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Response by Khalid

If we have an equation of two value known parts (A) & (b) then it is either A=B or A><B

But if B consists of variable*s* (which is the concept of Usbah in th inheritance laws in Islam as will be explained in section #C of this message) then it possible to adjust B in order to have A=B.

Read to the end of this message to understand how prejudice can lead  someone astray even in his own field of study (Mathematics)!!


Section #A [ Answering Jochen's web page on inheritance]


There are three levels of dividing the inheritance in Islam as described in the Quran and the sunnah and will be explained in this message Which is a reconstruction of previous messages that was sent to soc.religion.Islam newsgroup in response to Jochen's claims that mathimatical errors exist in the Quran, But this message will be proving the oppsite and that mathimatical errors was commeted by Jochen who is BTW is a math student (as I understand).

And in order to make my response to Jochen a comprehensive one, instead of the partial responses that he had from fellow Muslim Brothers and was misrepresented on his pages, I decided to look into his missunderstanding and expose his narrow minded views that was expressed on the different parts of his page:

I found out what have been expressed by many regarding his knowledge on the subject, something which Br. Mish3al have described as:

The verses dealing with inheritance are not as our current author may imagine only these couple of verses. There are many other verses in different locations throughout the Qur'an dealing with this issue.

)) They range over the chapters of Al-Baqarah(2), Al-Nissa(4), Al-Maidah(5), Al-Anfal(8), etc. This is to say nothing about the many multiples of that in the Sunnah (Sayings of the prophet, pbuh). Out of these many verses and sayings of the prophet has been developed the science of "Al-Fara'id" which is a very vast issue and which can not be collected in a single paragraph.{{

Indeed, and Mish3al was amazed for how Jochen was putting the whole issue of inheritance to such terms dictated by his ignorance.

Jochen read those three Ayahs on his page and assumed that he knew everything he needs on the sciences of alfaraidh!! and commented:

{{ This whole text looks rather difficult to me. I chose Arberry's translation because Yusuf Ali was even more difficult to follow. When things are complex it is always good to start with easy examples. Here that means, just a few people to distribute the inheritance among. }}

He reminds me of a comedian known in our parts of the world who kept inviting people to an imaginary feast, he made it up, and when he saw the people going there in big numbers, he went to check it out himself.

He thought he had the complete set of rules and the required references and thought he would try some examples, and said:

{{There are numerous simple cases which are not clear how to deal with them at all, since they don't fall under the instructions given. For example, if I have only one daughter, verse 4:11 says that she gets half [seemingly no matter who else might inherit]. The verse also states the general rule that a son inherits double of what a daughter inherits. Does that mean a single son would get all? }}

So, what do you think? the son gets it all or not? Br. Misha3l tried to inform him:

{{ Suffice it to say that the question appears to display a complete unawareness of any aspects of the discipline of Al-Fara'id, its basis, its subdivisions, its special cases, the rules of "Awl" and "Usbah,"}}

Awl?? Usbh??? can Jochen find these in the three Ayahs he have on his page? did he ever asked himself where does these words came from and what does they represent? no, why bother?

It is true that our brothers didn't give him more information on these concepts, so that's why I decided after Jochen persistence on the issue to do this task.

I have explained to jochen earlier that the question to his dilemma was in his above question which and I repeat it:

{{ Does that mean a single son would get all? }}

Here he found out something telling him why the son was not assigned with any share!!, but I told Jochen long time ago in a private e-mail, saying:

"there are people who haven't been assigned with any shares in the Ayahs of inheritance" and I asked him to look at these people, and explore the mathematical aspects of the existence of such groups and how this affect the others who have been assigned shares?

That was a very simple mathematical question, but doesn't serve his goals??

any way the affect of these people are very big in the mathematical point of view, and these people were called on the Shari3a terminology as the "Usbah" the term also Mish3al has brought up in his response without explaining it.

The Usbah are the people who inherits without limits (all) and if these people were joined by some who have rights in the faraidh then they gets all the remaining.

The details of the Usabh concept and the groups it consist of can be found on section #C of this message, and they are many they range from the son to the house of money (bait ilmal) - an early form of Islmaic banks - with the appropriate references from the Quran.

And to give you a clear view on Jochen knwoledge regarding the issue, read what he is saying for example:

{{ In all these [and several more such] cases the question is: Who gets the rest? I agree this can be taken care of by donating it to charities or the local Masjid. But the problem is the Qur'an does not tell us what to do with it. }}

He thinks it is a matter of donation and that it is not found in the Quran.

