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  • Making Sense Of Islamic Laws Of Inheritance

    Posted by Rukhsana Akbar on January 20, 2022 at 6:04 am

    Salaam,

    There are a few questions that have bothered me for years regarding the laws of Inheritance in Islam.

    First and formost I want to understand the objectives behind these laws. In verse 11 of surah Nisa Quran lays down only one principle for the division and distribution of assets of the deceased. This principle clearly states that laws of inheritance are purely based on the scale of benefits (manfat as Mr Ghamdi says) a relationship provided to deceased person. The higher the scale the bigger the share. So can we then safely assume that the sole purpose of Islamic Inheritance Laws is to reward the beneficiary for their benefiting services to the deceased?

    If this is the sole purpose then a couple of questions creep up in my mind.

    – Are only financial favours considered superior benefits in Allah’s sight even though physical “khidmat ” provided by females is way more challenging and demanding than handing over money.

    – Isn’t Allah encouraging materialism by defining such laws? ( may Allah forgive me for saying this but I have to state my question clearly and bluntly to get a satisfying reply)

    – Furthermore, if financial favours are what entitles one to bigger shares of inheritance then hasn’t Allah put females at a position of disadvantage by choice by encouraging and defining their non financial roles in a family structure?

    – Mr Ghamdi often says a daughter’s share is half because her marfa’at is transferred to her husband’s family after marriage because she looks after her husband and his parents. But my question is that if her marfa’at is towards her in-laws then why isn’t she entitled to get a share of her father- in – law’s and mother – in – law’s inheritance? Infact her entitlement even in her husband’s assets is only 1/8 if there are children and 1/4 if none!! She carrys his children in her womb for 9 months in great pain. She gives birth to his children in great pain. She raises his children which is one of the most difficult task on earth and men are not capable of that. In many instances she takes care of his parents ( which is not her religious obligation) . She takes care of the house and of the husband himself. Yet these massive contributions of a wife are totally disregarded by Allah in his defined laws of inheritance . Her contributions are regarded so insignificant that her entitlement in his inheritance is next to nothing. On the other hand for providing for her financially he is entitled to 1/4 of his wife’s inheritance if there are kids involved and 1/2 if there are no kids even though it’s the woman who struggles financially (if she is not a working woman) after the death of her husband not vice versa.

    – If a daughter’s share is half because her marfa’at is transferred to her husband’s house after marriage then why is the share half of a son’s even if she is unmarried.

    – Yes Islam encourages people to write down wills but how many people do that?

    And in any case writing a will is an additional task. While men get their share by default women’s higher share is dependent on the presence of a will. Why?

    – Also in this day and age increasing number of women are supporting their parents financially and otherwise but again their increased entitlement is dependent on that piece of paper called will. Why?

    – Moreover, in the absence of a brother a girl gets only one half of the inheritance and the rest goes to the relatives who in real life might have never contributed even £1 towards the marfa’at upon which they will claim the remaining half. Why?

    – Why do fathers get 2/3rd of the share in the absence of children. If the reason is that in the absence of children the father becomes financially responsible for his wife then why is this very situation overlooked by Allah in the case of a widow where she has to raise her orphaned children. She is entitled to only 1/8th. Why?

    If there is one pattern that is consistent in Islam that is the pattern of giving men positions of privilege and advantage over women. One cannot fail to notice this.

    I know Mr Ghamdi rightfully keeps stressing that it’s not genders that are given importance, it’s the roles.

    Agreed but when all important and privileged positions are granted to men this inevitably turns into a gender debate. And is it any wonder??

    Please help me answer all these questions.

    Warm Regards

    Rukhsana Akbar replied 2 years, 1 month ago 7 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Making Sense Of Islamic Laws Of Inheritance

    Rukhsana Akbar updated 2 years, 1 month ago 7 Members · 18 Replies
  • Humayoon Rashdi

    Member January 20, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Your question assumes the wealth can not be shared other than shariah. It can. Heres how: if the senior shares his wealth during his life time (and which seems reasonable and natural enough thing to do). Female can definitely get a larger share if the senior thinks that she deserves a larger sum. I don’t think Islam has a problem with that.

