Learning the Various Shares of the Inheritance is Encouraged
Ayah 11 and Ayah 11 contain the knowledge of al-Faraid, inheritance. The knowledge of al-Faraid is derived from these three ayat and from the ahadith on this subject which explain them. Learning this knowledge is encouraged, especially the specific things mentioned in the Ayat ibn Uyaynah said, “Knowledge of al-Faraid was called half of knowledge, because it affects all people.”
The Reason Behind Revealing Ayah 11
Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, “Allah’s Messenger came visiting me on foot with Abu Bakr at Banu Salamah’s (dwellings), and the Prophet found me unconscious. He asked for some water, performed ablution with it, then poured it on me, and I regained consciousness. I said, `What do you command me to do with my money, O Allah’s Messenger’ this Ayah was later revealed,
يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ
“Allah commands you for your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females.” This is how it was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i. The remainder of the Six compilers also collected this Hadith.
Another Hadith from Jabir concerning the reason behind revealing Ayah 4:11 Ahmad recorded from Jabir that he said, “The wife of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi` came to Allah’s Messenger and said to him, `O Allah’s Messenger! These are the two daughters of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi`, who was killed as a martyr at Uhud. Their uncle took their money and did not leave anything for them. They will not be married unless they have money.’ The Messenger said, `Allah will decide on this matter.’ The Ayah about the inheritance was later revealed and the Messenger of Allah sent word to their uncle commanding him,
أَعْطِ ابْنَتَيْ سَعْدٍ الثُّلُثَيْنِ، وَأُمَّهُمَا الثُّمُنَ، وَمَا بقِيَ فَهُوَ لَك
“Give two-thirds (of Sa`d’s money) to Sa`d’s two daughters and one eighth for their mother, and whatever is left is yours.” Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. It is apparent, however, that the first Hadith from Jabir was about the case of the last Ayah in the Surah (4:176), rather than 4:11, for at the time this incident occurred, Jabir had sisters and did not have daughters, parents or offspring to inherit from him. Yet, we mentioned the Hadith here just as Al-Bukhari did.