- Prophets Do Not Give Inheritance
The Shia propagandists will try to give examples from the Quran to prove that Prophets actually do give inheritance. This is all in an attempt to undermine the words of Prophet Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) who clearly said that Prophets do not give material possessions as inheritance. This is recorded in a Sahih narration in Al-Kafi, the most reliable of the Shia books of Hadith:
“The Prophets did not leave dinars and dirhams as inheritance, but they left knowledge.” (al-Kafi, vol. 1 p. 42)
It is sad that in an attempt to “win” a debate, the Shia will try to prove the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) wrong as a consequence.
The Shia propagandists will quote Verse 27:16 in which the Quran says: “And Sulaiman was Dawud’s heir.” The Shia tactfully do not quote the entire verse, nor the preceding verse. Allah says:
“We gave (in the past) knowledge to Dawud and Sulaiman, and they both said: ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has favored us above many of his servants who believe!’ And Sulaiman was Dawud’s heir. He said: ‘O you people! We have been taught the speech of birds, and on us has been bestowed (a little) of all things: this is indeed Grace manifest (from Allah).’” (Quran, 27:15-16)
In this verse, Allah is clearly talking about Sulaiman (عليه السلام) inheriting the knowledge of Dawud (عليه السلام). It has absolutely nothing to do with material possessions! Before and after the part about Prophet Sulaiman (عليه السلام) being Prophet Dawud’s heir (عليه السلام), we see that the Quran is talking about the special knowledge of the Prophets, especially the specific gift these Prophets were given in regards to understanding the speech of animals. The same can be said of the verses that the Shia propagandists use in regards to Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) who asked Allah in the Quran to grant him a son to become his successor.
It is obvious to all that these Quranic verses refer to the inheritance of the title of Prophethood, and has nothing to do with materal possessions. Allah uses the word “al-irth” in the Quran which does not refer to material possessions in the verses cited by the Shia. It is used to denote knowledge, Prophethood, or sovereignity. Examples of such usage are found in Surah Fatir in the Quran, in which Allah says:
“Therefore We gave the Book as inheritance (awrathna) to such of Our servants as We have chosen” (Quran, Surah Fatir)
As well as in Surah al-Mu’minoon, Allah says:
“Those are the Inheritors (al-warithun) who will inherit Paradise.” (Quran, Surah al-Mu’minoon)
Is Allah really talking about material possessions when he talks about these people? Truly this would be a ludicrous assumption.
It would not be fitting for a pious man such as Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) to be asking Allah to grant him an heir who will inherit material possessions. This would be superficial. Instead, the reality is that Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) asked for a son who would bear aloft the standard of Prophethood after him, and in whom the legacy of the progeny of Prophet Yaqoob (عليه السلام) would continue.
Indeed, it is well-known that Prophet Zakariyyah (عليه السلام) was a poor man who earned his living as a carpenter. What wealth could he possibly have had that would prompt him to request an heir from Allah? In fact, it was a general rule with the Prophets that they did not hoard anything beyond their need, and they spent any surplus in charity.
As for the case of Prophet Dawud (عليه السلام), it is well-known that he had 100 wives and 300 concubines. He had numerous children from these wives and concubines. If this verse is assumed to speak of the inheritance of material possessions, then why is Prophet Sulaiman (عليه السلام) mentioned as the sole inheritor? This proves that the Quran is not talking about material possessions but rather knowledge. Otherwise, Prophet Dawud (عليه السلام) denied inheritance to his other children, and this would violate the Shia rhetoric which state that people cannot deny inheritance to the children of Prophets.
If these Quranic verses are assumed to speak of material inheritance, it does not make much sense that it is being mentioned in the Quran, since it is then reduced to an ordinary and trivial matter. “Material inheritance is not something laudable, neither to Dawud (عليه السلام) nor to Sulaiman (عليه السلام). Even a Jew or Christian inherits the material possessions of his father. The purpose of this verse is to extol the excellence of Sulaiman (عليه السلام) and to make mention of that which was granted specifically to him. Inheriting material possessions is an ordinary and trivial matter that is common to everyone, like eating, drinking, and burying the dead. This is not the kind of thing that would be mentioned about the Prophets, since it is simply inconsequential. Only such things would be related about the Prophets which carry lessons or benefit. Things like ‘he died, and his son inherited his property’, or ‘they buried him’, or ‘they ate, drank, and slept’ is not the kind of information that would be conveyed in the stories of the Quran.” (Mukhtasar Minhaj as-Sunnah, Volume 1, p.240, with minor adjustments) It is thus obvious that the Quran is talking about inheriting the loftiness of Prophethood, much like the Quran talks about who amongst the believers will inherit the lofty position of Paradise.
In any case, all of these verses in the Quran must be interpreted in the light of the Hadith which states that “Prophets do not leave dinars or dirhams as inheritance, but they leave knowledge.” This Hadith explicitly negates the possibility that the Prophets in the Quran were leaving material possessions as inheritance, but rather were talking about knowledge. This along is sufficient proof to reject the Shia manipulation of these Quranic verses.
Even if the Shia live in the delusional world that Prophets leave behind inheritance, then this still does not answer why the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) has stated in Hadith that Prophets do not leave behind inheritance. Again, this Hadith has been stated in Al-Kafi and is considered Sahih. The Shia say that Fatima (رضّى الله عنها) accused Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) of fabricating the Hadith, but we find that this Hadith exists! If there is a discrepancy between the Quran and the Prophetic Sahih sayings, then we must state that this is an accusation against the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم): are the Shia really saying that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) incorrectly stated that Prophets do not inherit?