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Offline Student

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Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« on: July 26, 2016, 08:13:04 AM »
Salaamun Alaykum,

Every time I read and come across ayats of inheritance a question pops up in my mind which remained unanswered (perhaps) even after reading Brother Joseph's excellent flow-chart and associated text preceding it on the subject. The question is what happens or who gets the remainder after the distribution to heirs is completed according to the Quran's guidelines? For example in the flow chart at end points it says:

"Sister takes 1/2 the inheritance" (who takes the other half?)
"She receives 1/2 the inheritance" (who takes the other half?)
"Daughters share from 2/3 of the inheritance" (who gets to takes the 1/3?)
etc.. for all end points.

Sorry if I completely miss out the obvious from the chart or the explanation thereof.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks,
Student.
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Truth Seeker

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2016, 09:07:05 AM »
Salaam,

I assume that it is left to give to others as the executor of the will deems fit.

There is a verse in the Quran (4:8) which talks abouts giving something to relatives, the needy or orphans at the time of distribution if they are present.

So by this verse it could be taken as a good example to implement with regard to the remaining portions.

Offline Anjum

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 01:47:14 PM »
Salam All,

I was about ask the same question...sorry for intruding...i have a doubt...my parents have only two daughters...that is me and my sis...my parents had built a home in our hometown...in this case...will i get half of the property and my sister the other half?...or...we both will get only one half and other half wil be given to some of our cousin?...if so...my cousins are well settled..they all have their own property...our parents...earned and built this house for me and sister...why should we give it to someone...who is already settled...and had no share in our hardship and everything...
If we are to give share to someone...who is present during distribution...then...i should say here that...In India...these things are done in Registrar office..that is a Government office...in front of Govt. Officials...so...are we supposed to give the share to Government officials who are also already settled?...n above all...why should we give them..when..we do not even know them...
M sorry if m asking silly questions...i hope you can reply...thank u..

Regards,
Anjum

Offline Student

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 03:27:22 PM »
Salaamun Alaykum,
Truth Seeker/Sister Anjum et al,

Thanks for your prompt response to my query. In my humble view in so far as my study of Quranic translations takes me I think giving to "relatives, the needy or orphans at the time of distribution if they are present" is voluntary as a token of good will gesture before or at the time of distribution just like but mandatory payment of "[the deduction of] any bequest he may have made, or any debt [he may have incurred]" before the inheritance distribution. I may be wrong, please correct me if so.

As sister Anjum presented her living example, it does not make sense to give equal or in this case double the share of her and her sister combined (50%) to "others" who are not entitled while they share from 50% (Keeping in view the fact that property value runs into huge sums of money comparatively to other assets). I see this huge gap needs to be filled and some piece is missing here. Hope we hear from brother Joseph as I see him responding to few queries lately, which is always exciting thing and pleasure to read his views  :D

And no sister Anjum, you didn't intrude rather you added urgency and weight to the subject by sharing real life scenario and for that I'm grateful to you  :)
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Anjum

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 05:03:57 PM »
Salam brother Student...

Thank you very much for your reply..:)..i guess...we both have same doubts related to inheritance law..i hope someone can help us out..:)

Regards,
Anjum

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 05:46:38 AM »
Dear All,

As-salamu alaykum

Please kindly note clearly shared in my article / illustration regarding inheritance [1], [2] below that if one consults the verses of Surah Nisa, one notes its explicit expectation only to serve in a secondary capacity only after any existing will that the deceased has stipulated is satisfied. Of course, if no existing will has been made by the deceased as per verses 2:180 and 5:106 of the Holy Quran, then verses of Surah Nisa would apply as default

004:011 (part)
(The distribution stipulated)
 
"...after (Arabic: ba'di) any will (Arabic: wasiyyatin) which he has made or any debts ..."

Now it remains a duty of everyone who is able and of sound mind with assets to make a will. If there are adjustments to be made, then this should be catered for in the primary will without of course, causing any undue hurt to those that should benefit and without any injustice caused. If one fears that an injustice is being caused by the testator, they must raise this (2:182). However regardless, the option is there to make suitable adjustments and other relatives / needy must be considered at the time of the will (verse 4-8). Wills can of course, always be updated / modified in one's lifetime with appropriate witnesses / formalities of the land.

I fear many Muslims don't recognise that this expectation of a primary will to be written in fairness / appropriateness (mahruf) is enshrined within the Quranic verses. The result can be that some run into concerns as kindly demonstrated by Anjum in this thread, because the focus is simply on apportioning shares as mentioned in the Quran in isolation, which should really be invoked in a secondary capacity or in support of the first will which allows for any adjustments that one deems appropriate.

So whether officially or otherwise, wills should be made immediately as death can be upon anyone of us at any time.

Please kindly note the article regarding inheritance below where this has been discussed.

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] INHERITANCE LAWS IN THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/inheritance%20FM3.htm
[2] INHERITANCE ILLUSTRATION
http://quransmessage.com/charts%20and%20illustrations/inheritance/inheritance%20FM2.htm

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Student

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 03:20:33 PM »
Walekumus Salaam,
Brother Joseph,

Thank you and Jazak Allah Khair for the clarification sparing your valuable time, indeed. I apologize in advance for not making my question clear upfront. I understand the inheritance is executed as laid out in the will by the testator and in absence of that will (wasiyat) the distribution defaults according to the method laid by the Quran, is my understanding correct so far?

