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Let us suppose that a man dies and leaves behind three daughters, two parents and his wife.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Burhan, Asalam Alkieum:

I saw this posting on one of the websites, where it is being displayed that Quranic law of the division of inheritance is not arithmetically sound, as shown in the example below. Can you please take a look at this and let me know of your thoughts in the light of Islamic Sharia?

Jazak Allah Khairun

Contradictions In the Inheritance Law
(Koran 4:11)
Allah directs you as regards your children`s
(Inheritance): to the male a portion equal to
that of two females: if only daughters, two or
more, Their share is two-thirds of the inheritance;
if only one, her, share is a half.
For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to
each, if the deceased left children; if no
children, and the parents are the heirs, the
mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers
the mother has a sixth...

(Koran 4:12)
In what your wives leave, your share is a half,
if they leave no child; but if they leave a child,
ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and
debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth,
If ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they
get an eighth; after payment.

(Koran 4:176)
...If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister
but no child, she shall have half the inheritance:
If a woman dies and leaves no child, her brother
takes her inheritance: If there are two sisters,
they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance.
If there are brothers and sisters, the male takes
twice the share of the female.

Let us suppose that a man dies and leaves behind three daughters, two parents and his wife. According to the verses stated above the three daughters together will receive 2/3 of the share, the parents will receive 1/3 of the share and the wife will receive 1/8 of the share.

Do the math now: 2/3 + 1/3 + 1/8 = 9/8 = 1.125. The distribution of the property adds up to more than the available property! How can this distribution be possible?

I want you to treat this as urgent, so that I can post your reply on this website and silent this person, who is trying to defame Quran, Naaozobillah.


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)





Inheritance more than whole

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Beloved brother in Islam, there are indeed a numbered few situations where the distribution of inheritance adds up to more than the available whole; and a similar case was presented at the time of the Noble Companion Hadrat Ali (r.a.) ibn Abi Taalib, and his decision was to reduce the pro-rata percentage of inheritance of each of the legal heirs….and that has been the precedent the jurists and scholars of Jurisprudence have unanimously agreed and adopted in such unusual situations.


Thus assuming that the inheritance whole was $10,000.00, the distribution normally would have been as follows:

The three daughters would equally share 2/3rds or 66.66%; ie. $6,666.67

The two parents would equally share 1/3rd or 33.33%; ie. $3,333.33

The wife would receive 1/8th or 12.50%; ie. $1,250.00


Because the total distribution available is $10,000.00 and the shares add up to $11,250.00, the share of each of the heirs will be reduced pro-rata to match the whole. Thus the revised distribution will be as follows:


The three daughters will equally share $5,925.93

The two parents will equally share $2,962.96

And the wife would receive $1,111.11


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,






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