    However, the problem arises when the senior dies without a clear will. In this case there’s no owner of the wealth to decide which ine will get how much. So to avoid dispute Allah did a favour upon us and took the responsibility unto Himself to decide the proportions. People think that law of inheritance forbids the living senior to distrubite however he wants at his discretion.

    Miss, the law of inheritance only applies to the left-over wealth for which there is no clear will! Its is there to avoid any dispute among the relatives. The senior may very well gift his wealth during his life time to anyone he wants. It may be a female that gets a larger share based on her needs.

  • Humayoon Rashdi

    Member January 20, 2022 at 9:25 am

    The problem is our seniors somehow dont understand this. They think Allah ko koi dushmani hai females se and they are required to follow along.

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 20, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Salaam Mr Rashdi,

    Yes, I totally agree with you that individuals have the God given right to distribute their wealth as they please during their lifetimes and I also understand that laws of inheritance are triggered only when an individual has passed away.

    Thus my question isn’t about what liberties an individual enjoys while distributing his wealth during his lifetime or what he puts down in his will while he is alive. On the contrary my question circles around the devine laws of inheritance laid down by Allah Himself when that individual creases to exist. When one looks at those laws through the lens of a female mind one invariably arrives at the conclusion that females have been dealt a shorthand by none other Almighty.

    • Nadeem Minhas

      Member January 20, 2022 at 8:06 pm

      Allah has put the responsibility of earning and supporting the entire family on a husband. Thus, male gets twice the share of parent’s wealth to be able to fulfill that responsibility.

      Women has no such responsibility. The share they receive, they can keep for their personal use and they are not required to support family with that money.

      Also my observation has been that most women (not all) find it difficult to put their personal money on risk in a business. On the other hand men as bread earners frequently risk their money to earn a living.

    • Zayf Shakir

      Member January 22, 2022 at 1:32 am

      But in 2022 women also earn and in some cases more than their husbands so what would you say then? How did you come to the conclusion that women fear to put their money at risk in businesses? 1400 ago men were bread earners but in this period of time women are also doing better than ever!

  • Ahsan

    Moderator January 20, 2022 at 2:35 pm
  • Ahsan

    Moderator January 20, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    Also Dr Shehzad Saleem is discussing this topic in detail. Last week, he discussed the traditional understanding of verse 4:11. In next session, he will discuss Farahi school understanding this sunday hopefully. You can join session to ask question directly to him.

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 5:36 am

    Salaam Mr Jalal

    I watched all video links you sent. A bundle of thanks for the effort. May Allah reward you for this gesture. However, none of the videos addresses any one of the questions I raised.

    The main focus, or rather the only focus, of the videos you sent me is to help muslims understand how to mathematically calculate and evaluate the portions of inheritance in question . Although extremely informative it doesn’t resolve any of my confusions. My problem isn’t about which mathematical algorithm to use to calculate the portions of inheritance. My questions are about trying to make sense of the wisdom of the edicts laid down by Allah regarding inheritance.

    As I said earlier these questions have bothered me for years . I would be much obliged if some team member can put my mind at peace regarding my queries.

    Warm Regards

    • Ahsan

      Moderator January 21, 2022 at 8:36 am

      Watch Dr Shehzad video, in that video he discussed that its not financial benefit.
      You can attend Dr Shehzad session this week. You can directly ask the question to him. His session will stream online on Fb too.
      https://www.facebook.com/DrShehzadS

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 5:39 am

    Yes Mr Minhas as you correctly pointed out the responsibility of provisions , fundamentally , rests with the husband. But only when we speak retrospectively.

    We all know that Quran was revealed onto a primitive tribal community whose social fabric held almost no resemblance with the progressive and ever evolving societies of the modern world. We do not live in the times of tribal Patriarchy and draconian rules in which it was men’s staple diet to consider women imbaceel and surplus to requirements and because of the social conditioning their attitudes towards women were mostly condecending . Sadly back in the day women had no voice. They were just a bunch of sycophants whose primary life goal was to please the men in their families because they felt so vulnerable and dependant on those men in the violent male dominated tribal set up that they thought their very survival depended on appeasing those men.

