The Quran about bequeath

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

Property relations between people play quite an important role. Sometimes people are faced with lawsuits among close relatives for the right to property inheritance and income. Different countries have different laws regarding property rights. In this material, the Quranic prescriptions regarding inheritance rules will be presented:

It is prescribed to you, when death comes to one of you, it is better to leave a bequest to parents and relatives, with the approval of the right for circumspect ones. Truly, the sin will lie on those who will change the bequest after he heard it. Indeed, God is Hearing and Knowing! But if one fears from the bequeather an error or sin and corrects that which is between them, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful! (2:180-182)

As it can be seen from this passage, to leave a bequest is the prescription of God, the violation of which is estimated as a sin. Conversely, the correction of the bequest to the “standards” of God is not blamed.

First of all, to make the bequest acceptable, people need to witness this act:

O you who have believed! Testimony among you when death approaches one of you at the time of bequest there should be two just men from among you or two others from outside. If you are traveling through the land and the disaster of death should strike you, detain them after the prayer. Let them both swear by God if you doubt, “We will not exchange it for a price, even if he should be a near relative, and we will not withhold the testimony of God. Indeed, we would then be of the sinful!”

But if it is found that those two were guilty of the sin, then they would be replaced by two others, more worthy ones, of those against whom the former transgressed. And let them swear by God, “Our testimony is truer than their testimony, and we have not transgressed. Indeed, we would then be of the obscurantists!” (5:106-107)

Obviously, the examination of a bequest requires special treatment, up to the verification of those who act as witnesses. In our time, the institute of certification is realized by notaries. Usually a notary certifies a bequest in one person; therefore, it is desirable for the bequeather to draw up the bequest in the presence of an additional person for his part, whom he trusts.

For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much – an obligatory share.

And close relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the division of the share, then provide for them out of it and speak to them words of approval. If whoever had left weak offspring behind, let them fear for them.

So let them beware God and speak appropriate words!

Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a blaze.

God instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if females are more two, for them is two thirds of one’s estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one’s parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers, for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he made or debt. Your fathers or your sons – you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit in the right of inheritance from God. Indeed, God is ever Knowing and Wise.

And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you made or debt. And if heir of husband or wife is a distant relative, and he has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt. Bequest from God does not harm! Indeed, God is Knowing and Forbearing! (4:7-12)

In this graduation of inheritance measures, many people have the question of why the daughters receive larger legacy. The fact is that the inheritance must be considered in the general context of property relations. According to the Quran, a man for marriage makes a contract with a woman which main point is the provision of a woman. A woman in such cases gets, but does not spend. Such state causes the uneven distribution of the inheritance, because it is the man who takes upon himself the burden of spending on the woman. A woman, entering into marriage and getting an inheritance in terms of acquisition is compared with a man.

It is not a secret that even between close people there are conflicts. The fact that children abandon their parents, expel or surrender to nursing homes, unfortunately, in our time is common. But such an attitude is blamed by God:

Those who die among you and leave for their wives a bequest: maintenance for one year without turning them out. But if they leave, then there is no offense upon you for what they do with themselves in an acceptable way. And God is Exalted in Might and Wise! (2:240)

The rule of inheritance is not limited to close relatives. There are conditions when distant relatives can also receive part of the property:

They request from you a ruling. Say, “God gives you a ruling concerning distant relatives.” If a man dies, leaving no child but a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she has no child. But if there are two sisters, 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.” God makes clear to you, lest you go astray. And God is Knowing of all things. (4:176)

The prescription of the Quran on the theme of the inheritance gives the main reference point, and all situations not described in the Scripture should be regulated by the people themselves, not contradicting the basic meaning.