Daily Archives: December 26, 2014
Distribution of Inheritance: Being Kind to Orphans and the Needy (Hadith No. 2414)
وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُولُو الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ وَقُولُوا لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا
“And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” [4:8]
Volume 4, Book 51, Number 21 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Some people claim that the order in the above Verse is cancelled, by Allah, it is not cancelled, but the people have stopped acting on it. There are two kinds of guardians (who are in charge of the inheritance): One is that who inherits; such a person should give (of what he inherits to the relatives, the orphans and the needy, etc.), the other is that who does not inherit (e.g. the guardian of the orphans): such a person should speak kindly and say (to those who are present at the time of distribution), “I can not give it to you (as the wealth belongs to the orphans).”
Ibn Kathir comments:
Ath-Thawri said that Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid that implementing this Ayah, “Is required from those who have anything to inherit, paid from whatever portions their hearts are satisfied with giving away.” Similar explanation was reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Musa, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ash-Sha`bi and Al-Hasan. Ibn Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata’ bin Abi Rabah, Az-Zuhri and Yahya bin Ya`mar said this payment is obligatory. Others say that this refers to the bequeathal at the time of death. And others say that it was abrogated. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah,
﴿وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ﴾
(And when are present at the time of division), refers to divisions of inheritance. So, when poor relatives, who are ineligible for inheritance, orphans, and the poor attend the division of the inheritance, which is sometimes substantial, their hearts will feel eager to have a share, seeing each eligible person assuming his share; while they are desperate, yet are not given anything. Allah the Most Kind, Most Compassionate, commands that they should have a share in the inheritance as an act of kindness, charity, compassion and mercy for them.
This directive is addressed to the heirs of the deceased. They are told not to be niggardly towards their relatives whether they be close or distant. Nor should they be niggardly towards either poor and needy members of the family or towards orphans who are present when the inheritance is distributed. Although they are not legally entitled to any share it is seemly for people to act magnanimously and give them something out of their inheritance, and especially to desist from making hurtful remarks.