Solving Problems Using the Principle of `Awl

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In this post, insha’Allah, we will learn how to apply `awl by solving example problems.

It should be understood that `awl can only be applied when the sum of the shares is greater than 1. When the sum of the shares is greater than 1, this will result in the sum of the portions being greater than the base number.

The application of `awl is actually very simple: As discussed in the previous post, after calculating the base number and the resulting portions we find that the sum of the portions is actually greater than the base number. To apply `awl, all we have to do is make this sum our new base number, while keeping the portions the same. This will result in reducing the shares of the categories proportionally.

Lets demonstrate with a few examples, insha’Allah.

Example 1: A man dies leaving behind

  • 1 Wife
  • Father
  • Mother
  • 2 Daughters

All of them inherit. Note that this is the exact same problem which was presented in the previous post. This time, insha’Allah, we will apply `awl and solve it.

For now, we do everything as usual: Make the chart, list the shares, calculate the base number and the portions. We end up with the following:

Notice that the share of the father is “1/6 + Residue”, as the father (and paternal grandfather, or higher) are both zaawil furoodh and `asabaat simultaneously and therefore also receive the residue (if there is any) along with their set share of 1/6. However, we already know that there will be no residue in this case. The shares already add up to more than 1, so the question of any residue being left over does not even arise.

Now, as explained, we apply `awl by adding up all the portions. The sum of all portions gives us our new base number.

3 + 4 + 4 + 16 = 27 <—— New base number.

Now all we have to do is add another row to our chart where we write our new base number.

Note that there is no “New Portions” row, because the portions of each heir stay the same. When applying `awl, its only the base number that will change.

Final Answer: The estate will be divided into 27 equal portions:

The Wife gets 3 portions.
The Father gets 4 portions.
The Mother gets 4 portions.
Each Daughter gets 8 portions.

This problem we just solved is actually a famous case of inheritance called Mimbariyya for the reason that Caliph `Ali solved it while delivering a sermon on the mimbar (i.e. pulpit) in a mosque at Kufa, in present day Iraq. He was asked what the wife’s share will be if the surviving heirs of a deceased are wife, both parents and 2 daughters. There and then, he answered, “The wife’s 1/8 becomes 1/9.”

Example 2: A woman dies leaving behind

  • Husband
  • 2 Allaati sisters
  • 1 Paternal aunt

The paternal aunt is a non-heir. Only the husband and allaati sisters inherit.

Our initial chart is the following:

Again, shares add up to greater than 1, so we immediately know this is an `awl problem. As per the rule, the sum of the portions becomes our new base number.

3 + 4 = 7 <——- New base number.

Final chart:

Final Answer: The estate will be divided into 7 equal portions:

The Husband receives 3 portions.
Each Allaati sister receives 2 portions.

Example 3: A woman dies leaving behind

  • Husband
  • 3 Granddaughters
  • 1 Great-Granddaughter
  • Mother
  • Paternal grandmother
  • 2 Akhyaafi brothers
  • 1 Akhyaafi sister
  • 2 Haqeeqi sisters
  • 3 Nieces
  • 1 Daughter of haqeeqi paternal uncle

There’s a lot going on here, so lets break it down insha’Allah:

Firstly, the daughter of haqeeqi paternal uncle (i.e. female cousin) and the 3 nieces are non-heirs.
The great-granddaughter is excluded by the 3 granddaughters. This is the application of Rule #6 of hujub hirmaan, except on lower generations. The paternal grandmother is excluded by the mother; the akhyaafi siblings are excluded by the granddaughters.

So we are left with this short list:

  • Husband
  • 3 Granddaughters
  • Mother
  • 2 Haqeeqi sisters

This gives us our initial chart:

The 2 haqeeqi sisters are `asabaat due to the presence of the granddaughters. See the post How Some Zaawil Furoodh Relatives Become `Asabaat. However, they will not be receiving anything in this case because there is never any residue left over in `awl problems. As explained in example 1 of this post, the shares add up to more than 1 so the question of residue being left over does not even arise.  In fact, just to illustrate this point, watch what happens when we try to calculate the sisters’ portions:

12 – 3 – 8 – 2 = -1

We end up with  a negative number. Obviously an heir cannot have negative portions, so it follows that the sisters will not be receiving anything.

Before we apply `awl, we must first resolve the granddaughters category. 8 portions cannot be divided evenly among 3 heads. Once we resolve this category (by calculating a new base number and new portions), then we can apply `awl.

By now, you should be familiar with all the rules for adjusting the base number. If not, please take a second to review them in the post Summary of All Rules for Adjusting the Base Number.

3 and 8 are tabayun. Therefore, we are to multiply 3 by the current base number to get our new base number. We find that our new base number is 36. Now that we know our new base number, we can calculate the new portions and finally apply `awl.

See the chart below:

We used the adjusted base number (36) to calculate our new portions, which resolved the granddaughters category. After this we applied `awl by adding up all the portions, which gave us our final base number of 39.

9 + 24 + 6 = 39

So essentially, we went through three base numbers. Our original base number (12), which we then adjusted to get our new base number (36). We then applied `awl to get the final base number (39).

Note: `Awl should always be applied after resolving all categories. This is the easier way to solve these types of problems.

Final Answer: The estate will be divided into 39 equal portions:

The Husband gets 9 portions.
Each Granddaughter gets 8 portions.
The Mother gets 6 portions.

The Haqeeqi sisters are deprived.

 Example 4: A woman dies leaving behind

  • 1 Haqeeqi sister
  • 5 Allaati sisters
  • 3 Akhyaafi brothers
  • 1 Akhyaafi sister
  • Paternal grandmother
  • Maternal grandmother

All will inherit. Below is our starting chart:

For those who may be confused, the allaati sisters get 1/6 due to the presence of the haqeeqi sister. There share and the share of the haqeeqi sister has to sum up to 2/3. This is parallel to the rule of daughter and granddaughter(s) inheriting together. See item #8, rule #3 in the post Inheritance of Siblings.

Before applying `awl, there are 3 categories that need resolving: The allaati sisters, the akhyaafi siblings, and the grandmothers.

You should be familiar with how to resolve three categories, but nonetheless, we will do a quick walk-through.

Let us resolve the akhyaafi siblings and grandmothers categories first.

The heads-portions of the grandmothers category are tabayun.
The heads-portions of the akhyaafi siblings category are tawafuq. The wafq of their heads is 2, which is tamathul to the heads of the grandmothers category.
X = 2.

The heads-portions of the remaining category – the allaati sisters – is tabayun. Therefore Y = number of heads = 5.

Now we resolve X and Y.

X and Y are tabayun.
5 x 2 = 10 ——-> 10 x 6 = 60 <——- New base number.

As shown above, after calculating the new portions based on the adjusted base number, we applied `awl to get our final base number:

30 + 10 + 20 + 10 = 70

 Final Answer: The estate will be divided into 70 equal portions:

The Haqeeqi sister will get 30 portions.
Each Allaati sister will get 2 portions.
Each Akhyaafi sibling will get 5 portions.
Paternal grandmother will get 5 portions.
Maternal grandmother will get 5 portions.

And now, we leave you with a final example to do on your own. Its solution will be given in the next post, insha’Allah.

A woman dies leaving behind:

  • Husband
  • 3 Haqeeqi sisters
  • 2 Allaati sisters
  • 3 Akhyaafi brothers
  • Mother
  • Maternal grandfather

How will the estate be divided and distributed?

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