No it is in the Quran but it is no where in Jochen's understanding of the topic, this is where ignorance and prejudice leads a person to, a completed blindness even in one own field of study, where with a little concentration plus simple calculation he would have the answer from the first place!

And Jochen should have read carefully what Br. Misha3al told him in saying that he was:

{{effectively blotting out roughly one half of Islamic law.}}

And to me I think he should have said all the Islamic laws not just half of it!

And Jochen after his analysis of the "whole" issue of inheritance that was based on a complete missunderstanding came to a conclusion, and Imagine what was the conclusion:

{{ Even if one would not put standards of perfection on these rules as it is fitting for revelation from God, but only think it to be from Muhammad, it is strange that this successful business man, in charge of whole caravans for a number of years, was not able to correctly add up a few fractions.}}

That was a very interesting conclusion there, I would ask Jochen to have some more lessons in math, and to ask his teachers how the usbah (the people who haven't been assigned with any shares) or as in math termonology how variables or unspicified parts can affect a simple mathematical equation as leaving one part of the equation with no figures, empty , blank, variables like A,B,C,D,E you name it??

This indeed the most laughable argument I have ever heard from a student of math who require from such an equation to be perfect as the equation that have two known vlue parts!!

Can anyone figure this out???


Section B [ how the inheritance is divided in Islam - 1st level


Shares in the Quran are looked or classified not on the basis of who will inherit rather on the shares (faraidh) they will inherit, thus it was called the science of faraidh, for a quick example:

a father can inherit either:

a 1\6 or [1\6 + more] or [ all ]

as stated clearly in the Quran, I'll provide the ayahs later when I come back to this example

In the above; the same person can have three types of fraidh, thus scholars have preferred to categorize the inheritance rules on the basis of fariadh or the shares rather on the people who are recieving it as we have seen a man can have different faridh on different *occasion* And Jochen only have apartial knowedge of these faraidh, And thats where his knowledge stops.

Here is a general describtion of the Faraidh as mentioend in the



# 1\2 the sum of inheritanc.

1)hsuabnd 2)daughter

3)daughter of a son 4)sister

5)sister from father

# 1\4 the sum of inheritance

1)husband 2)wife

# 1\8 the sum of inheritance.

1) wife

# 2\3 the sum of inheritance.

1)sisters 2)daugters

3)daughter of a son 4)sisters from a father

# 1\3 the sum of inheritance.

1) mother 2)brothers from mother side

# 1\6 the sum of inheritance.

1) father 2)granfather

3)a son from mother 4)dughter(s) of a son

5) sister of the father 6) mother



Now if one looks at the above he will find some groups are repeated under different faraidh, but the repetition is not comprehensive here because the above is only the General structure of faraidh, whithout looking into the second level which is the level of usbah which have a great affect on the above faraidh:

For instance, let us return back to the first example of the father that I have started with:

The father can have:

1- 1\6 "for parents a sixth share" [4:11]

2- all "and the parents are the only heirs" [4:11]

The ayah indicates that the parents can be the only heirs and that they gets all the inheritance, therfore if the father was alone then he inherit all, thus become a Usbah himself.

3- 1\6 and more:by getting his stated 1\6 as in #1 plus what he gets of what remains after the distribution of Faraidh if he becomes a Usabh but not alone. (the usbah when joined by others gets all the remaning)

But what is important of the above example is that the shares or the of a certain individual varies from a situation and another, so in order to require from such system to be more precise we have to know how *all* the inheritance laws works as stated in the Quran, isn't this logical?

Here are other examples:

# the mother:

1- she gets 1/3

2- she gets 1/6

3- what is know to be the remaining 1/3 (not related to the above

*different situation*)

#The brothers of a mother:

1- 1\6 if one

2- 1\3 for all if more than one

3- nothing

Again the above examples are to show how the system is based on a matter of relativity and conditions, thus we cannot ask such a system to be precise and the shares of certain indiveduals to be the same in all inheritance questions, therfore we cannot require from such a system to be an equation that is of the sort of the two known vlaues parts which always require a result of either A=B or A<>B because simply (B) is not always specified.

There are many inheritance laws in the Quran Which Jochen haven't got the slightest idea about, the inheritance laws in Islam works like this:

1- estate are distributed on the basis of faraidh as *slightly* explained at the beginning of this message.

