Inheritance of Women in Islam critical examinations

Updated: Sep 20

In fact, in Holy Quran's chapter on inheritance title is "An-Nisa" meaning "The Women" (Not "The Men"). Sons share are residuary, i.e., receive residue after fixed sharer are given their part. If Son is not alive, Daughter's share are fixed which cannot be reduced. Also, there is no limit in the life time Gifts you may give away to woman. Many more things to share here and keep reading this article.


Professor Almaric Rumsey, a 19th-century professor of law at King’s College in London who studied the Islamic inheritance system extensively, wrote "The Moohummudan law of inheritance comprises, beyond question, the most refined and elaborate system of rules for the devolution of property that is known to the civilized world, and its beauty and symmetry are such that it is worthy to be studied, not only by lawyers with a view to its practical application, but for its own sake, and by those who have no other object in view than their intellectual culture and gratification"

Women's importance for Men in Islam


Women get appreciation as wives, mothers, and sisters.

There are many verses in the Holy Quran as well as in Hadith dedicated to instructing men to express sympathy and respect towards women as a wife, mothers, and sisters. "And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought" - Holy Quran 30:21. Abu Hurairah narrated that The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, "The most complete of the believers in faith is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women". - Tirmidhi, Book 12, Hadith 17 Abu Huraira reported that a person said, "Allah's Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness)" -Sahih Muslim, Book 2548 b, Book 45, Hadith 2. Abu Barzah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever consoles a bereaved mother, he will be clothed with a burd in Paradise" -Jami At-Tirmidhi 1076, Book 10, Hadith 112. Abu Sa'eed Al-Kudari narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, "Whoever has three daughters, or three sisters, or two daughters, or two sisters, and he keeps good company with them and fears Allah regarding them, then paradise is for him" -Jami At-Tirmidhi 1916, Book 27, Hadith 22.

Women's share is half of Men's share


One of the topics usually brought up in the media is the women's inheritance in Islam, about a woman receiving half of the portion of inheritance than a man. However, many situations are ignored where women are entitled to receive equal or more shares than men. To understand better, let us begin by putting some thoughts on the topic.

family affairs under islamic law

The way of life in which Woman to take care of children and being the homemaker is not the only traditional way of living the life, but the most functional and practical approach giving a perfect shape in the modern world. We encourage to read "Why millennial women want to be housewives?" by Newyork Post.

Man is responsible for all affairs related to wealth, defense, inheritance, and some of the bigger financial responsibilities found below.

  • Go out for hunting work or doing business.

  • Providing daily needs for Wife, Child or Children, Parents, and other immediate relatives in need.

  • Providing comfort to family members by providing facilities such as food, clothes, a house, a car, belongings, and other daily needs.

  • Providing adequate resources and wealth to fulfill the needs of Children in terms of education and qualifications until they get to colleges and universities.

  • Provide financial help for marriages and other occasions for children.

  • Provide social and community needs for a family.

  • Provide financial aid for charity or the wellbeings of those unfortunate relatives or community members.

  • Make critical decisions during bad economics or political situations for work or business needs.

  • Provide security, safety, and comfort through creating a great environment as a husband. There are specific rules governing a husband's behavior as outlined in the Holy Quran and Sunnah (the book of Hadith), and the perfect example who proved to be the best Husband is the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).

  • Be ready for a defense of family in case of emergencies, wars, pandemics, outbreaks, bad politics, or any other situations where the call between life and death is made.

​ The woman has many challenges as well, to begin with, setting up oneself in a new family, adjusting to culture and customs, bearing the pain before, during, and after the birth of a child, provide care to the child, which cannot be counted in money and no childcare professional can provide, preparing food, keep the house clean and work within a budget.


The laws of Judaism and Islam both established inheritance rights for women long before these rights established in most Western countries -The Inheritance Rights of Women under Jewish and Islamic Law by Mary F. Radford

The world is going towards making Men and Women the same person in every aspect they are not. Men and Women possess strengths and weaknesses, making the perfect combinations for creating a successful family. There has been research that shows obvious differences between Men and Women in terms of physical, biological, psychological, behavioral, and thinking. Some of the interesting facts are

  • Women are much more emotional than Men.

