So I’ve already written about inheritance, but this evening, prompted by an article on AltMuslimah on the topic, Zeina and I decided to torture ourselves by figuring out how much daughters are entitled to inherit in each of the three instances outlined in the Qur’an (minus contextual application of exegesis).
Check our math! It could be hugely incorrect. The graphs have two fixed sections–the wife (12.5%) and the parents (33.3%)–but Word tends to round in outrageous ways to make the pieces fit, so the constants don’t remain fixed on each graph but you should still get the picture.
First we deciphered this verse:
God charges you, concerning your children:
To the male the like portion of two females
and if they be women above two, then for them two-thirds
of what the deceased leaves.
But if she be one,
she shall have one-half thereof.
I swear we spent half an hour on the language alone. Most people interpret the second line to be 2:1 (with the male receiving twice as the female) throughout, but obviously if the conditions are described differently in the following lines, with an only daughter receiving half and more than two daughters receiving two thirds, then that is not meant to be applied to the following designations.
There was one thing we knew for sure: if there is one daughter she receives half (regardless of how many sons there are)—so we started there, since it was the one that was the clearest.
[Given: the wife of the deceased is entitled to 1/8 (different verse) and the parents (2 people) of the deceased are entitled to 1/6 each (or 1/3 combined.)]
She receives half of what is left over after the inheritance has been distributed to the deceased’s wife and parents if she is the only daughter: “But if she be one, then to her a half.”
An only daughter gets HALF. The verse says nothing about the number of sons. If there are two, they get EACH get HALF of that percentage and of what she receives. If there are three or more, the percentage each receives is even smaller. The verse itself is centered around what women are entitled to;–this was the primary focus in the last post on inheritance.
So then we calculated how much it would be for 3 daughters, because that seemed simple enough—allotting 45.25% to the wife and parents, we merely take 2 thirds of what’s left for the daughters and designate the rest to the sons who are left. “If they be women above two, then for them two-thirds.”
Each daughter (if there are 3) is receiving about 12 percent. If there are more, divide the percentage by their number accordingly. If there is only one son he receives 19 percent. If there are two they each receive half of the 19 percent; three, a third and so on.
So far, it is the woman in the first graph who receives at least as much if not more than her brother(s). It is the women in the second graph who receive only a little less than their brothers only if there is just one brother and much more if there are two or more. The odds are in the women’s favor.
We calculated the combination of boy(s) and 1 girl and of boy(s) and 3 or more girls. The only combination left (other than being childless) is boys and exactly 2 girls. The first designation.
“To the male the like portion of two females.”
The question kept arising of whether the verse meant like the portion of two females combined (as most argue) or like the portion of two females each. We ended up charting the former. (Even though the verse says like the portion of two females [in both the translation and the original], and not equal to the portion of two females which would have been inarguably referring to the combination.)
Each of the two daughters would receive 13.7%. In that 27.38% for the sons (shows up as 27% on the graph) there could again be multiple sons who share that “space.” The percentage grows smaller the more sons the deceased has.
But the inheritances for the daughters are constantly fixed—whether 1, 2 (27% combined), or 3 or more. Their amounts are prevented from diminishing.