Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The inheritance mistake in detail - Part 3

The next mistake and more

Second math mistake

How would you split the inheritance if a woman dies, leaving behind a husband and a brother but no children or parents?
Husband: x%
Brother: y%

Let's go to the verses for an answer:
4:12 "
In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child"
Husband: 1/2

4:12 "
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; "
Brother: 1/6

4:176 "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"
Brother: 1/1 (100%)

So the final numbers are:
Husband: 1/2 or 50%
Brother: 7/6 or 117%, already over 100 because 176 and 12 contradict each other

One silly discussion I had with a Muslim ended up with him asserting that a wife was different than a woman. So his excuse for the Quran was that verse 12 refers to a wife and verse 176 refers to a woman. Hmmm, so a wife is not a woman in Islam? Seriously, if this were true, then why would it say "
If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left no child"? There should be no reason to say "who left no child."

And there's more issue with these set of verses. Verse 176 directly contradicts 12 in that it provides a different inheritance for the brother when the woman has no parents or children...in one case it's 1/6 and in the other it's 6/6 or 100%. This second issue has been formally recognized by Muslims, and has been a source of significant debate(www.muslim.sh/text/hq/comm/mali/4/c4s2.shtml):
Commentators are of opinion that by a brother or a sister here is meant a brother or a sister on the mother’s side and that the case of real brothers and sisters, or brothers and sisters on the father’s side, is dealt with in v. 176 of this chapter. The reason for this is that here as well as in v. 176, the property to be inherited is that of a kalalah, and it is generally supposed that a kalalah is one who has neither parents nor children. But as a matter of fact kalalah bears two meanings. It means the person who has no children whether he has parents or not, and it also means the person who has neither children nor parents. It is derived from kalla which means he became tired or f a t i g u e d, and therefore its primary significance would be the person who has no c h i l d r e n. I‘Ab is reported to have explained this word as meaning one who does not leave offspring whether he leaves parents or not. ‘Umar also is reported to have said that kalalah is one who has no children, that is all; see Ghara’ib al-Qur’an. Hence it is more reasonable to take the kalalah spoken of here as being different from the kalalah spoken of in v. 176. The kalalahin the present case is one who has no children but has parents, and therefore the brothers and sisters are not the only heirs and their share is only one-sixth, while the kalalahspoken of in v. 176 is one who leaves neither children norparents, and therefore the brothers and the sisters take the whole of the inheritance.
Now if you had the patience to follow the apologetics, you will see that this author has decided that the same word, kalalah, has two different meanings for 12 and for 176. In 12, he decides (against all three translations that USC uses) that the prescriptions are for one that has parents and 176 refers only to one that has parents and children. While this has no basis in the translations, it still does not solve the problem that started this blog post.

You may have also noticed another solution proposed in that long bit of apologetics: "
Commentators are of opinion that by a brother or a sister here is meant a brother or a sister on the mother’s side and that the case of real brothers and sisters, or brothers and sisters on the father’s side, is dealt with in v. 176 of this chapter. "

However, this solution still does not solve the problem starting the post, and actually causes more problems. Without going through the math, imagine dividing the inheritance among a many sisters from the mother's side and many "real" sisters from the father's side plus spouse and/or parent. You're over 100% pretty quickly.

All of this is quite funny when considering that 176 also states "Allah makes clear to you." Apparently silly Allah has quite a sense of humor.

More debunking of Muslim apologetics on the inheritance mistakes to come in the next post
because I ran out of time and space here.