Judaism & Islamic Inheritance law Similarities
Updated: Feb 18
Judaism and Islam bring one of the most comprehensive histories and religious laws governing daily life. It does not encompass only moral and spiritual laws, but there is a specific narration that touches on topics of wealth management and estate planning. Jewish inheritance law is the first oldest religious law and the Muslim succession law is the second oldest religious law. There are some similarities and contrast between the two spiritual laws.
Shariah means a way (to watering place) or a path (to correct guidance) is a Muslim law similar in definition to Jewish Halakhah (i.e., path) that not many know. The name of both laws is similar because of their Abrahamic origin.
Inheritance distribution of Son
Islam directs the double share of Sons than Daughters. A similar principle applies in Jewish law, where the oldest son inherits everything if there is more than one son and where a daughter inherits nothing from her father if she has a brother. However, whoever does inherit is responsible for the maintenance and well-being of those relatives in the family who did not inherit. Again, a greater moral responsibility accompanies the greater share.
Under Islamic law, two female witnesses are required; in contrast, orthodox Jewish women are not permitted to act as witnesses to similar legal documents.
The Jewish are the Oldest inheritance laws among all, and the second oldest one is the Islamic inheritance laws. Most inheritance laws, including British, American, and African, came into existence around the 17th to 19th centuries. There is a lot of commonality in many inheritance laws with Jewish, Christian, and Muslim models – the only major difference being that eligibility and shares are calculated differently.
Islamic law favors creditors for debt payments upon death. Instead, creditors have more upper hand in Islam than in other inheritance laws. People can find a way to circumvent the debt through illegal estate planning but all that is not allowed under Islamic law. Under Jewish law, the debt cancels if halakhic heirs agree to the distribution under the will. If the halakhic heirs refuse to agree to the distribution in the will, then the debt would be enforced against the estate.
The Hebrew Bible first described ethical wills 3000 years ago. If you look at Genesis, Chapter 49. You can learn more HERE about Jewish inheritance law. On the other hand, the Holy Quran describes the Inheritance under Chapter 4 called "Surah An-Nisa (i.e., The Women). You can learn more HERE about the importance to have an estate plan in Islam. Both religious laws have their roots in respective books about estate planning.
We encourage you to read our book which includes exclusive details about Jewish, Christian, and Hindu Inheritance laws. Islamic inheritance law is compared one-to-one with other laws and includes an extensive summary based on research.
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