6th January 2011 - 04:52 PM
At dispute is the interpretation of Surah 4:11-12, 4:176http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/4/index.htm
4:11 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.
4:12 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 neit her 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 bequeat hed or debt (contracted) not injuring (the heirs by wil ling away more than a third of the heritage) hath been.
4:176 They ask thee for a pronouncement. Say: Allah hath pronounced for you concerning distant kindred. If a man die childless and he have a sister, hers is half the heritage, and he would have inherited from her had she died childless. And if there be two sisters, then theirs are two-thirds of the heritage, and if they be brethren, men and women, unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females. Allah expoundeth unto you, so that ye err not. Allah is Knower of all things.
Since there is no underlying principle given here -- this is a naked prescription from God -- problems happen when the total doesn't equal 1. Importantly God doesn't tell you what to do when the total is as high as 1.5.http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/i001.html
That there are basic schemes in use (normalization or serial apportionment and rules for distribution of excess inheritance not covered by these rules) that would fix this is not the point, since those are after-market fixes to the divine dictate -- essential conceding the rules as written
This is why even professional writers benefit from an editor.