Quranic Terminology: Inherit

آحمد صبحي منصور في الإثنين 02 سبتمبر 2019


 

Quranic Terminology: Inherit

 

Published in August 31, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: The Lord God is the Inheritor:

1- This Quranic fact is mentioned within the context of the destruction of disbelieving, disobedient nations by the Lord God: "And how many a city did We destroy for turning unappreciative of its livelihood? Here are their homes, uninhabited after them, except for a few. And We became the Inheritors." (28:58).

2- All human beings are mortals who die; the Everlasting Lord God is the Inheritor of everything on Earth: "It is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritors. And We know those of you who go forward, and We know those who lag behind." (15:23-24).

3- During his supplication to the Lord God, Zachariah has mentioned the expression (the Best of Inheritors) to refer to Allah: "And Zechariah, when he called out to his Lord, “My Lord, do not leave me alone, even though you are the Best of Inheritors." (21:89).

4- The verb (to inherit) and its derivations are also employed within urging believers to spend money for God's sake; i.e., to serve the cause of the Lord God:

4/1: "Those who withhold what God has given them of His bounty should not assume that is good for them. In fact, it is bad for them. They will be encircled by their hoardings on the Day of Resurrection. To God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, and God is well acquainted with what you do." (3:180).

4/1: "And why is it that you do not spend in the cause of God, when to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth?..." (57:10).

5- When the universe is destroyed within the Hour, the Lord God is the Inheritor: "It is We who will inherit the earth and everyone on it, and to Us they will be returned." (19:40).

6- It is OK when people name their male babies as Abdel-Warith (N.B., the term [Abdel] or [Abdul] means "the servant of..."; the term [Warith] in Arabic means "Inheritor", referring to Allah), since the True Owner, Creator, and Inheritor of the universe is the Lord God Himself.

 

Secondly: to inherit the Divine Book:

 This means that a nation would inherit and pass on the Celestial Book or Scripture; this is mentioned many times in the Quran.

1- The following is about the People of the Book:

1/1: "They were succeeded by generations who inherited the Book and chose the materials of this world, saying, “We will be forgiven.” And should similar materials come their way, they would again seize them. Did they not make a covenant to uphold the Book, and to not say about God except the Truth? Did they not study its contents? But the Home of the Hereafter is better for the pious ones; will you not understand?" (7:169).

1/2: "They became divided only after knowledge came to them, out of resentment among themselves. Were it not for a predetermined decision from your Lord, judgment would have been pronounced between them. Indeed, those who were made to inherit the Book after them are in grave doubt about it." (42:14).

1/3: "We gave Moses guidance, and made the Israelites inherit the Book." (40:53).

2- The following is about the Quran-believing people: "What We inspired in you, of the Book, is the Truth, confirming what preceded it. God is Well-Informed of His servants, All-Seeing. Then We made the Book as inheritance to those of Our servants whom We chose. Some of them wrong their souls, and some follow a middle course, and some are in the foremost in good deeds by God’s leave; that is the greatest blessing." (35:31-32).

 

Thirdly: inheriting prophethood:

 Of course, many prophets/messengers emerged within the progeny of Jacob: the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. This means that in some cases prophethood was inherited from a father to his son.

1- This is about Solomon the son of David: "And Solomon inherited David. He said, “O people, we were taught the tongue of birds, and we were given from everything. This is indeed a real blessing.”" (27:16).

2- This is about Zachariah: "...So grant me, from Yourself, an heir. To inherit me, and inherit from the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, pleasing.”“O Zachariah, We give you good news of a son, whose name is John, a name We have never given before.”He said, “My Lord, how can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have become decrepit with old age?”" (19:5-8).

 

Fourthly: to inherit the earth means to be successors of others on it:

1- Nations after nations are destroyed by the Lord God and they succeed one another; yet, most people do not take heed of what happened to the destroyed nations: "Do the people of the towns feel secure that Our might will not come upon them by night, while they sleep?  Do the people of the towns feel secure that Our might will not come upon them by day, while they play? Do they feel safe from God’s plan? None feel safe from God’s plan except the losing people.Is it not guidance for those who inherit the earth after its inhabitants, that if We willed, We could strike them for their sins? And seal up their hearts, so that they would not hear?" (7:97-100).

2- Before heading to the Promised Land, the Israelites temporarily inherited the kingdom of Moses' Pharaoh after he (and his deep-state men) drowned in the Red Sea; i.e., after they were destroyed by the Omnipotence of the Lord God: 

2/1: "Pharaoh made himself superior on earth, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter. But We desired to favor those who were oppressed on earth, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them on earth; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:4-6).

2/2: "The retinue members of Pharaoh's people said, “Will you let Moses and his people cause trouble on earth, and forsake you and your gods?” He said, “We will kill their sons, and spare their women. We have absolute power over them.” Moses said to his people, “Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous.” They said, “We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us.” He said, “Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors on earth; then He will see how you behave.”" (7:127-129).

2/3: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59).

