No discrepancy between verse 4:12 and verse 4:176
Fatwa No: 356632

  • Fatwa Date:28-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 10, 1439
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Question

Hi. Quran 4:12 says that if a man leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a sister, then for her is one sixth of inheritance, but Quran 4: 176 says that if a man leaves neither descendants nor ascendants, His sister will have half of what he left. A man has one sister only, what is her inheritance, 1/6, 1/3, or 1/2? Quran 4:12 also says that the share of the brother and sister is the same in that case, i.e. 1/6, while Quran 4: 176 says that the share of a brother is twice that of a sister. A man leaves a brother and a sister, is their share equal or not? Quran 4:12 also says that if a woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants, then the share of her brother is no more than 1/6, while quran 4: 176 says that the share of the brother is full property. A woman leaves a brother only, what is his share, 1/6, 1/3, or 1/1? Quran 4:12 also says that if they are more than two siblings, they share a third of the property, while Quran 4:176 says that if there are two sisters or more, they will have two thirds of what he left. A man leaves more than two siblings, what is their share, 1/3 or 2/3? So, why this discrepancy? Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The siblings of the deceased are either full siblings, half siblings from the father, or half siblings from the mother.

Verse 4:12, in which Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth} was revealed regarding the share of the half siblings from the mother.

Verse 4:176, in which Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females...} underlines the share of the full siblings and the half siblings from the father.

Ibn Al-Munthir  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The scholars unanimously agreed that the verse at the beginning of Soorah An-Nisaa' (Chapter 4) refers to the share of the half siblings on the mother's side and the one at the end of the chapter refers to the share of the full siblings." [Al-Ijmaa‘]

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also wrote, "The Muslim jurists unanimously agreed that the siblings on the father's side get a similar share to that of the full siblings if the deceased had no full siblings." [Al-Ijmaa‘]

We advise the dear brother to study the science of Faraa'idh (inheritance laws); it is an interesting and useful discipline that is much needed by the Muslims, especially in our present time. ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Learn the Faraa'idh and Hadeeth as keenly as you learn the Quran." [Ad-Daarimi: Mawqoof (with a chain of narration that stops at the level of the Companion), with an authentic chain of narration]

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "O Abu Hurayrah! Learn the laws of inheritance and teach them; it is half of knowledge, but it will be (easily) forgotten. This is the first field of knowledge that will be taken away from my nation.' [Ibn Maajah: Marfoo‘ (directly attributed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )), with a chain of narration that has a weakness]

Moreover, Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Acquire knowledge and impart it to the people. Acquire the knowledge of Faraa’idh and teach it to the people; learn the Quran and teach it to the people; I am a person who has to depart this worldly life eventually, knowledge will be taken away, and turmoil will appear to such an extent that two people will not agree in regard to a case of inheritance distribution and will find no one to decide between them." [Ad-Daarimi]

Allah knows best.

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