سورة النساء   

Surah Name: An-Nisa' Meaning:The Women

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • The evolution of a society is based upon the determination of rights and duties. It is the responsibility of the ruler or the State to ensure compliance by the people and to punish the negligent. Since the duty of one is the right of another, any failure in the performance will surely lead to the extortion of people's rights. This is the basic concept of every social system though we may not like its particular manner of determination of duties. Islam far surpasses others in this regard. It begins by fixing the rights and duties of people. It reminds the State of its responsibilities. It goes still further and makes an individual stand before Allah-SWT , and motivates him to perform his duties to gain His-SWT Pleasure, He-SWT , Whose-SWT Providence he enjoys every moment and Who-SWT knows him inside out; Whose-SWT Nearness is his destination; Whose-SWT Pleasure is his aim of life; and Whose-SWT Grace is his ambition and desire. Abiding by the rules and regulations is one thing, and feelings of the Qalb is another. Spending on parents, wives, children and orphans is a noble act; but emotions, such as respect, love, kindness, cannot be measured by any scale, nor can be commanded. Therefore, the reward for such noble feelings will be Allah-SWT's Pleasure. Since this Surah deals especially with the rights of women, it has been named An-Nisa'
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 24
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 176
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 4
  • Rukū / Section 2 contains Āyāt / Parts 4
  • Siparah/ Volume 4, 5 & 6


يُوصِيكُمُ اللّهُ فِي أَوْلاَدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الأُنثَيَيْنِ فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَاء فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِن كَانَتْ وَاحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلأَبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِن كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلأُمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلأُمِّهِ السُّدُسُ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِي بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ آبَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيما حَكِيمًا

Yooseekumu Allahu fee awladikum li(l)ththakari mithlu haththi alonthayayni fain kunna nisaan fawqa ithnatayni falahunna thulutha ma taraka wain kanat wahidatan falaha a(l)nnisfu waliabawayhi likulli wahidin minhuma a(l)ssudusu mimma taraka in kana lahu waladun fain lam yakun lahu waladun wawarithahu abawahu faliommihi a(l)ththuluthu fain kana lahu ikhwatun faliommihi a(l)ssudusu min baAAdi wasiyyatin yoosee biha aw daynin abaokum waabnaokum la tadroona ayyuhum aqrabu lakum nafAAan fareedatan mina Allahi inna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeema(n)

Allah-SWT enjoins you concerning your children; the male shall have as much as the portion of two females; but if they be females more than two then they will have two thirds of the inheritance, and of only one she will have one half. And as for as his parents, each of the two will have one sixth of what he has left if he has a child; but if he has no child and his Parents are his heirs, then his mother will have a third, but if he has brothers, then his mother will have a sixth, all after paying a bequest he may have bequeathed or debt. Your parents or your children: you do not know which of them is higher to you in benefit. It is an ordinance from Allah-SWT . Verily Allah-SWT is Knowing, Wise.


وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَاجُكُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمُ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَا أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلاَلَةً أَو امْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُوَاْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَاء فِي الثُّلُثِ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ وَصِيَّةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ

Walakum nisfu ma taraka azwajukum in lam yakun lahunna waladun fain kana lahunna waladun falakumu a(l)rrubuAAu mimma tarakna min baAAdi wasiyyatin yooseena biha aw daynin walahunna a(l)rrubuAAu mimma taraktum in lam yakun lakum waladun fain kana lakum waladun falahunna a(l)ththumunu mimma taraktum min baAAdi wasiyyatin toosoona biha aw daynin wain kana rajulun yoorathu kalalatan awi imraatun walahu akhun aw okhtun falikulli wahidin minhumaa(l)ssudusu fain kanoo akthara min thalika fahum shurakao fee a(l)ththuluthi min baAAdi wasiyyatin yoosa biha aw daynin ghayra mudarrin wasiyyatan mina Allahi wa(A)llahu AAaleemun haleem(un)

And you will have half of what your wives may leave, if they have no child: but if they have a child then you will have a fourth of what they may leave after paying a bequest they may have bequeathed or a debt. And they will have a fourth of what you may leave if you have no child then they will have an eight of what you may leave, paying bequest you may have bequeathed or a debt. And if a man or a woman who leaves the heritage has no direct heirs but has a brother or a sister, each of the two will have a sixth: and if more than one then they will have equal shares in one third after paying a bequest the deceased may have bequeathed or a debt, without prejudice. This is an ordinance from Allah-SWT ; and Allah-SWT is Knowing, Forbearing.


تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللّهِ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

Tilka hudoodu Allahi waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu yudkhilhu jannatin tajree min tahtiha alanharu khalideena feeha wathalika alfawzu alAAatheem(u)

These are the statutes of Allah-SWT ; and whoever obeys Allah-SWT and His-SWT Messenger-SW . He-SWT shall admit him in Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, as abider therein and that is a mighty achievement.


وَمَن يَعْصِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

Waman yaAAsi Allaha warasoolahu wayataAAadda hudoodahu yudkhilhu naran khalidan feeha walahu AAathabun muheen(un)

And whoever disobeys Allah-SWT and His-SWT Messenger--SW , and transgresses His-SWT statutes, He-SWT shall cast him into Fire, as an eternal abider therein; to him shall be a torment ignominious.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Allah-SWT enjoins you concerning your children; … Allah-SWT is Knowing, Forbearing.

Division of Inheritance

Allah-SWT has defined the shares of all legal heirs in the estate of the deceased. The procedure is to first arrange for the funeral and burial of the deceased from his or her wealth. This should neither be niggardly nor extravagant. Secondly, any outstanding debt of deceased must be cleared, which is most important. If nothing is left after payment of the debt, there will be no inheritance, only if it has been made for a noble purpose. No will that is against Shari’ah or the Islamic Code of Life, will be executed.


The will cannot be executed on more than one third of the inheritance, even if the deceased had willed all of his property. In Europe people deprive the heirs of their lawful shares and bequeath all estate for their pets, dogs and cats. Islam does not accept such bequest. Secondly, it declares will designed to deprive the rightful heirs as sinful. This mundane wealth in fact belongs to Allah-SWT . He-SWT gives it and we use it. And whatever is left behind is distributed according to the wishes of the real Owner, so He-SWT decides who gets what. Details of this law of inheritance can be seen in books of Fiqh; here we will discuss what is commonly understandable. If a will has been made by the deceased after settling any outstanding loans, it is to be executed on one third of the wealth. If there is no will, the wealth is to be divided amongst the nearest relatives, if the deceased leaves behind one son and two daughters, the division is to be made in four shares, two for the son, and one each for the daughters.


The Quran has fixed the share of female as the basic unit and its double shall be the share of the male. Women used to be subjected to great deprivation in the past. Therefore, it forcefully commands to give women their due share from the inheritance. It is not proper to tell the daughters that dince they have received their dowry so their share is paid off. Dowry is a gift from the parents given to daughters by their free choice and often to show off, but inheritance is a gift, a right, given to them by Allah-SWT .


Many people, in order to justify their violation of Shari’ah to some extent call upon the girls to remit their share. They do not give their sisters anything, who have to forgo their share unwillingly. This is in no way proper. Sometimes the sisters are minor and usurping their share falls in the category of usurping the wealth of orphans, which is a cardinal sin. It is very important that the girls receive their share. Landlords are often involved in such cruel acts. They do not believe in giving away to their daughters or sisters any share from the land. If the inheritors are only daughters, they often marry them to such people where they can still keep a hold on the land regardless of the fact whether or not the males are suitable for their daughters or sisters. Many a time they find mentally retarded husbands for them. Islam totally rejects such cruelty.


If the deceased is survived by the two or more girls, and no son, they receive two third, while the rest such as the spouse or parents etc of the deceased, who are entitled, shall receive one third of the inheritance. If only one daughter succeeds the deceased, she receives half of the wealth and the other half goes to the other inheritors.