2/4: "How many gardens and fountains did they leave behind? And plantations, and splendid buildings. And comforts they used to enjoy. So it was; and We made another people inherit these." (44:25-28).

3- Some aggressors among the People of the Book allied themselves to the Meccan Qorayish military confederates who sieged Yathreb; those aggressors were defeated by the Lord God who made fear and fright seize their hearts; they ran away from their locations near Yathreb, and the early believers inherited them after they left for good: "And He brought down from their strongholds those of the People of the Book who backed them, and He threw terror into their hearts. Some of them you killed, and others you took captive. And He made you inherit their land, and their homes, and their possessions, and a region you have never stepped on. God has power over all things." (33:26-27).

 

Fifthly: inheritance and its responsibilities:

1- "Men receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave, and women receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave; be it little or much - a legal share. If the distribution is attended by the relatives, and the orphans, and the needy, give them something out of it, and speak to them kindly. Those who are concerned about the fate of their weak children, in case they leave them behind, should fear God, and speak appropriate words. Those who consume the wealth of orphans illicitly consume only fire into their bellies; and they will  burn in Hell.God instructs you regarding your children: The male receives the equivalent of the share of two females. If they are daughters, more than two, they get two-thirds of what he leaves. If there is only one, she gets one-half. As for the parents, each gets one-sixth of what he leaves, if he had children. If he had no children, and his parents inherit from him, his mother gets one-third. If he has siblings, his mother gets one-sixth. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. Your parents and your children - you do not know which are closer to you in welfare. This is God's Law. God is Knowing and Wise. You get one-half of what your wives leave behind, if they had no children. If they had children, you get one-fourth of what they leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. They get one-fourth of what you leave behind, if you have no children. If you have children, they get one-eighth of what you leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. If a man or woman leaves neither parents nor children, but has a brother or sister, each of them gets one-sixth. If there are more siblings, they share one-third. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts, without any prejudice. This is a will from God. God is Knowing and Clement. These are the laws set by God. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein forever. That is the great attainment. But whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, and breaks His laws, He will admit him into Hell-Fire, wherein he abides forever, and he will have a shameful torment." (4:7-14).

2- "O you who believe! It is not permitted for you to inherit women against their will. And do not coerce them in order to take away some of what you had given them, unless they commit a proven adultery. And live with them in kindness. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good." (4:19).

3- "They ask you for a ruling. Say, “God gives you a ruling concerning the person who has neither parents nor children.” If a man dies, and leaves no children, and he had a sister, she receives one-half of what he leaves. And he inherits from her if she leaves no children. But if there are two sisters, they receive two-thirds of what he leaves. If the siblings are men and women, the male receives the share of two females.” God makes things clear for you, lest you err. God is Aware of everything." (4:176).

4- "To everyone We have assigned beneficiaries in what is left by parents and relatives. Those with whom you have made an agreement, give them their share. God is Witness over all things." (4:33).

5- "Mothers may nurse their infants for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the nursing-period. It is the duty of the father to provide for them and clothe them in a proper manner. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. No mother shall be harmed on account of her child, and no father shall be harmed on account of his child. The same duty rests upon the inheritor. If the couple desire weaning, by mutual consent and consultation, they commit no error by doing so. You commit no error by hiring nursing-mothers, as long as you pay them fairly. And be wary of God, and know that God is Seeing of what you do." (2:233).

 

Sixthly: the verb (to inherit) within bearing full responsibility for one's deeds and words:

 The Lord Allah says the following in the Quran: "Have you seen him who denied Our revelations, and said, “I will be given wealth and children”? Did he look into the future, or did he receive a promise from the Dominant Lord? No indeed! We will write what he says, and will keep extending the torment for him. Then We will inherit from him what he speaks of, and he will come to Us alone." (19:77-80).

 

Lastly: inheriting Paradise:

1- "Such is Paradise which We will give as inheritance to those of Our servants who are pious." (19:63).

2- "We will remove whatever rancor is in their hearts. Rivers will flow beneath them. And they will say, “Praise be to God, who has guided us to this. Had God not guided us, we would never be guided. The messengers of our Lord did come with the Truth.” And it will be proclaimed to them, “This is the Garden you are made to inherit, on account of what you used to do.”" (7:43).

3- "Such is the Garden you are made to inherit, because of what you used to do." (43:72).

4- "We have written...that the earth will be inherited by My righteous servants." (21:105).

5- "And they will say, “Praise be to God, who has fulfilled His promise to us, and made us inherit the earth, enjoying Paradise as we please.” How excellent is the reward of the workers." (39:74).

6- "Successful are the believers. Those who are pious in their prayers. Those who avoid nonsense. Those who work for charity. Those who safeguard their chastity. Except from their spouses, or their dependents - for then they are free from blame. But whoever seeks anything beyond that - these are the transgressors. Those who are faithful to their trusts and pledges. Those who safeguard their prayers. These are the inheritors. Who will inherit Paradise, wherein they will dwell forever." (23:1-11).

7- Abraham has supplicated to the Lord God in the following way: "And make me of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss." (26:85).

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