Q: I got confused by a Christian missionary about the so-called mathematical mistakes in inheritance explained in Quran. Since I am not an aalim, I need your help to clarify this confusion. I have firm faith that there is no such mistake in the Quran; it’s my fault not to have complete knowledge about it. One example he gave is stated below:
Wife 1/8 = 3/24
Daughters 2/3 = 16/24
Father 1/6 = 4/24
Mother 1/6 = 4/24
Total = 27/24
Please help me out in this matter.
A: It is not a mistake, both you and the missionary are confused. The details of the Qur’aan are in the hadeeth and the hadeeth has been expounded by the fuqahaa. Hence, they have explained that this is not a mathematical mistake of the Qur’aan. Instead in such a situation the estate will be divided into 27 shares. Such a situation is referred to as `oul by the fuqahaa. What the Qur’aan has mentioned is just the principle issues. The Qur’aan Shareef is then elucidated by Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), and his statements are elucidated by the khulaafa raashideen and the sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum). The situation that you are speaking of is called “al-mas’alatul-mimbariyyah”.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)