2- then estate is also distributed on the basis of "Usabh" a term I'll explain now, and on section B of this message.

3- finally estate is distributed on the basis of "ulooal arahm" (relatives)

Now we have a slight info. on faraidh, so what about the Usabh thing?

Usabh means the person or group that inherit *all* the estate other than the stated by faraidh!!!

And they come after the distribution of al faraidh, or if no one from the category of faraidh is available then the recipient from usbah have it all (usbah are the unspecified (B) )

here are examples, The Usbah are the nearest to the deceased of males, and the srongest Usbah is the son, let me explain it like this inheritance laws in Islam carries the estate from father to son (usbah) but if there werent any son then the estate retuns back to the source , the father (Usbah) -look at the example at the begining ofthis section, and if there wasn't a father then a brother (usbah), did you get it? it like the laws of nature so read the Ayah for example:

"Behold he (Jacob) said to his sons: what will ye worship after me? they said:"we shall worship thy God of thy fathers, of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac the one true God.." [Quran 2:133]

The above contains the sources and the barnches (The Usbah)

See section (C)

After the usbah comes uloo alarahm (relatives): after the above clear faraidh and the usbah ( which both includes *all* the family members that are the nearest to the deceased) comes a group not forgotten in the Quran this group is called uloo Alrahm and they can easily be difined as those who are not in the faraidh nor in the usbah, and they are like: the children of a daughter and the daughters of the son's daughters, etc.

Because As I mentioned the system of inheritance targets the son the prime receiver of inheritance and his sons (males) and their sons.. and so on (nature of life) this group was mentioned for those who havn't got inheritors and to show the limits that this law reach! (the most comprehensive system of inheritance as far as we know and believe)

"wama kan rabuka nas'sia


and the evidence from this in the Quran is: "wa oloo alarham ba3dham aw'lia biba3dh fi kitab illah" [33:6]

Section D have more information on uloo alrahm.


Section #C [ The concept of Usabh - the second level]


Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "I am more closer to the believers than their ownselves, so whoever (among them) dies leaving some inheritance, his inheritance will be given to his 'Asaba, and whoever dies leaving a debt or dependants or destitute children, then I am their supporter."

First, by saying there are levels in the system, gives the impression of what we have been saying all a long, the faraidh system was/have not been posed as a mathematical question, for it was posed as suchthere will be no need to have two other levels that all the schools of Islam acknow ledges.

Now if we require according to, our partial knowledge of the science of al fariadh, which is the first level of the system to be a mathematical concept and ignoring all the remaining body of knowledgeand conditions which are part of the whole system then definitely we will know t he error Jochen found himself publicizing, out of his ignorance on the matter and that is something we should excuse him for but to certain limits because we can tolerate ignorance but never can tolerate prejudice.

Any way lets us look again into the general concept of inheritance and what does it mean?

The concept of inheritance is a system that carry the estate of a person forward through his/her line of the coming generations, and this system is based on the male line of generations, and when that line (the branch) stops, the inheritance of the estate (whether it was physical or ethical) stops there and if a father exist the estate returns to him (back to the source)

This concept can be understood from reading the stories of the prophets and their linage, for example we read in the Quran:

"Behold he (Jacob) said to his sons: what will ye worship after me? they said:"we shall worship thy God of thy fathers, of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac the one true God.." [Quran 2:133]

in the above we find the branches and the sources of the line of inheritance, and of course we can read :

"Muhammed is not the father of any of your men" [Quran 33:40]

This is the way life goes, and the basic point of any system on inheritance, not that it is a matter of mathematics, because such a claim is really idiotic.

Now let us return back to our subject, we were saying that the levels of inheritance indicates that there is a system based on relativity like when we say: do such and such but if that was not perfect then do such and such on three levels ( yet this is not exactly how the levels of inheritance works in Islam, where all the levels interact with each other)

And we have seen alfaraidh, and now let us see the "usbah" in more details:

The usbah in language means the relation of a person to his father, and it is said "usaboo bihi" which means they gather around him, but technically the term according to the shari3ah he is the person who inherits without limits (all) and if this person was grouped by some who have rights in the faraidh then he gets all the remaining

And this is what I have long tried to inform Jochen about but he refused to understand when repeatedly told him that there are people who have not been assigned a certain share and how this affect the system and makes it more accurate by a simple and direct language that should be understood by a person who is supposed to be into math.