  • Women can read between the lines along with facial expressions way better than Men.

  • Men are problem solver without talking about it, whereas Women gets depression if they do not share their problems with their friends,

  • Men care about looks much more than Women; Men are much more aggressive while Women avoid conflict.

  • The male brain is geared slightly more toward math, whereas women are better at language.

Read more on "10 Psychological differences between Men and Women That'll Surely Take You By Surprise" By Scoopwhoop.com


Daughter and granddaughter share in islamic law
"The laws of Judaism and Islam both established inheritance rights for women long before these rights were established in most Western countries" -The Inheritance Rights of Women Under Jewish and Islamic Law by Mary F. Radford

Equal or Greater Inheritance share for Women


There is a situation where Man and Women get equal shares; some examples are below.​​


women's share in islam

There are many situations where women would get inheritance equal to or greater than the men as below.

  • If the mother's husband and siblings are the only surviving heirs, then both get 1/2 (i.e., One-half) of equal shares.

  • If Full Sister is surviving heir and in any combinations of Husband, Paternal Brother of Father or Sons of Paternal Brother or Son of Brother, Brother of Father or Sons of Paternal Brother, then Full Sister will get equal to the male surviving heirs.

  • In the case where the deceased left a daughter and his brothers (the daughter’s paternal uncles). The daughter would get 1/2 (i.e., One-half) of the wealth, and the brothers, no matter how many, would split the remainder.

  • A wife receives 1/8 (i.e., One-eighth) of the share from her husband's property, and if she has 3 or 4 children, then the share that each son would receive is less than his mother's.

  • If a daughter and husband are legal heirs of the deceased woman, then the daughter gets more than her father in the property.

  • If the husband and paternal granddaughter are legal heirs of the deceased woman, then the paternal granddaughter gets more share than his or her grandfather.

  • If there is no one from sharers and distant kindred in the legal heirs of the deceased and the daughter of maternal grandson and son of maternal granddaughter are the only legal heirs of the deceased, then the daughter of maternal grandson gets more than the share of the son of a maternal granddaughter.



More group of Women eligible for getting the inheritance compare to the number of Men


The basis of Inheritance share is the financial responsibilities, not the gender, which is the contemporary means of weighing.


six fixed shares in islamic law

Seventeen different groups of women get their inheritance compared to the number of men who only get eight. The highest share is 2/3 (i.e., Two-thirds), given to women. The second highest is the 1/2 (i.e., One-half), where the only Husband gets it, compared to four different groups of women who are entitled. Similar is the case of other shares 1/3 (i.e., One-third), 1/4 (i.e., One-fourth), and 1/6 (i.e., One-sixth) as well.



Men have to pay the dowry to Women


The husband has to pay a dowry (gift or money paid during the marriage) upon the marriage and this obligation remains even before and after the death of the Husband (if not paid).

  • If the husband had not paid the dowry in his lifetime, then it would be considered as debt outstanding against the deceased (husband), and it would be paid to the widow before the distribution of property among the legal heirs; this will not affect her legal share from the property of her husband, and if Women dies without getting dower then, the legal heirs of the woman are entitled to claim the amount of dowery from her husband.

  • If the husband pronounces divorce to his wife on death bed and dies before the completion of her 'iddat' (waiting period), still the wife is entitled to her share in the property from the deceased husband.

  • If the wife of the deceased gets married again after completing her 'iddat' (waiting period), then the second marriage shall not affect her right to get a share in the property if she was the wife of the deceased at the time of his death.

  • If the deceased pronounces divorce before his death and then dies during her waiting period, In such a situation, she would be entitled to get her share in the property because marriage existed between the spouses at the time of death of the husband.


Reference

  1. ​​​​Inheritance - By Women Aid Trust


Allah, the Most Glorified and the Most High, knows the best. As a human, We are limited to everything and can not perceive it in totality...


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Islamic inheritance