Concerning His statement;
يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلَادِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ فَإِنْ كُنَّ نِسَاءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ وَاحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلِأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِنْ كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلِأُمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلِأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِي بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ لَا تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعًا فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا
“Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” [An-Nisā, 11]
This noble verse and that which is after it and those which end this Surah are verses of the knowledge of inheritance, and it is derived from these three verses, and from the reported Hadiths concerning that from that which is like a Tafsīr to that, and we will mention from it what is related to the Tafsīr of that, as for decision making in issues and raising differences of opinion and the proofs, and the dispute between the Imāms, then it’s rightful place is the Book ‘Al-Ahkām’, and Allāh’s aid is sought.
The verses which contain the knowledge of the laws of inheritance
(يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي أَوْلَادِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ فَإِنْ كُنَّ نِسَاءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ وَاحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلِأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِنْ كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلِأُمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلِأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ مِنْ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِي بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ لَا تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعًا فَرِيضَةً
مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمً
وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَٰجُكُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌۚ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمُ ٱلرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَۚ مِنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍۚ وَلَهُنَّ ٱلرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌۚ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ ٱلثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمۚ مِّنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍۗ وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلَٰلَةً أَوِ ٱمْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُۥٓ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَٰحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا ٱلسُّدُسُۚ فَإِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذَٰلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فِى ٱلثُّلُثِۚ مِنۢ بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَىٰ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ وَصِيَّةً مِّنَ ٱللَّهِۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ
يَسْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِى ٱلْكَلَٰلَةِۚ إِنِ ٱمْرُؤٌا۟ هَلَكَ لَيْسَ لَهُۥ وَلَدٌ وَلَهُۥٓ أُخْتٌ فَلَهَا نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَۚ وَهُوَ يَرِثُهَآ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهَا وَلَدٌۚ فَإِن كَانَتَا ٱثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُمَا ٱلثُّلُثَانِ مِمَّا تَرَكَۚ وَإِن كَانُوٓا۟ إِخْوَةً رِّجَالًا وَنِسَآءً فَلِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ ٱلْأُنثَيَيْنِۗ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ أَن تَضِلُّوا۟ۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌۢ
“Allāh commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allāh. And Allāh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.”
“In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of lagacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allāh; and Allāh is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forbearing.” [An-Nisā, 12-13]
And His statement;
“They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: “Allāh directs (thus) about Al-Kalālah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs). If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister, but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left 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 will have twice the share of the female. (Thus) does Allāh makes clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. And Allāh is the All-Knower of everything.” [An-Nisā, 176]
Our Shaykh may Allāh preserve him said: “These verses in a paragraph have a lot of rulings in them that authoring’s have been derived from, and this is from the blessings of the Quran.
Some Hadiths which have some weakness in them have been reported concerning learning the laws of inheritance but the proofs of the virtue of knowledge include it so it is incumbent to learn.
The knowledge of the laws of inheritance is easy to acquire, quick to be forgotten.
Two daughters receive two thirds by the proof of the Quran and Sunnah and consensus and Qiyās (analogy)
Ibn Kathīr may Allāh have mercy on him said:
And His statement;
( فإن كن نساء فوق اثنتين فلهن ثلثا ما ترك )
“If (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance”
Some of them said: His statement فوق (above) is Zā’idah (extra) and it is supposed to be;
(فإن كن نساء اثنتين)
“If (there are) only daughters, two”
As in His statement;
( فاضربوا فوق الأعناق )
“So strike them over the necks” [Al-Anfāl, 12]
And this is not granted, not here nor there, because there is nothing in the Qurān extra without benefit for this is impossible.
Then His statement;
( فلهن ثلثا ما ترك )
“Their share is two thirds of the inheritance”
If the intent is what they intended He would of said;
فلهما ثلثا ما ترك
“The share of both is two thirds of the inheritance”
And verily it is benefited from two daughters receiving two thirds from the ruling of two sisters in the last verse, for verily Allāh ruled for two sisters with two thirds, and if two sisters inherit two thirds then what takes more precedence is two daughters inheriting two thirds, and it has preceded in the Hadith of Jābir that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ ruled for the two daughters of Sa’d bin Ar-Rabī’ with two thirds, so the Book and the Sunnah points towards that, and also because He said;
( وإن كانت واحدة فلها النصف)
“If only one, her share is half.”
So if half was for two daughters also due to the text, then when it was ruled for one by herself it points towards that two daughters take the ruling of three and Allāh knows best.
The debt takes precedence over the will by consensus
And His statement;
( من بعد وصية يوصي بها أو دين )
“(The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts.”
There is consensus of the scholars that the debt takes precedence before the will, the will is recommended and the debt is obligatory.
Al-Kalālah: One who has no (existing) children or parents by consensus
This is what Abu Bakr As-Saddīq may Allāh be pleased with him said and upon that are the majority of the Sahābah and Tābi’īn and Imāms, in previous and ancient times, and it is the Madhab of the four Imāms, and the seven Fuqahā (jurists). And the statement of the scholars of all regions, and it is what the Qurān points towards as Allāh indicated that he clarified in His statement;
( يبين الله لكم أن تضلوا والله بكل شيء عليم )
“(Thus) does Allāh makes clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. And Allāh is the All-Knower of everything.”
