Assalamualaikum! I have a question concerning the inheritance of properties. Suppose a person dies leaving behind two daughters, his father, his mother and his wife. Now if the parents are to get 1/6 th of the property each, and if the two daughters get 2/3 and the wife 1/8th, then the sum of the parts become 9/8 which is more than 100%. My question is, how is this case resolved?
Also in my country some enemies of Islam are using this example to show that “God does not know maths!” (Subhanallah!). So please tell me, what should be our response to those who make such assertions to confuse people.
I am expecting you to discuss the case in detail.
Before reading my response to your question, please bear in mind that my explanation of the law of inheritance of the Qur’an is different from the opinion of most of the Muslim scholars.
According to my understanding, the shares in the referred case shall be distributed as shown in the following steps:
Share of Parents: (1/6th + 1/6th) 1/3rd of total property of the deceased
Share of Spouse: 1/8th of the total property of the deceased
Balance of property, after giving the shares of the parents and the spouse = 1 – (1/3 + 1/8) = 1 – 11/24 = 13/24
Shares of Daughters = 13/24 X 2/3 = 13/36
Balance Remaining after the payment of the daughters’ shares = 13/72 (this balance should be distributed according to the bequest or will of the deceased. In the absence of a bequest as well as any legislation of the state, the balance may be given to the closest living male relative of the deceased.
As for the stated objection on the Law of Inheritance, it is indeed a valid objection on the interpretation of the law, as explained by most of the Muslim scholars and jurists. This objection, however, does not apply to my explanation of the law. For further details, please refer to my explanation of the Law of Inheritance in one of my earlier responses to a criticism on the Qur’an, titled ‘Understanding the Law of Inheritance of the Qur’an‘.
I hope this helps.
November 29, 2001