Inheritance Question

Q: My question is regarding the claim that the inheritance proportions as prescribed Quran in surah an-Nisa don’t add up in some case. An example is this:

A second example is, that when a man leaves only his other, his wife and two sisters, then they receive 1/3 [mother, 4:11], 1/4 [wife, 4:12] and 2/3 [the two sisters, 4:176], which again adds up to 15/12 of the available property. 

What is the fact of the matter? and are principals such as al-awl(?) applied? If so, why are they applied if they aren’t mentioned in the Quran?


A: The masaail pertaining to inheritance are extremely sensitive. Apart from the verses of the Qur’an which were revealed in relation to inheritance, there are many Ahaadith contained in the books of Hadith which deal with this subject. All those laws have to be contextually understood and learnt under the guidance of a qualified Aalim or Mufti. It is incorrect for anyone to independently try and solve inheritance related issues. One should refer to a qualified Aalim or Mufti in this regard. 

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ﴿النساء: ١٣﴾

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)