And Sha’bī reported on the authority of Abī Bakr As-Saddīq that he was asked concerning Al-Kalālah, so he said: “I give my opinion concerning it, so if it is correct then it is from Allāh, and if it is incorrect then it is from myself and Shaytān, and Allāh and His Messenger are free from it, Al-Kalālah is the one who has no children or parents,” so when ‘Umar became Khalīfah he said: “Verily I feel shy to go against the opinion of Abu Bakr.”
[Reported by Jarīr and others]
And Ibn Abī Hātim may Allāh have mercy on him said in his Tafsīr:
Muhammad bin Abdillāh bin Yazīd narrated to us, he said Sufyān narrated to us, on the authority of Sulaymān Al-Ahwal, on the authority of Tāwūs, he said: “I heard Abdullāh bin Abbās saying: “I was with ‘Umar bin Al-Khattāb during his last moments, and I heard him say: “The statement is as I said, and what I said is what I said, Al-Kalālah is one who has no children or parents.”
And like so Alī bin Abī Tālib and Ibn Mas’ūd said, and it is authentic from more than one pathway on the authority of Abdillāh bin Abbās, and Yazīd bin Thābit, and it is the statement of Ash-Sha’bī and An-Nakha’ī and Al-Hasan Al-Basrī, and Qatādah and Jābir bin Zaid, and Al-Hakm, and it is the statement of the people of Al-Madīnah and Al-Kūfa and Al-Basrah. And it is the statement of the seven Fuqahā (jurists) and the four Imāms and the majority of the Salaf and the Khalaf, rather all of them, and more than one have relayed a consensus upon that.
The statement of the scholars concerning the issue of the Mushtarikah (joining):
Ibn Kathīr may Allāh be pleased with him said: “The scholars differed concerning the issue of Mushtarikah, and it is the husband, and mother or grandmother, and two from the children on the mothers side, and one or more from the children of both parents.
So upon the statement of the majority:
For the husband is half
For the mother or grandmother a sixth
For the child on mothers side a third, and the children of the father and mother share with them with what is between them of the shared amount and they are the brothers on the mothers side.
And this issue occurred during the time of the Amīr ul-Mu’minīn ‘Umar bin Al-Khattāb, so he gave the husband half, and the mother a sixth, and he made a third to the children of the mother, so it was said to him: “The children of the mother and father O Amīr ul-Mu’minīn, considering that (even if) our father was a donkey, are we not from the same mother? So he made them share between them, and this is a munkar (rejected) narration, and if it was authentic and the father was a donkey then what would the mother be?
And joining was authentically established by him and from Amīr ul-Mu’minīn ‘Uthmān, and it is one of the two narrations from Ibn Mas’ūd, and Zaid bin Thābit, and Ibn Abbās may Allāh be pleased with them. And it is the statement of Sa’īd bin Musayyib, and Shurayh Al-Qādhī, and Masrūq, and Tāwūs, and Muhammad bin Sīrīn and Ibrāhīm An-Nakha’ī, and ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil-Azīz, and Thawrī, and Shurayk, and it is the Madhab of Mālik and Ash-Shāfi’ē, and Ishāq bin Rāhawē.
And Ali bin Abī Tālib did not join between them, rather he made a third to the children of the mother and nothing for the children of father and mother, and this state because they are a Asabah (receive default share). And Wakī’ bin Al-Jarrāh said: “There is no differing that he did that”, and it is the statement of ‘Ubayy bin Ka’b and Abī Mūsā Al-Ash’arī, and it is well-known from Ibn ‘Abbās, and it is the Madhab of Ash-Sha’bī and Ibn Abī Layla, and Abī Yusuf, and Muhammad bin Al-Hasan, and Hasan bin Ziyād, and Zufar bin Huthail, and Al-Imām Ahmed bin Hanbal, and Yahyā bin Ādam and Nu’aym bin Hammād, and Abī Thawr, and Dāwūd bin Alī Ath-Thāhirī, and it was chosen by Abī Al-Hussein bin Al-Labān Al-Fardhī may Allāh have mercy on him in his book ‘Al-Ījāz’
End of speech
And it is what Our Shaykh Yahya may Allāh preserve him deemed to be the correct opinion.
We will mention an example of Al-Mushtarikah;
Husband___________ half |3
Mother or Grandmother sixth|1
Two children on mothers side third_______________________ | 2
And one or more of children from both parents are dropped due to the inheritance being utilized.
The statement of not joining is what the evidence suggests
And like so is the issue of the Ghrāwīn for verily the mother takes a third of the wealth completely
And Ibn ‘Abbās may Allāh be pleased with them both made a third of all the wealth for the mother and used as proof the generality of His statement;
( فإن لم يكن له ولد وورثه أبواه فلأمه الثلث )
“If no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third”
ألحقوا الفرائض بأهلها فما بقي فهو لأولى رجل ذكر
“Join the inheritance with its rightful people and whatever remains is for the closest male relative.”
The father here is Asabah (receiving default share) so for him is what remains from the people of obligatory share.
We will mention an example:
(Husband, Mother, Father)
Father_____________________ | 1
Causing harm and oppression in the will is prohibited by consensus?
Ibn Kathīr may Allāh have mercy on him said: “Whenever the fixation is correct in accordance with the reality, differences like this occurs and whenever it is a stratagem and a means to increasing or decreasing some of the inheritors then it is prohibited by consensus by the text of this verse;
( غير مضار وصية من الله والله عليم حليم )
“This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most-Forbearing.”
And Allāh knows best.
Benefited from: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him.
Translated by: Abu ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi