Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 4:12 - Inheritance without heirs: how much brothers and sisters will get?

There are different answers to the question in the Qur’an:

1. They will get one-thirds - Qur’an 4:12

“And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth.” (Qur’an 4:12).

2. They will get two-thirds - Qur’an 4:176

“But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left.” (Qur’an 4:176).

3. Muslim response

Some Muslims say that Qur’an 4:12 is in case the dead body has brothers and sisters through his mother (uterine siblings), whereas Qur’an 4:176 refers to the case that the dead body has brothers and sisters through his father or both his father and mother but not through his mother. However, Qur’an 4:12 and 4:176 cover the foundation of the Qur’an compatible inheritance law. In Qur’an 4:12 is the situation: "And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth." So the sum is: 1/6 + 1/6 = 1/3. On the other side, we read in Qur’an 4:76: "If a man die childless and he have a sister, hers is half the heritage, and he would have inherited from her had she died childless. And if there be two sisters, then theirs are two-thirds of the heritage." So the sum is in this case: 2/3.

4. Conclusion

One verse is telling us that brothers and sisters will get one-thirds, while another verse says that it will be two-thirds. With two different answers there is a contrast about the same question. Therefore we have a difficulty in the Qur’an. The mentioned verses show a contradiction in the Qur’an.