And the inheritance of Usabh comes after the inheritance of the persons in the faraidh, and it is of a several types, the strongest usbah of relativeness and they are who are related to the fathers and sons in addition to his brothers and uncles, and they are the most near to the deceased and who were sharing every bit of the life of the deceased (they are the people who were sharing his happiness, sadness and life and who were beside him when he needed help (Usbah) etc.).

For Example The Ayah:

" Allah thus direct you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male a portion equal to that of two females" [4:11]

In the above Ayah is the acknowledgement of the right of the children, and the Ayah have specified the share of the females (by Faraidh) but it conditioned that to existence of a male brother (3aseb, e.g.usabh) they all gets the whole inheritance if there were no others from the people who have rights in faraidh, but in this case usbah the males shares becomes less, and if you looked at it all the three will get 1/3 of the ineritance, here the male gets the same as his sisters, but what is intresting is that the male in some conditions may get less than his sisters, and this answeres those who claims descriminations against females, subhana Allah.

Also the father is from the group of "usbah" as we mentioned in section (A) message. And the Ayah:

"and the parents are the only heirs" [4:11]

Indicates that parents can inherit all the estate.

And here we will go through other Usabhs as mentioned in the Quran: @brotherhood: this can be found in the Ayah [4:176] and can be more understood in the following hadith:

When Sa3ad bin Alrabee3 was martyred in Uhud his wife came to the prophet and told him about his two daughters whom she said they didn't inherit anything from their father and that their uncles took it all, and when the Ayah " Allah (thus) direct you as regards your children's" was revealed to him he called the woman and the uncle and then ordered him to give the daughters 2/3 and 1/8 for their mother , and the remaining is for him.

He was the brother, so he was the Usbah so instead of taking the whole inheritance he was commanded to take what remains.

From the above Ayah and hadith we can understand that the brother or an uncle - who can be the same person on a diffrent situations can be "usbah" and that he can inherits all the estate of his brother in condition that there are no one from the Group of faraidh exist, but if they do then they must get their shares first, and the remaining is for him.

But that is not all that can be derived from the above evidences, for instance the above also indicates that the usbah of the *near* male relatives (from the side of father*) are generaly accepted to be usbhas.

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 ."

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The person about whom Allah's Apostle said, "If I were to take a Khalil from this nation (my followers), then I would have taken him (i.e., Abu Bakr), but the Islamic Brotherhood is better (or said: good)," regarded a grandfather as the father himself (in inheritance).

Thus the usbah was classified as following:

All the Four schools of Islam classified the Usabh like this:

1- self-usabh: and they are the males that directly relates to the diseased, like the son, the son of a son, the father, the grandfather, the brother from both parents or from the side of the father, and the uncle, and in this category females are not considered self-Usbah but rather can be considered " Usbah *BY* others" as in the Ayah "to the male a portion equal to that of two females" [4:11]

So in this sort of Usabh, we notice that the people in this category are the nearest to the deceased and whom are considered the people who were sharing all the different phases of his life.

2-Usbah *BY* others: and they are all females who have a male usbah on the same level of relation to the deceased, so they share the inheritances with them according to laws.

3- Usabh *WITH* others: and they are all the females who forms a Usbah from among those who haven't by themselves Usbah; like the state of usbah between the sisters with the daughters or the daughters of the son of the deceased.

And this type of Usabh is taken from Suannah: The prophet PBUH said " Make the sisters usabh with the daughters" as in albukhari

Narrated Huzail:

'Abdullah said, "The judgment I will give in this matter will be like the judgment of the Prophet, i.e. one-half is for the daughter and one-sixth for the son's daughter and the rest of the inheritance for the sister."

What is different in this Usabh is that it override previous concept of Usabh which was mainly to the males to be given to the females

And according to all the other four schools of islam Almalikyah, alshafi3eeyah, alhanbali They all agree to the same regarding the types of usbah.

And their is another type Of Usabhs, which I will discuss in another time inshallah which is called the "usbah by reason" and also will be seeing the third level of inheritance distribution which is the inheritance of "uloo al-arahm" inshallah.

Any way to summarize the above again, the system of inheritance in Islam is the most comprehensive system ever was created for humans, and a quick look to all the groups that are eligible for inheritance and the limits that it can reach one says Subahan ALlah He created things and he knows best what is good for them.

And that the concept of usbah simply represent the groups that inherit all or the reamaining all (as stated by the Quran) and to some schools of Islam the house of money or what was know to be "bait il-mal" is considered to a "usbah" if there were no other usbah, and this is a whole issue by itself.