If the deceased leaves behind parents and chldren, the parents receive one sixth of the share each and the rest will be divided amongst the spouse and the children. If the deceased is only survived by parents, and no brother, sisters or children, the mother receives one third and the father two thirds. If the deceased is survived by a spouse and parents, after giving the share to the spouse the rest will be divided amongst the parents; the mother receives one third and the father five sixth provided there is no other heir. In other words, because of the brothers and sisters the share of the mother is reduced. However, in the presence of a father they will get nothing as father is a nearer relative as compared to brothers and sisters. But the condition is that these brothers and sisters must be more than one, whether they are real brothers and sisters or they only share a single parent, they reduce the share of the mother. This distribution is done by Allah-SWT , since we do not know whether it is our offspring of our parents who would be a source of greater benefit for us. We cannot decide such matters by personal preference or choice because firstly, everything is owned by Allah-SWT and secondly, He-SWT knows best where the wealth must go. His-SWT decision is not only good for us but also does not create any disturbance in the economic system. Man can benefit only from obedience to Allah-SWT . The economic system cannot be suspended by demise of anyone, but wherever we defy Shari’ah in the distribution of wealth, there will be trouble. It is like the blood circulating in the body: if the arm constricts the blood, not letting it flow to the fingers considering them as less important, the fingers will be rendered useless and become a burden on the forearm. Similarly, if women are deprived of their share, it will affect their monetary status and eventually that of men too.


Allah-SWT ‘s  Commands are full of wisdom. As for our financial gains is He-SWT is all-Knowing and He-SWT Knows what is best for us. He-SWT , Who-SWT wishes to make us a source of benefit for others, is certainly not unaware of our benefits. It is also forour benefit that Allah-SWT has decided for us the distribution of inheritance. Otherwise, we would have never been able to distribute it fairly and would have ended up in losses to others and ourselves. So far those heirs have been mentioned who are related to the deceased by marriage are enjoined.


If the wife dies leaving behind some property or wealth, after the payment of debt and legacies, the husband will get half of the inheritance and the rest will go to her parents, brotehr and susters. But if she is survived by children, whether one or more, boy or girl, from the present husbance, or by a prior marriage, the husbans gets one fourth and the rest goes to the other heirs according to their right.


If the husband dies, leaving behind no children, after settling the debts and legacies, the widow will receive one fourth of the total inheritance. But if he is sruvived by the children, whether from this wife or any other, the widow receives one eighth of the share. If he is survived by more than one wife, they share the one fourth, or one-eighth as the case may be. They do not inherit indiviual shares. However, if the husband had not paid the Mehr, it is considered as a debt payable prior to the division of inheritance. The payment of Mehr does not decrease the widow’s share from the inheritance since it is her independent right and must be paid under all circumstances.


Injunction about the Kalalah

Another situation termed as Kalalah is where the deceased is survived by neither ascendants nor descendants, but only distant relatives. If the deceased is survived by one brother or sister who are from the same mother according to commentators, the brother or sister receives one sixth of the share. If the deceased is survived by more than one brother or sister, after the payment of debts and carrying out the will they will receive and share one third of the inheritance, which will be divided equally amongst all. This share will be equal for both male and female, unlike the usual one to two ratio.


