This question is being asked alot by Western women and due to Western influence some Muslim women have been questioning the fairness with which property was divided. Islam was the first religion to give women rights, and a share in the inheritance at a time when women were considered property of their male counterparts and were denied all rights. A woman was not obligated by Islamic Law to help run the household by contributing money even if she is a working woman; it is a man’s responsibility to make sure that his family lives in comfort, hence the burden of providing falls on his shoulders. While a woman can spend her inheritance however she wants, a man was obligated to spend his earnings, savings and inheritance on his family, so Islamic Law has made it fair by giving women a lesser share in the inheritance.
Why do females get half the inheritance amount of males?
You enquire why females receive half the inheritance of their male counterparts. One must understand that the laws of inheritance are by Divine order. As Muslims, our attitude to a divine decree is simply to submit.
The point of satisfaction is in the fact that Allah is al-Hakīm (The All Wise). Every decree of Almighty Allah has innumerable benefits and wisdoms which we can never fathom or comprehend. Besides the many benefits in each individual law, the common thread in all the laws of Islam is that they consider the realities of life.
There is no room for emotions in these Laws. The Laws of Allah are not based on emotions. They are founded on the best possible course for humanity to follow. Each law, the law itself and its ramifications are beneficial for everyone and everything the law applies to.
From the day a woman is born to the day she passes away, she is never responsible to earn her own living. From birth to her marriage, her father or guardian is responsible to provide for her. After marriage, her husband is responsible to provide for her. When she gets old, her children are responsible to look after her. On the other hand, a male is tasked with providing and looking after his whole family.
If the male did not receive double the share, this would be injustice on the male. Everybody would be asking the question why Islam does injustice on the males as Islam tasks the male to provide and maintain the family, yet Islam does not channel to him the possible funds needed to uphold this responsibility.
For example, if a father passed away and his estate was worth £100,000. The son will receive £66,666.66 and the daughter will receive £33,333.33. The son may have to spend almost the entire amount in maintaining his sister and family. Whereas, the daughter who inherited, she will not be obliged to spend a single pence. She can keep the entire amount to herself. What is better? Receiving £66,666.66 and spending it all on others or receiving £33,333.33 and having the privilege of keeping it all to yourself?
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Faraz Ibn Adam,Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
Why a man receives twice what a woman receives in inheritance
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.Answer
Allah (SWA) in the Holy Qur’an has said:
“Allah enjoins you concerning your children for the male there is a share equal to that of two females” (Surah Nisa v.176)
On the authority of Jabir Radiallahu Anhu the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr visited me during my sickness, when they were walking by Banu Salama. He found me unconscious, he called for water, performed wudhu and sprinkled water on me, so I came to my senses. I said what should I do with my wealth, O Messenger of Allah. Then the verse was revealed ‘Allah enjoins you concerning your children for male there is a share equal to that of two females’. (Aasbab Nuzulul Quran by Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad) (Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim also report this narration)
It is firmly established from the above narration that the male’s share is equal to that of two females.
The reason for men receiving double of what women receive I inheritance is justice, for the overwhelming majority of men take a wife and undertake to provide for her. As for women, they take a husband and derive their livelihood from him, and this makes up for the deficiency in what they have inherited. It is also mercy, for a weak girl is greatly in need of kindness from her father and brothers. She also receives her brother’s kindness and protection free of rivalry and jealousy. He does not consider her “as a rival who will destroy half the family and give an important part of our property to someone else.” There will be no resentment and hostility mixed with his feeling of compassion and protection towards her. Thus, the girl, who is delicate and weak by nature, is apparently deprived of a small part, but in place of it she gains inexhaustible wealth in the form of the compassion and kindness of those close to her. Also, to give her more than her due with the idea of being more merciful to her than Divine Mercy, is not kindness, but a great wrong.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Tariq Uddin
Checked and Approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.