Religious Courts in Indonesia have existed since the days of the Islamic Archipelago of the Archipelago, of course with very broad authority, not only resolving civil cases, but also criminal. This is understandable because the Islamic Sultanate of the Archipelago is based on a constitution that is based on Islamic legal norms and the judiciary as one branch of state power, of course enforcing laws that are in line with the state constitution.

As the Dutch colonial power was established, the existence and competence of the Religious Courts were systematically given, but slowly but surely the authority of the religious court was reduced to the nadir, as a fake court with the rest of the authority in the field of divorce.

At first the Dutch East Indies government issued Staatsblad 1835 No. 58. In the Staatsbalad the Religious Courts are still allowed to handle property disputes related to family law: shared property, gifts, inheritance and the like. Not comfortable with the Religious Courts that existed in dealing with property disputes in family law, the Dutch East Indies Government issued Staatsblad 1882 Number 152 and revised it with Staatsblad 1937 No. 610 and 616. The two Staatsblad limit the authority of the Religious Courts to the extent of resolving cases relating to marriage, divorce, reconciliation and divorce and testifying that the terms of the taklik are in force.

This provision has drawn protests from Muslim leaders, because it has weakened the status of the Religious Courts by negating the authority in the field of family property, including inheritance. After protests by Islamic leaders the Dutch East Indies government did not revoke the Staatsblad, but instead issued Staatsblad 1937 No. 610, namely forming a High Islamic Court and also forming a Religious Court outside Java as the Qadi Density for the first level and the Great Qodi Density for the appeal level. Qodi density was formed in South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan, namely Banjarmasin, Martapura, Kandangan, Barabai, Amuntai and Tanjung.

After Indonesian independence slowly the authority of the Religious Courts which was stripped down by the Dutch Colonial began to return gradually thanks to the perseverance of the Indonesian Islamic legal mujahid. In 1957 Government Regulation Number 45 of 1957 was born, one of the articles, namely Article 4, outlined that the Religious Courts were authorized to settle marital disputes, divorce, reconciliation, fasakh, liakah, dowry (dowry), place of residence (maskan), mut’ah and so on , hadlanah, matters of inheritance malwaris, endowments, grants, sadaqah, baitul mal and others.

In fact, this government regulation is a legal umbrella for the establishment of Religious Courts outside Java and Madura which also determines its absolute authority. But with the birth of this government regulation a dualism of the Religious Courts emerged, namely between the Religious Courts in Java and Madura and the Religious Courts outside Java and Madura. Religious Courts in Java and Madura do not have the authority to settle property disputes (read inheritance), while Religious Courts outside Java and Madura have the authority to resolve inheritance disputes. This difference results in different jurisdictions, disputes over inheritance of Muslims found outside Java and Madura are resolved in the Religious Courts, while in Java and Madura they are still resolved in general courts by using customary law.

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The absence of the authority of the Religious Courts in resolving inheritance disputes in Java and Madura does not mean that the Religious Courts (not the judiciary because it does not belong to the Religious High Court) do not issue court products to settle inheritance. At that time the Religious Court only settled inheritance which did not cause dispute. Settlement conducted by the Religious Court in the form of fatwa inheritance. A majority Muslim community is more stable if the inheritance problem they face is resolved according to Islamic law by the Religious Courts. Court products in the form of declaratory fatwas are considered to be more intimate than in the form of verdicts.

Procedure for making fatwa, in which a party or parties voluntarily submit an inheritance case to the Religious Court. On the basis of this petition, the Chair of the Religious Court completed the request after seeing evidence of the inheritance relationship between the applicant and the heir. The evidence consists of written evidence and witnesses. The contents of the fatwa of inheritance is to determine who becomes the heir and heir and determine the amount of each heir.

Since the birth of Law No. 7 of 1989, Religious Courts throughout Indonesia have regained their authority to settle the heirs dispute between 1882-1937. According to Article 49 of Law No. 7 of 1989 on the Judiciary of Religions, there is authority in marriage, inheritance, will and grant made under Islamic law as well as waqf and shadaqah.

With the authority of the Religious Courts to resolve the heir disputes, the Religious Courts can resolve the heirs in a verdict. Meanwhile, the beneficiary’s ruling has been invalidated since the birth of Law No. 7 of 1989. The existence of the beneficiary fatwa is replaced by P3HP or the Application for Assistance in Distribution of Abandoned Property based on Article 107 paragraph (2) of the Act.