My question is about the issue detailed in this topic: Inheritance shares don't add up to 1. Please read the whole message carefully though, this is not exactly a duplicate. To sum up the point, the Quran contains inheritance laws that specify the shares due to various members of the family of the deceased. Now, there are configurations where the shares add up to more than one.

Now, as has been mentioned in the post I linked, several attempts have been made to fix the issue. The traditional answer would be to use the rules of "Awl" and "Usbah", that is to proportionally change the shares so that all of them add up to 1. Another approach is to keep the shares as stated in the Quran but to distribute the inheritance according to priority rules so that the shares add up to 1 or less. I am dubious however that this last approach works in general. Consider the case of a woman who dies leaving nor ascendants nor descendants, but only her husband and two sisters. Sisters is to be taken with the meaning it has in 4:176, whatever you think the difference is with verse 4:12. Then 4:12 and 4:176 taken together unambiguously state that in that case, the husband should get 1/2 and the sisters 2/3 which adds up to 7/6 > 1. If you don't add man-made laws to the Quran and yet want to keep the shares as stated, priority rules won't work here. Thus, the most rational way would be to reduce the shares proportionnally (that would be 3/7 for the husband 4/7 for the sisters in that specific case). For another example, you may consider the case of a man leaving behind a wife (share: 1/8), a daughter (share: 2/3) and a father and a mother (1/6 each) which adds up to 27/24.

Hence comes the problem. To make sense, it seems that the Quran somewhat needs to be corrected; is other words, the command "give 1/2 to the husband and 2/3 to the sisters", stated as is, sounds absurd and either you conclude that the law of inheritance can't be applied or you're forced to correct it (i.e to literally infringe the original command) to apply the mere "mentality" of it.

Please note that my question really differs from that of the post I mentioned above. I don't expect a comprehensive list of all approaches that have been developed to apply the law of inheritance. I'd really like the discussion to bear on the idea that the Quran's law may need some correcting to be applied.

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    Without even reading your question completely, there is no correcting Qur'an, the only thing you could do at the most is understand it properly or the way you want it to be understood i.e you can ask for various interpretations which interest you. Oct 3, 2015 at 5:35
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    If I understand well the first part of your sentence, you haven't yet read the question completely. Please read it so that you can understand my point. Unless you admit that contradicting the text is a form of interpretation, I don't see how the quoted verses (4:12 and 4:176) could make sense considered the problem stated above. The verses do mention precise shares of inheritance (1/2, 2/3, 1/6, 1/8...), thus no discussion is possible regarding the value of the shares prescribed by the text. Oct 4, 2015 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


Your understanding of the distribution of inheritance is incorrect of what the Quran says. According to my own understanding of the translation of the verses

Response #1:

Wife will get 1/8

Daughters will get 1/2

The parents will take the rest because of parental right – Why?

The verse says if the deceased left children - children (plural) means more than one child so 1/6 is not applicable here in this case

Response #2:

Daughters will get 2/3

Father will get 1/6

Mother will get 1/6

Wife will get nothing

So sum is equal to 1

Why the share of a wife is zero? - According to the verse

"But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave" – a child means one child so 1/8 is not applicable

Since the deceased left 2 children not a child, therefore, the share of wife is zero however her children will get the said 2/3 of estate when she (or mothers) dies

Allah says clearly in aforementioned verses

1- Indeed, Allah is ever knowing and wise 2- And Allah is knowing and forbearing

I am confident this can be applied to other cases too such as

A man dies and left behind a mother, wife and 2 daughters. Here in this case

Daughters will get 2/3

mother will get 1/6

Since no Father, therefore, rest 1/6 will be taken by the wife because of first priority in the relationship and the right of mother / wife

Hope this may help

Since I am not a scholar of the subject, therefore, I may be wrong. Please correct me if I am wrong

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