Inheritance Distribution (4:7, 4:8, 4:11, 4:12, 4:176)

Below is the breakdown of the inheritance distribution according to the verses of the Quran to the best of our ability. God forgive us if we make an error in this representation. It is based on the five verses in the Quran that discuss this matter with specified allocations: 4:7, 4:8, 4:11, 4:12, 4:176

Women’s Inheritance Rights

[4:7] The men get a share of what the parents and the relatives leave behind. The women too shall get a share of what the parents and relatives leave behind. Whether it is a small or a large inheritance, (the women must get) a definite share.
[4:8] During distribution of the inheritances, if relatives, orphans, and needy persons are present, you shall give them therefrom, and treat them kindly.

If No Will Is Left*

[4:11] GOD decrees a will for the benefit of your children; the male gets twice the share of the female.* If the inheritors are only women, more than two, they get two-thirds of what is bequeathed. If only one daughter is left, she gets one-half. The parents of the deceased get one-sixth of the inheritance each, if the deceased has left any children. If he left no children, and his parents are the only inheritors, the mother gets one-third. If he has siblings, then the mother gets one-sixth. All this, after fulfilling any will* the deceased has left, and after paying off all debts. When it comes to your parents and your children, you do not know which of them is really the best to you and the most beneficial. This is GOD’s law. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

Inheritance For the Spouses

[4:12] You get half of what your wives leave behind, if they had no children. If they had children, you get one-fourth of what they leave. All this, after fulfilling any will they had left, and after paying off all debts. They get one-fourth of what you leave behind, if you had no children. If you had children, they get one-eighth of what you bequeath. All this, after fulfilling any will you had left, and after paying off all debts. If the deceased man or woman was a loner, and leaves two siblings, male or female, each of them gets one-sixth of the inheritance. If there are more siblings, then they equally share one-third of the inheritance. All this, after fulfilling any will, and after paying off all debts, so that no one is hurt. This is a will decreed by GOD. GOD is Omniscient, Clement. 

[4:176] They consult you; say, “GOD advises you concerning the single person. If one dies and leaves no children, and he had a sister, she gets half the inheritance. If she dies first, he inherits from her, if she left no children. If there were two sisters, they get two-thirds of the inheritance. If the siblings are men and women, the male gets twice the share of the female.” GOD thus clarifies for you, lest you go astray. GOD is fully aware of all things.

Here were some of the major take aways from the findings:

  • The table allocations represents what is paid after full filling any will, and after paying off all debts
  • The distribution can never exceed more than 100%. If it does that means that we did not do an accurate reading of the distribution.
  • The total percentages that are allocated per the verses of the Quran do not have to equal 100%. The distribution just guarantees that certain people receive a definite share of the inheritance under certain conditions.
  • The verses predominately emphasizes that the women must receive a definite share – as most the use cases are in regards to the women’s inheritance. 
  • We are not 100% sure that this is correct and are open to any feedback

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Husband

Wife

Loner Male

Loner Female

Couple notes to understand the table:

  • The top row of each table is the deceased party. The Quran only discusses four deceased individuals: Husband, Wife, Male Loner, Female Loner.
  • Loner is someone who does not have parents or children that are alive and only has siblings that are still living
  • The left column are the inheritors of the deceased
  • The yellow items are specifically mentioned in the Quran
  • The “x” represent items that are nullified in a scenario. For instance someone cannot have “only one daughter” and “multiple children” it would need to be one or the other.
  • The numbers that are not highlighted in yellow are not specifically mentioned in the Quran, but can be extrapolated from the rules in the verse.
  • A blank space is a possible inheritor, but without a specified definite share. 

These are additional notes to the interpretation of the allocation:

The male gets twice the share of the female. (4:11)

  • This is the criteria we used if inheritors are specified, but not a specific allocation is stated.

If the inheritors are only women, more than two, they get two-thirds of what is bequeathed. (4:11)

  • There are several scenarios where there are only female inheritors (more than two) at which point they all share two-thirds of the inheritance. Some examples are two or more daughters and a mom, or in the case of a male father’s death he could leave one daughter, one mother, and one spouse. The expectation was that if a specified share is allocated to a particular women she will receive that share first and afterwards the non-specified women will share in the remaining inheritance. This shows that there is seniority in who must first receive their definite share before others are paid out.  

If only one daughter is left, she gets one-half. (4:11)

  • This is a special scenario where there is only a single daughter inheritor and no other specified inheritors are alive.

The parents of the deceased get one-sixth of the inheritance each, if the deceased has left any children. (4:11)
If he left no children, and his parents are the only inheritors, the mother gets one-third. (4:11) 
If he has siblings, then the mother gets one-sixth. (4:11)

  • This covers the inheritance for the parents. Interesting that the verse specifically mentions what the mother gets in the case of a single child and not what the father gets. We speculated that since the male gets twice the share of the female, that the father in this case would be two-thirds (twice the share of the mother).

You (husband) get half of what your wives leave behind, if they had no children. (4:12)
If they had children, you (husband) get one-fourth of what they leave.(4:12)

  • This covers what the husband inherits from the wife

They (wife) get one-fourth of what you (husband) leave behind, if you (husband) had no children. (4:12)
If you (husband) had children, they (wife) get one-eighth of what you (husband) bequeath. (4:12)  

  • This covers what the wife inherits from the husband

If the deceased man or woman was a loner, (4:12)
“GOD advises you concerning the single person. If one dies and leaves no children, (4:176)

  • Loner and single person are categorized as the same person as the Arabic is one and the same for both these people stated in 7:12 and 7:176. The definition of a loner is someone who does not have parents or children that are alive. Therefore the inheritance goes to the siblings.

and leaves two siblings, male or female, each of them gets one-sixth (4:12)
If there are more siblings, then siblings equally share one-third of the inheritance. (4:12)

  • This is the condition if the deceased had two male siblings or two female siblings.

and he had a sister, she gets half the inheritance. (4:176)

  • This is what occurs if the loner is male and had only one sister

 If she dies first, he inherits from her, if she left no children. (4:176)

  • This is what occurs if the loner is female and has one brother, but note that a share is not specified for the brother just that “he inherits from her”

If there were two sisters, they get two-thirds of the inheritance. (4:176)

  • This is a condition if there are two sisters and one of them dies the living sister gets two-thirds of the inheritance. Note: There are no guidelines or specified share to what happens if a male loner leaves one brother.

If the siblings are men and women, the male gets twice the share of the female (4:176)

  • For multiple siblings (male and/or female) that are not specifically specified in the verse the only requirement is that the male gets twice the share of the female.

 

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