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Question: Explain the Doctrine of 'Aul'. Find the question and answer of Muslim Law only on Legal Bites. [Explain the Doctrine of 'Aul'.]AnswerAccording to Muhammadan law, the shares of various sharers are fixed. Where several sharers co-exist, it sometimes happens that the total of their respective shares exceeds unity (one). When the sum total of the shares allotted to various heirs in accordance with their entitlement exceeds the unity, then the doctrine of aul lays down that the share...

**Question: Explain the Doctrine of 'Aul'. **

Find the question and answer of Muslim Law only on Legal Bites. **[Explain the Doctrine of 'Aul'.]**

**Answer**

According to Muhammadan law, the shares of various sharers are fixed. Where several sharers co-exist, it sometimes happens that the total of their respective shares exceeds unity (one).

When the sum total of the shares allotted to various heirs in accordance with their entitlement exceeds the unity, then the doctrine of aul lays down that the share of each heir should be proportionately reduced. This is done by reducing the fractional shares to be the common denominator. Since this is done by increasing the denominator, the doctrine has been given the name of increase (aul) though in fact the shares are proportionately reduced.

Thus, suppose the deceased leaves behind a husband and two full sisters.

Ordinarily, the husband will take 1/2, as there is no child or child of a son how lowsoever, and the two sisters together will take 2/3, as there is no son. 1/2 + 2/3 = 7/6 which exceeds unity, and the property falls short in distribution. How then is the deceased’s property to be divided?

This difficulty is solved by increasing the common denominator to the sum of the numerators, and thus reducing the fractions without disturbing the proportion between them. Thus, in the illustration taken above, on reducing the fractions to the common denominator one gets 1/2 = 3/6 and 2/3 = 4/6.

Thus, with the common denominator, the shares are: — husband = 3/6 and two sisters = 4/6. (The sum of the numerators is 7.] Now, the common denominator is increased to the sum of the numerators, (i.e., 7). On doing this, the shares would be as follows: husband: 3/7 and two sisters 4/7 (3/7 + 4/7 = 1.)

It may be noted that this doctrine is called “increase”, not because the shares are increased, which is quite the opposite, the very object of the doctrine being to diminish the shares, but because the unity is reached by increasing the denominator of the fractional shares.

In other words, if it is found, on assigning their respective shares to the sharers, that the sum total of the shares exceeds unity, the share of each sharer is proportionately diminished, by reducing the fractional shares to a common denominator and increasing the denominator, so as to make it equal to the sum of the numerator.

#### Mayank Shekhar

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