq" (affinity or kinship by emancipation) refers to cases in which a slave is emancipated by his or her owner, and then a kinship is made between the emancipator and the emancipated. In certain conditions, they can inherit from one another. Such emancipated slaves and their children were called "mawla", as the emancipator was also called "mawla". Thus when it is said that someone is a mawla of someone or a group, it means that they have emancipated them or their fathers. Or, for example, when someone is said to be Banu Hashim's mawla, it means that he or she (or his fathers) used to be a slave who was emancipated by Banu Hashim.


The word, "wala'", literally means proximity and affinity, and terminologically it refers to an affinity or kinship between two people such that they inherit from one another without there being consanguinity or a marriage relationship between them. This kind of wala' is of three types: wala' al-'itq, diman al-jarira, and imamate. Wala' al-'itq refers to a case in which a person can inherit someone else by having emancipated him or her.


The emancipator can inherit from the emancipated upon three conditions:

  • The emancipation of the slave is done voluntarily,
  • The emancipator undertakes "diman al-jarira" (that is, to pay for diya in case the emancipated commits crimes that demand diyas),
  • The emancipated has no consanguine relatives who can inherit from him or her.


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from ولاء عتق in Farsi WikiShia.