Exposing WikiIslam’s FALSE claim of “mathematical error in hereditary law” of Qur’an

[By Heba E. Husseyn]

The heathens of WikiIslam site have tried a failed attempt claiming that the Qur’anic Verses 4:11-12 elucidating the laws of inheritance are mathematically wrong and do not add up. 

First let me put up the Qur’anic Verses 4:11-12 (Surah An-Nissa) concerning inheritance laws.

“Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half. And to each of his parents a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a son; and if he have no son and his parents are his heirs, then to his mother appertaineth the third; and if he have brethren, then to his mother appertaineth the sixth, after any legacy he may have bequeathed, or debt (hath been paid). Your parents and your children: Ye know not which of them is nearer unto you in usefulness. It is an injunction from Allah. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.”  4:11.

“And unto you belongeth a half of that which your wives leave, if they have no child; but if they have a child then unto you the fourth of that which they leave, after any legacy they may have bequeathed, or debt (they may have contracted, hath been paid). And unto them belongeth the fourth of that which ye leave if ye have no child, but if ye have a child then the eighth of that which ye leave, after any legacy ye may have bequeathed, or debt (ye may have contracted, hath been paid). And if a man or a woman have a distant heir (having left neither parent nor child), and he (or she) have a brother or a sister (only on the mother’s side) then to each of them twain (the brother and the sister) the sixth, and if they be more than two, then they shall be sharers in the third, after any legacy that may have been bequeathed or debt (contracted) not injuring (the heirs by willing away more than a third of the heritage) hath been paid. A commandment from Allah. Allah is Knower, Indulgent.”  4:12.

Now, I will quote below the childish criticism of the Wikislam liars which is hilarious. Even a child with half a brain would not be as dumbwit as this.  

Quoting them –

“Mathematical Error in Hereditary Laws.

    Wife: 1/8 = 3/24,
    Daughters: 2/3 = 16/24,
    Father: 1/6 = 4/24,
    Mother: 1/6 = 4/24,
    Total = 27/24=1.125 

The total does not equal to 1. This error can never be reconciled in any way.”
Unquote –

Addressing WikiIslam:  What the heck are you talking? The denomination of “1” is never taken as a presumed total for calculating any distribution, and it’s certainly never a presumed standard total for a legacy. How on earth do you expect to calculate the distribution of inheritance without knowing the total assets to be divided among the heirs. The fallacy arises because of WikiIslam’s complete lack of mathematical knowledge. How can you get the balance of the total without deducting the amount of bequest and the debt? Are you completely out of your mind? Even for a simple demonstration, you first need to pick a value for the estate prior to mathematical workings otherwise your workings are bound to be fallacious as in Wiki’s case. And Wiki is attributing its own mistakes to the Qur’an.  

So let us take a few examples demonstrating simple distributions of inheritances within families based on the figures of Quranic Verses 4:11-12 and then check the total of the break-up with the original value of the estate to verify for conformity.


A man who is a widower dies. His modest estate is worth 100,000.  He leaves behind a son, a daughter and a brother. He makes a bequest of 20,000 to his brother. His total debt of 5,000 needs to be deducted from the value of his estate. That makes the balance worth of his estate to 75,000. Daughter gets half the share of the son out of 75,000 which would be 25,000 and son gets the remaining 50,000. Now lets calculate the total and whether or not it tallies with the total worth of the estate.

Bequest       20,000
Debt             5,000
Daughter     25,000
Son               50,000

Total          100,000  –> original worth of the estate as mentioned above.

If there be 2 sons and 2 daughters with the same bequest and same debt, then from the balance of 75,000 each son would get 25,000 and each daughter would get 12,500. Let’s again check the total.

Bequest               20,000
Debt                     5,000
2 daughters         25,000   (12,500 each)
2 sons                   50,000   (25,000 each)

Total                  100,000  –>  original worth of the estate as mentioned above.


