Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Male, Female And Parents’ Fair Shares – Heritage


Male, Female And Parents’ Fair Shares – Heritage 

Surah NISAAA’  (WOMEN) – Chapter – 4)

Verses –11 of 176, Section –2/24 (Part – 4)


Allah commands you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be only women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then for her is the half. And to each of the 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; but 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. Yuusii-kumullaahu  fiii  ‘aw-laadikum  lizzakari  mislu  haz-zil-‘unsa-yayn.  Fa-‘in- kunna  nisaaa-‘an  fawqas-natayni  fala-hunna  sulusaa  maa  tarak.  Wa  ‘in-kaanat  waahidatan-  fala-han-nisf.  Wa  li-‘aba-wayhi  likulli  waahidim-min-humas-sudusu  mimmaa  taraka  ‘in-kaana  lahuu  walad.  Fa-‘illam  yakullahuu  waladunw-wa  wa-risahuuu  ‘abawaahu  fali- ‘um-mihis-sulus.  Fa-‘in-  kaana  lahuuu  ‘ikh-watun-  fali- ‘ummi-his-sudusu  mim-  ba’-di  wa-siy-yatiny-yuusii  bihaaa  ‘aw  dayn.  ‘Aabaaa-‘ukum,  wa  ‘abnaaa- ‘ukum  laa  tadruna  ‘ayyuhum  ‘aqrabu  lakum  naf-‘aa.  Farii-zatam-minallah.  ‘Innallaaha  kaana  ‘Aliiman  Hakiimaa.  






Yuusii-kum – (commands you), this word has been derived from wasi-yat, which means a last will, legacy, command and testament left by any deceased person. However, in this verse Allah Almighty is commanding directly about the proportion of the shares for the men, women and the parents.


Division of inheritance is most important maxim of our social life. Even success of the society is connected with its accurate distribution. Common principle about the division of the heritage has been determined here that each male will get double while each female will be given single portion, whether the male and the female are one and one, or any of them is more in number.


haz-zil-‘unsa-yayn – (equal to two women), according to certain Divine Laws, the female has no portion from the inheritance. During the period of ignorance also, the heritage was used to divide only in the marriageable men. Against this violence, the voice arose in the present time that the portion from inheritance should be divided equal between the male and the female. Islamic Law is among the both in this matter, which has determined the portion double for the male (men) from the female (women).


Its first reason is that the woman is responsible only to train the children. She is neither responsible, nor would think about the livelihood. The male has been held responsible to provide the expenses for his wife, children and other members of his family. Therefore, it is exactly reasonable and according to just, that he should be given more portions from the heritage.


Another reason may be too that the married woman usually gets dowry from her parents (the portion from her father’s earnings) in addition to her husband’s inheritance, but the man receives his share only from one side.


If there are just two girls then their total portion will be two-third and each of them will get one-third. Then whether the girls are how more than the two, their collective portion from the heritage will remain the same i.e. two-third. Remaining one-third share will be given to other kinsfolk and relatives.


If there is only one girl then she will get half portion of total heritage and remaining half portion will be distributed to other relatives. But if the relatives etc are not present then that remaining half will also be given to the girl.


If there is no daughter but only the son (whether one or more than one), then they will be the heirs of the whole legacy.


Three forms of inheritance for the father and mother have also been  described in this verse:


  1. If the deceased person had children then each of his parents will get sixth portion from the inheritance.


  1. If the dead person had no children, and only parents are the heirs, then the mother will get one-third while the father two-third.



  1. If the late person had brothers and sisters more than one, whether they are real or only from the father-side or only from the mother-side, and had no child then the mother will get sixth portion and the remaining wealth will be given to the father. Brother and sister will get nothing. Moreover, if he had only one brother or one sister then mother will get one-third and the two-third will be given to the father.


It is compulsory that the heirs will be given their portion from the heritage after the payment of late person’s debts and will. Wealth of the deceased person should be used on his shroud and burial first, then his/her debts be paid from it, then out of the remaining portion of the property, up to one third would be used as per the Will of the deceased person. Now, what is remaining, that should be distributed between the heirs.


After that, Allah Almighty commanded that you do not know about the person, which of them is nearer unto you in usefulness. It is an injunction from Allah Almighty, you should not interfere in the fixed portions but the portion that Allah Almighty has fixed, you should abide by them.



Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’an published By Idara Islah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English  by Muhammad Sharif).