What happens in the following scenarios:

  • When there's no will (however, I think your flow chart assumed presence of will in mapping and piecing the puzzle together), meaning who gets the remainder of the wealth after default Quranic distribution as I see lot of heir relatives in the end-points (boxes) getting less than 100% share?
  • Will (wasiyat) is completely and categorically un-Quranic, for example in favor of one son or daughter ignoring or discarding all their siblings, spouses, parents etc

While you're at it, may I also earnestly request you to spare few more minutes of your valuable time to address my concern (this is by far more pressing and practical implication in my life than the above):
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2008.msg9958#msg9958

Thank you, and looking forward to your valuable insight and wisdom inshallah!
Thanks,
~ Student

Offline Anjum

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 04:14:57 PM »
Salam Brother Joseph..

Thank you very much for your valuable time...I have gone through your article..and was help...but..i still have some doubt...you have stated

It should not intend to hurt, injure or compromise (ghayra mudarrin 4:12) other beneficiaries. Depriving kinsfolk, especially those closest of their legitimate rights of inheritance through stipulating unfair / unreasonable bequests are arguably examples of causing undue harm (ghayra mudarrin 4:12).

And you have stated that, sisters only will receive 2/3 of the inheritance...why should it be like that?...my parents have only two daughters...me and my sister..shouldnt we get 1/2 to me and 1/2 to my sister?...why should we give share to our cousins..who had no share in our family neither in our hardship?...Is Quran being favorable to male only?...m sorry for being rude...but...naturally..it makes us think like that..sorry..hope you can clear this.

Regards,
Anjum

Offline Wakas

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 03:52:20 PM »
peace,

My understanding also is that the Quranic default applies if there is wealth left over to distribute.

Offline Anjum

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 02:37:14 PM »
Salam Brother Wakas..

Thank you very much for your reply...

According to your...so...the Quranic default applies only if no will is left?...what if our parents write a will benefiting both of us..like..half of the house will be for me and another half for my sister...so..is it ok here?..

Sorry for the silly questions..

Regards,
Anjum

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2016, 11:37:44 PM »
Dear Student and Anjum,

As-salamu alaykum

I will attempt to answer both your questions briefly.

With what has been shared, that is why it is imperative that every sane minded Muslim with assets to their name commit to a will. The Quran arguably, also supports this sentiment in general. This includes you, me and those around us.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the testator to formulate this will and address in their will their desires as to how they would like any left-over portions (if applicable) distributed so that there are no disputes after their death. It is also their responsibility to account for the needy, orphans and others (charitable causes) in the same manner that they would think of providing for their own offspring (4-8).

Dear Student – Yes, you are correct in my humble opinion that in the absence of a primary will (which may in fact simply be shares attributed as per the Quran with additional requests / bequests, even to deal with left over portions as discussed), the automatic shares as per the Quran will take effect.

If wealth is left over (and unfortunately has not been dealt by the testator before their demise), then the Quran remains silent on its distribution.

The appointed executor(s) of the will must then decide what must be done with the remaining wealth, whether it is to be distributed to the neediest within the immediate kinship, passed to charity or for the government to distribute to wider society. This does not mean that automatically those that have already inherited will re-share the remainder.

This is why it is imperative that all testators share their desires as to the distribution of their wealth during their lifetimes. I have noted many to criticise elders for not having written a will, but when I have questioned them, they have not written one either. This has always begged the question from me, how do you know who will pass away first? Death can be upon any of us at any time.

Finally, you are correct that a will be unquranic if it is not done with a sense of fairness and justice and in a manner that causes harm or results in undue favouritism (ghayra mudarrin – 4:12)

Dear Anjum – You seemed to have asked me why God has stipulated the rules as He has. Where one can spend many pages scratching the surface of the limitless abundance of God’s wisdom as to why that may be, a detailed discussion would be outside the scope of this response.

However, I do not believe that there is gender favouritism as that would be an allegation against God (May God forbid). For example, when I read that when the parents are the only heirs, a mother gets twice that of a father of their child’s inheritance (4:11), for the same reason, I do not interpret that instruction against men. The protection appears to be for the female. Similarly, it may be an idea to see how the female inherits collectively and how the Quran understands the primary responsibility of maintenance and provision for the male.

However, it remains your parent’s responsibility to deal with their will appropriately and give clear direction what is to be done with any wealth that is to be left over. Similarly it is your responsibility to deal with your wealth. They may deem it fit to apportion that accordingly and this remains their prerogative.

I hope this helps, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Anjum

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Re: Inheritance laws (4:11, 12, 176)
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2016, 03:27:20 PM »
Salam Brother Jospeh,

I am sorry if i was wrong anywhere..i was not sure and was not clear..what did the Quran actually said...so i was biased..and thought that, Quran favors men with regard to inheritance..thank you for clearing things to us brother..it was very helpful..thank you very much...

With best regards,
Anjum