By Mustafa Ali (4th Year ʿĀlim Student, DarusSalam Seminary)
In Islām, the sources of knowledge are four:
(1) Divine Revelation.
(2) Authentic Transmission.
(2.a) The Prophet’s Narrations.
(2.b) Scholarly Consensus.
(3) The Intellect.
(4) The Sensoria.
When examining legislation, one must understand that the intellect may never supersede rulings given by Allāh and His Messenger. Allāh alone created the intellect, and He surely knows its limits. In reality, the intellect will never go against the primary source evidence. We understand that Allāh is the All-Wise and the All-Knowing. And even though one may not fully understand some rulings, his responsibility is to firmly adhere to the maxim: “We hear and obey!” It is only through complete submission that one will fortify his faith, just like how the Noble Companions did.
With that said, it must be noted that the inheritance laws are carelessly neglected nowadays. This is a problem that should be addressed. Verily, in Islām, inheritance is very important. In fact, Allāh has expounded on its rulings through three different verses.
Additionally, the Prophet said:
“Learn the farā’iḍ and teach the people its rulings. Verily, it is half of knowledge. It is something that shall be forgotten, and one of the first things that my nation will overlook.”
Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī (AH 1014) mentioned the different explanations regarding this narration:
“‘Farāʾiḍ’ refers to either the ‘subject of inheritance,’ or all that Allāh made farḍ for His slaves, or it comprises all the commandments and prohibitions. It is regarded as ‘half of knowledge’ to emphasize its importance, or because of the two states that one experiences, i.e. life and death. Therefore, these are the rulings related to one’s death. As for ‘it is something that shall be forgotten,’ forgetting it is not contingent on forgetting what is documented in books, as that shall remain until the Day of Judgement. Rather, forgetting it means not applying it.” 
ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīrī (d.1353) gives preference to the opinion that ‘al-Farā’iḍ’ refers to inheritance. One piece of evidence that he uses to prefer this understanding is the report: “Indeed, Zayd b. Thābit is afraḍukum (i.e., the most learned regarding inheritance laws).”
As well, the Prophet said: “Knowledge is of three types. And what is besides these is extra. They are a decisive āyah, an established sunnah, and a properly distributed inheritance.”
Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī (d. 1346) stated:
“What is meant by ‘a decisive āyah’ is Allāh’s Book and its rulings that are not abrogated. As for ‘an established sunnah’ it includes the authentic transmissions back to Allāh’s Messenger. Lastly, ‘a properly distributed inheritance’ has two possibilities: (1) The inheritance should be distributed as prescribed in the Book and the Prophet’s Sunnah. (2) Due to the differences of opinion that some Companions had, a scholar should judge between them with what is found in the primary texts.” 
Thus, the importance and emphasis that has been placed on properly distributing inheritance according to the Sharīʿah is significant.
Upon asking a Muslim lawyer, who contracts sharīʿah-compliant wills, for more “real-world” information regarding this issue, he said: “[I] would estimate that less than five-percent of Muslim families have sharīʿah-compliant estate plans in place.”
One should never assume that his wealth is his own. The small amount of wealth that one accumulates in this world is Allāh’s possession. He says: “To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens, and whatever is in the earth, and whatever is between them, and whatever is beneath the soil.” He is known as al-Razzāq or The Provider.
The Sharīʿah provides a complete method for distributing one’s wealth. It averts situations that entail drawn-out battles between families after a loved one’s passing. “It helps eliminate fitnah at a difficult time for families.”
Furthermore, one should not assume that it is in any way “backwards” or “outdated,” such as in cases where a larger share is stipulated to be given to one’s son and a lesser amount to one’s daughter. Interestingly, after mentioning the rulings pertaining to the division of inheritance, Allāh says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا
“Indeed, Allāh is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ
“Allāh is the All-Knowing, The Most-Forbearing.”
تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ
“Those are the limits that Allāh ordained. And whoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger, he shall be made to enter the gardens under which rivers flow. He shall reside therein forever. And that is the Great Success. And whoever disobeys Allah and transgresses His limits, he shall enter the Hellfire, residing therein forever. And for him is a disgracing punishment.”
Allāh emphasized these rulings due to His infinite knowledge and we should in no way question them. We also see that the rules of inheritance are the direct command of Allāh and abiding by them is tantamount to our salvation in the Hereafter.
And Allāh knows best.
 Surāt al-Nisāʾ, 11-12, 176.
 Sunan Ibn Mājah #2719; Sunan Al-Dāruquṭnī, #4059; Mustadrak al-Ḥākim, #7948.
 Mirqāt al-Mafātīḥ, Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī, 1:43, Dār al-Fikr, Beirut.
 al-ʿArf al-Shadhī Sharḥ Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīrī, 3:365, Dār al-Turāth, Beirut.
 Sunan Abī Dāwūd #2885; Sunan al-Dāruquṭnī #2060.
 Badhl al-Majhūd, Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī, 10:47, Markaz al-Shaykh Abī al-Ḥasan ʿAlī al-Nadwī lī Buḥūth al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmiyyah, India.
 Sūrat Ṭāhā, 6.
 Sūrat Nisāʾ, 13-14.