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My Response for this claim consists of my personal writtings and the footnotes descriptions of the Holy Verses from my Holy Quran, which was translated by Sheik (Minister) Abdallah Yusuf Ali.
Anti-Islamic Claim: 1.And it just doesn't add up: Sura 4:11-12 and 4:176 state the Qur'anic inheritance law. When a man dies, and is leaving behind three daughters, his two parents and his wife, they will receive the respective shares of 2/3 for the 3 daughters together, 1/3 for the parents together [both according to verse 4:11] and 1/8 for the wife [4:12] which adds up to more than the available estate. A second example: A man leaves only his mother, his wife and two sisters, then they receive 1/3 [mother, 4:11], 1/4 [wife, 4:12] and 2/3 [the two sisters, 4:176], which again adds up to 15/12 of the available property.
My Response: Ayat (verses) 4:11-12 "Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the 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 and debts. Ye know not whether Your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.
In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and 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 ina third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). Thus is it ordained by Allah; and allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing."
There is no contradiction in the Noble Verses above.
In "as regards your children's (4:11)" The principles of inheritance law are laid down in broad outline in the Quran; the precise details have been worked out on the basis of the Prophet's practice and that of his companions, and by interpretation and analogy. Muslim jurists have collected a vast amount of learning on this subject, and this body of law is enough by itself to form the subject of life-long study. Here we shall deal only with the broad principles to be gathered from the Text, as interpreted by the Jurists.
(1) The power of testamentary disposition extends over only one-third of the property; the remaining two-thirds are distributed among heirs as laid down. (2) All distribution takes place after the legacies and debts (including funeral expenses) have first been paid. (3) Legacies cannot be left to any of the heirs included in the scheme of distribution; or it will amount to upsetting the shares and undue preference of one heir to another. (4) Generally, but not always, the male takes a share of double that of a female in his own category.
In "if only daughters, two or more, (4:11)"At first sight, the Arabic words seem to mean: "If more than two daughters." But the alternative in the next clause is: "if only one daughter." Logically, therefore, the first clause must mean: "if daughters, two or more." This is the general interpretation, and is confirmed by the supplementary provision in 4:176 at the end of the Ayah (verse), which should be read along this.
Let us look at Ayah (verse) 4:176 "They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or 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 (between them): if there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah make clear to you (His law), lest Ye err. And Allah hath knowledge of all things."
In "If it is a man that dies, (4:176)" This verse supplements the rule of inheritance of the estate of a deceased person who has left as heir neither a descendant nor an ascendant. We shall call such a person A, who may be either a male or a female. In 4:12 (second half), A's case was considered where he had left uterine brothers or sisters. here A's case is considered where he has left brothers and/or sisters by the father's side, whether the mother was the same or not. "Brothers" and "sisters" in this verse must be construed to be such brothers and sisters.
A, and "brother" and "sister" being strictly defined as above, we proceed to consider how A's inheritance would be divided. If A left a widow or widower, the widow's or widower's share would first be calculated as in the first half of verse 4:12; if A left no spouse, this calculation would not be necessary. Then if A left a single "sister," she would have a half share, the remaining half (insofar as it, or a part of it, does not fall to a spouse, if any) going to remoter heirs; if a single "brother," he would have the whole (subject to the spouse's right if there is a spouse); if more than one "brother," they divide the whole (subject to, etc.). If A left two or more "sisters," they get between them two-thirds, subject to the spouse's right, if any. If A left a "brother" and "sister", or "brother" and "sister," they divide on the basis that each "brother's" share is twice that of the "sister" (subject to, etc.). In all cases debts, funeral expenses, and legacies (to the amount allowed) have priority.
Let us look at "These are settled portions ordained by Allah; (4:11)" The verse deals with the portions allotted to (a) children, and (b) parents. The next verse deals with the portions allotted to (c) husband or wife of the deceased, and (d) collaterals. The children's shares are fixed, but their amount will depend upon what goes to the parents. If both parents are living, and there are also children, both father and mother take a sixth each; if only one parent is living, he or she takes his or her sixth; and the rest goes to the children. If the parents are living, and there is no child or other heir, the mother gets a third (and the father the remaining two-thirds); if there are no children, but there are brothers or sisters (this is interpreted strictly in the plural), the mother has a sixth, and the father apparently the residue, as the father excludes collaterals. This is far from being an exhaustive statement, but it establishes the proposition that children and parents have always some share if they survive, but their shares are affected by the existence and number of heirs in these categories.
In "their share is a fourth, (4:12)" The husband takes a half of his deceased wife's property if she leaves no child, the rest going to residuaries; if she leaves a child, the husband gets only a fourth. Following the rule that the female share is generally half the male share, the widow gets a fourth of her deceased husband's property, if he leaves no children, and an eighth if he leaves children. If there are more widows than one, their collective share is a fourth or an eighth as the case may be.
In "has left neither ascendants nor descendants, (4:12)" The word in Arabic is KALALAH, which is so construed usually. But it was nowhere defined authoritatively in the lifetime of the Messenger. This was one of the three terms about which Umar (The Prophet's second deciple) wished that the Messenger had defined them in his lifetime, the other two being KHILAFAH, and RIBA (usury). On the accepted definition, we are concerned with the inheritance of a person who has left no descendant or ascendant (however distant), but only collaterals, with or without a widow or widower. If there is a widow or widower surviving, she or he takes the share as already defined, before the collaterals come in.
In "but has left a brother or a sister, (4:12)" A "brother or sister" is here interpreted to mean a uterine brother or sister, i.e., a brother or sister by the same mother but not by the same father, as the case of full brothers and sisters or brothers and sisters by the same father but different mothers is understood to be dealt with later, in the last verse of this Ayah (verse). The uterine brother or sister, if only one survives, takes a sixth, if more than one survives, they take a third collectively, and divide among themselves; this on the supposition that there are no descendants or ascendants, however remote. There may, however, be a widow or widower surviving: she or he takes her or his share, as already specified.
The shares of collaterals generally are calculated on a complicated system which cannot be described in a brief note. For these, and the rules about residuaries (ASABA) references should be made to special legal treatises.
In "after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to anyone). (4:12)" Debts (in which funeral expenses take first rank) and legacies are the first charge on the estate of a deceased person, before distribution takes place. But equity and fair dealing should be observed in all matters, so that no one's interests are prejudiced. Thus funeral expenses should be reasonable; debts must be genuine and not reckless debts; and teh shares must be calculated with fairness.
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