Now let us compare this and the mathimatical question that is raised by Jochen, now the above shows that Usbah inheritance, let us call it (B) is unspecified, left blank, dont you think such an equation can always result with A=B and the B is flexable?

Anyway what is important of the above is that we are talking about inheritance not mathimatics!!


Section #D [ uloo Al arahm - the third level on the inheritance system


So to continue with subject I have started we will look now at the third level of inheritance In Islam which is the level of (uloo al arahm):

(uloo alaraham) means in language that they are the relatives in general whether they were (branch) e.g children or a source e.g. fathers or members of the (usbah) groups etc.

But technically in the science of inheritance they are the group that don't belong to the group of faraidh nor the groups of usbah, because to them as explained by now, relatives are on three levels:

1- those who have the right of faraidh

2- The Usbah, whom have the right of (all) or the (remaining all)

3- uloo alarham

And uloo alarahm can be categorized on four levels:

((1)) from the branches of the deceased and they are: The children of daugthter(s) or lower from their line of generations. The children of daughter of the son(s) or lower in their line of generations.

((2)) from the (sources) of the deceased and they are: the grandfather from the mother side or higher. the grandmother from the mother side or higher.

((3)) who relates to the parents of the deceased and they are: Children of the (parents) sisters or lower. Daughter(s) of the (parents) brothers or lower.

Daughter(s) of the (parents) brothers children or lower.

((4)) who relates to the deceased grandfathers or grandmothers, and they are: all aunts and uncles generally form both side of the fathers or mothers.

The evidence of these people inheritance share in the Quran can be found as stated by the Schools of abuhanifah and Ibn malik and ibn hanbal as following:

"wa oloo alarham ba3dham aw'la bi'ba3dh fi kitab illah" "blood relations among each other have closer personal ties in the decree of Allah than (the brotherhood of) of believers and muhajirs, neverthe less do ye what is just to your friends" [33:6]

And this Ayah was revealed because, during a certain period of time in the early days of Islam, in almadinah, the people from muhajireen were inheriting those who dies from the people of al-ansar in accordance to the brotherhood that the prophet PBUH have established among them, thus allah commanded both parties do direct their inheritance towards those who are closer to them in blood relation (uloo alrahm) unless it was considered as "ma3roof" (help or gifts) between friends.

And alzuabir ibn Al3wam said: Allah had revealed on us ( the people of Quraish and the ansar) This ayah because we (the people of Quraish) when we came to madina, we didn't have anything and we found al-ansar the best brothers to rely on- and the prophet established the brother hood among us - so we inherited them ..... until this Ayah was revealed so we return back to our laws of inheritance.

And from the sunnah: the prophet have said : Allah and his messenger are "maowlas" for those who don't have a "mowla", and the uncle (from the side of the mother) inherits who don't have anyone to inherit him.

And all the schools accepted the share of uloo alarham for the above evidences except the shafee3yiah, who say the inheritance should go to the bait ilmal ( the house of money) whom they consider as a usbah.

So, uloo alarahm only inherit where no one from the groups of faraidh and usabh are available, because if any of these groups do exist then uloo alrahm receives nothing, in the case if someone from the group of faraidh only do exist for example then he gets ALL the money by a concept called [[[AL RAD]]] which I'll be writting about later, or if there was a 3aseb (usabh) then the money goes to him.

So in the case if there is no one in the other groups are available, then the entire estate goes to the uloo alarahm according to their distance in blood relation with the deceased.

And scholars have made a clear list that explain the levels of uloo alrham according to the strength of their blood relation to the deceased, and which can be summed up as following the: strongest in blood relation are those who are related to the son then followed by who are related the father ===> then to the brothers ====> to uncles.

The uloo alrahm are the farthest (relatively) from the deceased but yet not have been fogotten by Islam inheritance laws, thus completing the circle of the entire family plus other blood related families and to some schools it also reaches the commnuity reprecented by "bait ilaml" (the house of money) in a system can only be described as the most comprehisive law of inheritance, and to require from such asystem to be a mathimatical question is and allow me more than idiotic.

So as shown above the uloo alarahm can be anyone from that have a blood relation no matter how far they are.

Finally, all the above was a drop of an ocean from the science of faraidh and is only the general concept of it, there are many things that have not been mentioned, And I sincerely consider the above as just titles of complete books!




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