Kalālah (Arabic: كلالة) is a term in Islamic inheritance which refers to a deceased person that has an estate, but no direct ascendants or descendants (i.e. who has no parents or no children).

The writer of the Quran (i.e. Muhammad himself) first revealed the rulings about inheritance in 3rd Hijri year, after the battle of Uhud in which 70 Muslims were killed, and their inheritance had to be divided (Please see the introduction of Surah al-Nisa by Maududi).

At that time (i.e. in 3rd Hijri year), the Quran divided the inheritance of a Kalalah person (i.e. who has neither parents nor children) in the following way:

Suran al-Nisa 4:12:

۔۔۔ وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلاَلَةً أَوِ امْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُواْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فِي الثُّلُثِ ۔۔

...  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. But if they are more than two, they share a third ...

Therefore, in 3rd Hijri year, the share of brother and sister in the inheritance of a Kalalah person was as under:

  •  If a Kalalah person had only a brother or a sister, then their share was 1/6 part of the estate.
  • And if the Kalalah person had multiple brothers and sisters, then all of them got equal parts from 1/3rd of his/her estate. 

But the problem occurred when after 6 years, the writer of the Quran (i.e. Muhammad himself) forgot this ruling in the 9th Hijri year, and he once again claimed the revelation, which stipulated the share of brothers and sisters of a Kalalah person differently.

This time, the writer of the Quran (i.e. Muhammad) stipulated the share as under:

Surah al-Nisa, verse 176:

يَسْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِى ٱلْكَلَٰلَةِ ۚ إِنِ ٱمْرُؤٌا۟ هَلَكَ لَيْسَ لَهُۥ وَلَدٌ وَلَهُۥٓ أُخْتٌ فَلَهَا نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ ۚ وَهُوَ يَرِثُهَآ إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهَا وَلَدٌ ۚ فَإِن كَانَتَا ٱثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُمَا ٱلثُّلُثَانِ مِمَّا تَرَكَ ۚ وَإِن كَانُوٓا۟ إِخْوَةً رِّجَالًا وَنِسَآءً فَلِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ ٱلْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۗ 
They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, "Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs]." If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females. 

Therefore, in the 9th Hijri, the share of brother and sister of a Kalalah person became as under:

  • The single sister of a Kalalah person will get half of the estate.
  • The single brother of a Kalalah person will get ALL of the estates (i.e. double that of a sister).
  • If there are two or more sisters present, then the 2/3rd estate will be divided among them equally. 
  • If there are both brothers and sisters present, then the full estate will be divided among them in such a way that brothers will get double than sisters. 

Thus, both these two Quranic Verses got a huge contradiction regarding the shares of brothers and sisters of a Kalalah person, and this contradiction got stuck in the throats of Muslims. 

Maududi wrote under the commentary of this verse of Surah al-Nisa 4:176 (link):

 This verse was revealed long after the revelation of the rest of this surah. According to certain traditions, this verse was the very last Qur'anic verse to be revealed. (For these traditions, see Ibn Kathir's comments on this verse - Ed.) Even if this is disputed, it shows at least that this verse was revealed in 9 A.H., whereas the Muslims had been reciting the present surah, al-Nisa, for quite some time before that. It was for this reason that this verse was not included among the verses relating to inheritance mentioned at the beginning of the surah, but was attached to it at the end as an appendix (i.e. it is the last verse of Surah al-Nisa).

Hadith fabrication Factories of Muslims made a Hadith, but that led towards "Tehrif (Distortion)" of the Quran

It is very important to understand the role of the Hadith fabrication factories of Muslims, which they used in order to defend Islam against any criticism. For example, there are 131 traditions (including Sahih traditions) present that Ishaaq was the son who was sacrificed by Ibrahim. Since that gave preference to Isahaaq (the forefather of Jews) over Ismael (the forefather of Muhammad), thus later coming Muslims fabricated 134 Ahadith (including Sahih traditions) which countered those 131 traditions and declared Ismael to be the son who was sacrificed. Please read our full article on this topic: The Hadith Fabrication Factory of Muslims

The same thing happened in this issue of Kalalah, where later coming Muslims fabricated a hadith, in order to defend this Quranic Contradiction. This tradition is as  under:

Tafsir al-Tabari, under the commentary of verse 4:12:

عن القاسم بن ربـيعة، قال: سمعت سعد بن أبـي وقاص قرأ: وإن كان رجل يورث كلالة وله أخ أو أخت من أمه

Qasim said that he heard Sa'd bin Abi Waqas reciting this verse with these words: If a person whose estate has to be divided is a Kalalah, but has brother and sister from the mother's side ...

From this Hadith, the Islam apologists wanted to end the Quranic contradiction by claiming that:

  • Verse 4:12 (in 3rd Hijri year) was only about step brothers/sisters from the mother's side.
  • While verse 4:176 (in the 9th Hijri year) was about the real brothers/sister, who have the same father and mother. 

Nevertheless, this hadith is again stuck in the throat of Muslims, while these words of Sa'd bin Abi Waqas "From mother's side من أمه" are additional words, and are not found in the present Quran. Thus, it leads towards the Tehrif (Distortion) of the Quran. 

Therefore, the dilemma for Islam apologists is either to accept the Contradiction in the Quran, or the Tehrif in the Quran. 

Moreover, there are 3 types of brothers/sisters in the Arabic language:

  • عيني i.e. those real brothers/sisters who have the same father and mother.
  • علأتيَ i.e. those step brothers/sisters who have the same father, but different mothers.
  • أخيأفي i.e. whose step brothers/sisters have the same mother, but different fathers (and this is the case in the hadith of Sa'd)

At this point, Islam apologists start insisting to accept this Tehrif (distortion) in the Quran, in the name of "7 different Recitation of Quran". 

But how can these additional words be accepted as "different recitation"? These Islam apologists can themselves become blind, but how are they going to make others blind, who can clearly see that it is not a different recitation, but a clear Distortion? No person with a sane mind can ever call it a different recitation, but all of them will call it a distortion. 

Please also remember this claim of Muslims that the Quran is the most eloquent book in the universe. Nevertheless, the Quran itself refutes this claim of Islam apologists, and it used the same word in both verses. Thus, the question is:

  • Why was the writer of the Quran not himself able to add the words "From mother's side من أمه" on his own after verse 4:12? 
  • Why was the writer of the Quran not himself able to make these words "From mother's side من أمه" to be a part of all 7 different recitations?
  • Another option was to add the word أخيافي in this verse, which would be an eloquent way of expressing. 

But the writer of the Quran failed in all these situations. Neither he was able to make things clear by using the words "from mother's side" or by using the word أخيافي, nor he made it part of all 7 recitations. 

The reality is, the writer of the Quran is totally wrong when he claims that he made verses of the Quran Clear and EASY to be understood. 

Moreover, please also ponder upon this fact:

  • Human intellect guides us that the 'FIRST' priority should have always been to tell the common RULING about the real brothers and sisters. 
  • This means the first verse of 4:12 should have been about the inheritance of the REAL brothers and sisters. 
  • But the writer of the Quran missed this FIRST preference, and he started to talk directly and only about the STEP brothers and sisters from the mother's side only. 
  • And then after 6 years, the writer of the Quran realised that he also had to reveal the rules about the real brothers and sisters too, while he completely forgot to reveal anything about the step brothers/sisters from the father's side. 

Do you find any "sense" in this procedure of the writer of the Quran, the so-called Most-Wise? Absolutely not, but Muslims fabricated all these lame excuses and Ahadith on their own later, in order to hide the contradictions in the Quran.