A wealthier man dies leaving an estate worth 450,000. He leaves behind a son, 2 daughters, a wife and 2 sisters. He makes a bequest of 15,000 for each of his 2 sisters making the total bequest to 30,000. His total debts amount to 8,000. Balance worth of estate after deducting the bequest and debt is 412,000. The wife is entitled to one-eighth of that total, that is 51,500. That leaves the balance of the estate at 360,500. The 2 daughters are entitled to half the share of the son. Half of 360,500 is 180,250 (total share of both daughters).  Thus, each of the 2 daughters get 90,125. Balance is the son’s share that is 360,500 minus 180,250 = 180,250 (exactly the amount shared by his 2 sisters). Now let’s total up the distribution to see if it tallies with the original worth of the estate which was 450,000.

Bequest               30,000
Debt                     8,000
Wife                     51,500
2 daughters        180,250  (90,125 each)
1 son                    180,250

Total                   450,000

Thus total solidly tallies with the original worth of the estate 450,000 as mentioned above.

If there were 3 or more sisters, then they would be sharers in two-third of the total of 360,500.  So, if there were 3 or more sisters, then we would need to calculate two-third of 360,500 which would be 240,332. Hence 3 or more sisters would share from 240,332.  The son would get the remaining 120,167. Similarly the original total value of the estate would add to 450,000. You can do that calculation yourself. 

If there be 2 sons and 2 daughters, both sons get 225,312 (out of 360,500) that is 112,656 each. Both daughters get the balance of 135,188. Therefore each daughter gets 67,594.  Check the total.

Bequest              30,000
Debt                    8,000
Wife                    51,500
2 daughters       135,188  (67,594 each)
2 sons                 225,312  (112,656 each)

Total                 450,000  –>  Total tallies completely with original worth of estate.

WikiIslam! Learn you primary school maths before you talk next time! 

And now .. some other important points to be kept in mind:

Remember, the figures mentioned in Verses 11 and 12 of Surah An-Nissa are to be taken after deducting the bequest (if any) left behind by the deceased and after the deduction of debt (if any).  The amount of bequest is not specified in the Qur’an. That depends on the will of the deceased. However it’s to be understood that a bequest shouldn’t be unfair which might completely deprive the other heirs. This would particularly apply in the cases of the wealthy who leave behind a substantial estate.   

It’s also to be understood that these figures mentioned in the Noble Qur’an are the standard principles that highlight the basic framework of Islamic inheritance laws. It’s important to know that exceptional situations can (and do) occur concerning the number of heirs and their varying situations that aren’t spelt out in Verses 4:11-12. In all such cases a Muslim is by all means allowed to make suitable decisions exercising their rationale with the help of the standard guidelines in Verses 4:11-12 and the spirit of justice/fairness as also highlighted throughout the Qur’an. For example, a man of modest means dies leaving behind two sons and an asset worth 50,000. One of his sons has a successful career having his own independent assets worth 200,000. The other son is not so fortunate. He is virtually penniless, toils with hard labor, struggles to pay his daily expenses with a meager saving that might not be enough even to pay a bill for a medical emergency. In such a case, the father may decide to give his entire asset of 50,000 as a gift to his son who is financially stretched and he is allowed to do so. It certainly sounds very acceptable in the light of Quranic principles of justice, kindness and fair play. The final Judgment is up to Allah Almighty to be dispensed in the Hereafter. One will have to wait for that with patience and silence.  

Yet there are far more complicated legacies in cases of bigger families and there are any number of excellent legal experts out there who calculate the distribution of inheritances on the lines of Qur’anic figures, accurate to the last penny.   

The very important reason why according to the Qur’anic Law of Inheritance, sons get twice the share of daughters, is because sons have plenty of financial responsibilities, unlike daughters.  These responsibilities include meeting all expenses of their marriage including dowry, supporting their wives and children, supporting elderly parents and dependent siblings.  Contrary to this, daughters have no such financial burdens. Any portion of wealth she inherits or earns is her personal possession with which she’s not obligated to support her dependents, unless she volunteers to do so. Hence, those Muslim men who have gotten deviated enough to overrule the Qur’anic dictate concerning their financial duties, must also voluntarily forgo to claim double the share of inheritance. After all, Allah Almighty has commanded to give males twice the share of females with a specific reason. If some men are not able to handle that specific reason, they cannot simply dismiss their responsibility and move on without any adjustments. That would be getting the cake and eating it too. It would disrupt the entire balance of the structure of this law established by Allah.

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