Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Bequest And Debt


Bequest And Debt   

Surah NISAAA’  (WOMEN) – Chapter – 4)

Verses –12b of 176, Section –2/24 (Part – 4)


And if they be more than two, then they shall be sharers in the third, after any legacy that may have been bequeathed or debt (contracted) not injuring (the heirs by willing away more than a third of the heritage) hath been paid. A commandment from Allah. And Allah is Knower, Indulgent. Fa-‘in  kaanuuu  ‘ak-sara  min  zaalika  fahum  shura-kaaa-‘u  fissulusi  mim- ba’-di  Wasiyyatiny-yuu-saa  bihaaa ‘aw  daynin,  gayra  muzaaarr.  Wa-siyyatam-minal-laah,  wAllaahu  ‘Aliimun  Ha-liim.






If step-brothers and sisters from the mother side (‘akhyaafii) are more than one, then they all will be paid one-third from the wealth of inheritance. However, debt will be returned and the bequeathed legacy will be made up first, provided that the other persons are not harmed due to the bequest. There are two forms of loss:


  • The legacy is for more than one-third of the heritage.


  • The will has been bequeathed also for that heir, who will be given share from the inheritance.


These both forms are not in order. If the entire heirs accept them then in this form, these are correct.


It has been ordered repeatedly about the debt and the legacy besides heritage, because there was a suspicion that the heirs would not divide the wealth before paying the debt and fulfilling the bequest of the deceased person.


Five kinds of heritages have been described with effect from the beginning of this section (Rukuuu’) – Son and daughter, mother and father, ‘akhyaafii (step-brother and sister by the same mother). These five kinsfolk are partners in the heritage. After explaining their shares in the inheritance, it has been commanded emphatically “It is order of Allah Almighty. Carrying out this order is unavoidable and He knows about the person, who obeyed, who disobeyed, who played fair in the payment of debt and acted upon the legacy and distribution of the inheritance.”


Another kind of heirs exists too besides these sharers which is called “’Asbah” (Kinsmen). Their share from the inheritance has not been fixed from any relation. But they will be given that part from the heritage which has remained after handing the portions over to the real heirs. That is to say, if any deceased person does not have any heir but the relatives (’Asbah), then the kinsmen will take that person’s entire wealth and property as next for heirs. If the both kinds are present, then remaining from the heirs, will be given to (’Asbah) and if nothing has remained, then they will get nothing.


Actually ’Asbah is that male who does not have relationship with the deceased person from the woman side. As per priority, it has following four grades:


  1. Son and the grandson


  1. Father and grandfather


  1. Brother and nephew


  1. Uncle (brother of father), his son (cousin) or his grandson


If there are many persons, then whoever is close to the deceased person, he will be antecedent, like son than grandson, brother than nephew and a full (son, father, brother or uncle) than the step (son, father or brother etc). Besides these four, woman is also ’Asbah along with the man in the children and brothers.



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).