Inheritance math mistakes are very cut and dry. The apologetic responses are, frankly, not very good here, which is why it's a good place to start in a logical discussion on Islam. Let me go further, I have shown just a fraction of the total math mistakes that exist here (go here for some more: http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/i001.html and http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/inheritance.htm ). Here's a fun one - what do you do for pregnant wife? Anyway, if you have an afternoon free, find some more on your own. I encourage you to do so and comment on this blog post.
Here are the standard responses:
You have not looked at all the verses. This is my favorite response because it actually opens up more issues. The other verses are 2:180-182, 2:233, 2:240, 4:33. None of them go through any math except for 2:240:
002.240So, if you include this verse in your calculations. You have to make sure that you leave behind one year's provisions for their wives. And now we have another contradiction! Remember, 4:12 is very detailed;
YUSUFALI: Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year's maintenance and residence; but if they leave (The residence), there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
PICKTHAL: (In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
SHAKIR: And those of you who die and leave wives behind, (make) a bequest in favor of their wives of maintenance for a year without turning (them) out, then if they themselves go away, there is no blame on you for what they do of lawful deeds by themselves, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
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.So which is it, one year's provisions or 1/8? What if the 1/8 didn't include enough for even a fraction of a year? What if you had to take away a portion from somebody else to provide that one year provision? Well, you get a contradiction between verse 2:240 and 4:12.
Men should get more than women. This excuse is funny because, you may have noticed already, I don't bring this up as an issue. I just focus on the math mistake. However, I get this one a lot. My theory is that Muslims are just repeating apologetics without even listening to the issue.
Unfortunately for the Muslim, another contradiction pops up when taking this angle. 4:11 states:
as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females:So the men always get twice as much as the women according to silly Allah. First of all, I believe all readers can see that this makes no sense as a definitive rule for all times (simple example: the son is wealthy and the daughter is an extremely poor widow with 5 kids). Let's follow on, though, and see if there's another contradiction.
In 4:11, it says, "if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half." What happens if there are sons? Do they get 4/3 and 2/2? You can quickly see the problems. What happens if there are sons and daughters? Say 1 son and 3 daughters.
3 daughters: 2/3
1 son: twice that of the female or 2 x ( (2/3)/3) = 4/9
Total = 10/9. Another contradiction!
I think you can see that it's possible to do this all day long. What about if it's the reverse, 3 sons and 1 daughter? It's not even clear because the verse seems to specify the split for just daughters, but we know that sons get twice that of daughters. You can clearly see, though, that the daughter will get nothing close to 1/2. More confusion!
Anything left over goes to the nearest male relative. This excuse is also funny because Muslims have stated this is a counterargument when my two simple cases were for situations where the opposite occurred (more than 100% given away). Anyway, this is the law of "Usbah" from the following Hadith:
Before we take one step further, let's immediately recognize that the "perfect" Quran is again imperfect and therefore false. We have to go to the Hadith to find the answer because the Quran can't stand on its own.
Sahih Bukhari 8. 80. 724
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet said, "Give the Fara'id (the shares of the inheritance that are prescribed in the Qur'an) to those who are entitled to receive it. Then whatever remains, should be given to the closest male relative of the deceased."
If we continue, I'm sure the reader can come up with quick examples of unfairness and contradiction. For unfairness, imagine the widow has 5 children to support and will receive only 1/4 of the inheritance while the distant male relative (maybe even wealthy) receives 3 X that amount or 3/4! For a contradiction, imagine the case where there is only a widower - he should receive 1/2, but now has 2/2 because he also receives the remainder. This is a clear contradiction between the Quran and the Hadith.
You need to interpret properly. This one is a fallacy, and has already been discussed. Either the Quran is a word of a God and, therefore, perfect for all time or it's not. Additionally, in these inheritance verses, the Quran even states, "Allah makes clear to you." So we get one more contradiction...if three Muslims give three different answers and all three answers require changing the text of the Quran to make it work, well, then...Allah didn't make it clear.