‘Allama QartabiRUA observes that male and female are not equal anywhere in inheritance except for brothers and sisters who are from the same mother. This is Allah-SWT's Command that the payment of debt be made as well as the bequest, provided the latter does not harm or deprive any heir. For instance, if a Kalalah, in order to evade payment to any distant relatives, plans to bequeath in a way that they do not get any thing, it is strictly forbidden. A bequest for anything sinful or not allowed by Shari'ah would be invalid. Payment of debts is very important. The bequest is valid only on one third of the inheritance and the rest will be distributed among the heirs. The bequests cannot be drawn to favour those heirs who are already included in the scheme of distribution; they receive only what is their right. However, if other heirs willingly relinquish their shares in someone's favour, it is up to them. It is not at all befitting for a person on the throes of death to act at this critical hour in a way by which he or she may encroach upon someone's rights, not for the survivors to commit any embezzlement in that which has been trusted to them by the deceased. Since the true Owner is Allah-SWT, He-SWT knows everything . Although He-SWT is Merciful and Kind and does not inflict punishment right away, yet  soon all matters shall be placed before Him-SWT . Another important factor is that to qualify for inheritance not only the lineage , but Din is also a  pre requisite. According to Hadith (1) A Muslim cannot be heir to an  infidel and vice versa but should a Muslim turn apostate, all that he had earned as a Muslim shall be inherited by his heirs, and the rest earned during apostasy shall be taken over by Bait-al-Mal (The Islamic State Treasury). In case a woman retracts from Islam, her total belongings will be inherited by her Muslim heirs. But no apostate (male or female) shall receive inheritance from either a Muslim or an apostate. (Mu’arif ul Quran) (2) A murderer shall not receive any inheritance i.e. if he kills his father or any such relative from whom he would have inherited, he shall not be eligible for his share. This order is applicable to a pre-meditated murder. (3) If the widow of the deceased is pregnant, the unborn baby is the heir. The baby’s sex should be so assumed that it ensures more share for the baby and lesser for the rest of the heirs or else the distribution be postponed till the birth of the child. (4) If a man suffering from a mortal disease divorces his wife, but dies before the waiting period is over, the woman is his heiress. But if he divorces her in sound health and dies before the end of her waiting period, she would be his heiress only if the divorce was revocable and not otherwise. (5) If a woman demands dissolution of marriage while her husband is sick and is virtually on the death bed, she will not inherit anything from him.


Wealth or possessions left out after the seetlement of dues to th enear relations, are divided amongst paternal uncles if any, otherwise amongst the grandsons and granddaughters, or parental aunts or matrenal uncles and maternal aunts etc, For further details books on Fiqh may be consulted.


These are the statutes of Allah-SWT … shall be a torment ignominious

Importance of Limits imposed by Allah-SWT

These are the Commands of Allaah-SWT and the limits imposed by Him-SWT . Only His-SWT obedience and the obedience of the Holy Prophet-SW guarantees Paradise where the bounties are eternal and once admitted no one shall fear expulsion. It must, however, be remembered that obedience is not confined to offering Salat or observing fast. Mostly, people perform these two duties religiously but when it comes to the distribution of inheritance, all sorts of excuses are adopted for misappropriation. It must be very clear that the distribution of inheritance and the portion of each shareholder is ordained by Allaah-SWT and only an adherence to His-SWT statutes shall lead to salvation, which indeed is the greatest triumph. On the other hand, those who ignore Allah-SWT ’s Commands, transgress the limits defined by Him-SWT , and disobey the Holy Prophet-SW shall not only abide in the blazing Fire but also suffer a shameful and humiliating doom. May Allah-SWT protect us!


These laws of inheritance are not applicable to the Prophets-AS, since their real legacy is not material possessions but their spiritual excellence and knowledge. For instance no material inheritance was divided after the passing away of the Holy Prophet-SW, but his-SW true legacy; his-SW knowledge and spiritual excellence, shall continue to be distributed amongst the deserving for all times to come. The prerequisite for being a recipient is the spiritual link, which is based on faith and is strengthened by obedience; a link passed down by the Holy Prophet-SW, which illuminates the hearts and bosoms.


The Karamah of a Wali is in fact inherited from a Prophet-AS and it is indeed a Prophet-AS's miracle that is manifested at the hands of his true followers as Karamah. Material legacies are temporary and confined to this world, whereas the spiritual ones are eternal and forever. The more a person achieves spiritual and deep hearted nearness to a Prophet-AS the more he receives his share of spiritual brilliance from him. The outward manifestation of this nearness is that obedience to the Prophet-AS becomes a source of continuous pleasure and the violation of his orders a burden. This condition is termed as Fana Fi Rasul-SW by the Sufis and is a blessing, transmitted from enlightened hearts of the Aulia unto the seekers' hearts. Allaah-SWT may bless a lion's share to whoever He-SWT Pleases; it is solely a gift from Him-SWT !