    However, today’s woman is fiercely confident and independent. She has spread her tentacles far and wide. She is an integral part of the work force. She is making massive waves. Most women these days don’t get married because they need a man in their lives. They get married because they want a man. The dynamics of the currents times are very different ( I do not know much about the indian subcontinent. Maybe it’s not that evolved yet).

    So I am sure you will not disagree with me entirely when I say that your stance in husband/wife dynamic is a gross over simplification of the conundrum at hand . In any case, as you can see, my queries don’t revolve around husband/wife inheritance only.

    Regardless, in the present times It’s the need of the hour that both spouses work to support their family because the financial demands of the times are humongous and beyond the capacity of one person. So obviously good and supportive wives work hand in glove with their husbands to support the household . Any person worth his salt knows that the recipe for success in a marriage isn’t about determining fixed roles, duties, subordination , obedience, authority, superiority or privileges. It’s all about being there for eachother and working as a unit towards attaining common objectives of success and happiness.

    By extention my point is that in this day and age we can’t use “cookie cutter ” approach for all women of this era. Yet the devine Laws of Inheritance are very inflexible and unbending…………. or are they???

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator January 21, 2022 at 9:30 am

    Isn’t Allah encouraging materialism by defining such laws?…

    Materialism is a philosophical concept according to which matter is all that exists. By extension it denies the existence of God. I think that God encouraging materialism is an oxymoron.

    hasn’t Allah put females at a position of disadvantage by choice by encouraging and defining their non financial roles in a family structure…

    One has to understand their role in the world in accordance with God’s scheme. Once it is understood, there should not be any confusion regarding it being completely just; in fact I would go as far as saying that women are favored in this scheme. Of course regardless of gender, if one wants to overstep the boundaries of their role then they will inevitably be faced with such confusion.

    If there is one pattern that is consistent in Islam that is the pattern of giving men positions of privilege and advantage over women…

    Once again, this confusion comes from not understanding God’s scheme and our individual roles within that scheme.

    Yes Islam encourages people to write down wills but how many people do that?…

    God or Islam can’t blamed for people’s own lack of effort.

    The picture of women that you have painted at the time of the revelation of the Quran is actually far gloomier than what’s evident from the history. We know from history that women at the time were involved in businesses, took part in wars, worked in the fields, and married according to their own choice.

    “in the present times It’s the need of the hour that both spouses work to support their family”

    In general, this has nothing to do with the present time but the lifestyle that one chooses to live. I know several families where the husband is still the sole breadwinner.

    The divine laws are very clear and are based upon justice, once God’s scheme as well as one’s own role according to their gender and relationships in this world is understood and appreciated. One also has to realize that this world is largely based upon the principle of test. Both men and women face many challenges in this world, have a myriad of expectations to meet from their families as well as God, and are supposed to perform their best within their predetermined boundaries in order to get selected for God’s paradise.

  • اشهل صادق

    Member January 21, 2022 at 9:41 am

    السلام عليكم

    Maybe this will help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yObY-MzObxw&ab_channel=MuftiAbuLayth

    Don’t fall for his appearance and demeanor, he is a very learned scholar 😅

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    “Materialism is a philosophical concept according to which matter is all that exists. By extension it denies the existence of God. I think that God encouraging materialism is an oxymoron.”

    I stand corrected, Mr Haroon

    “One has to understand their role in the world in accordance with God’s scheme. Once it is understood, there should not be any confusion regarding it being completely just”

    I believe that’s exactly what I am requesting this forum to help me achieve. As I said earlier on this forum I am desperately trying to reconnect with God. However, I cannot understand anything by someone merely telling me to understand. But thank you all the same for your sincere advice.

    “God or Islam can’t blamed for people’s own lack of effort”

    Fair point

    “The picture of women that you have painted at the time of the revelation of the Quran is actually far gloomier than what’s evident from the history. We know from history that women at the time were involved in businesses, took part in wars, worked in the fields, and married according to their own choice.”

    This is a pleasant surprise for me

    “in fact I would go as far as saying that women are favored in this scheme.”

    I would really appreciate if you explain “how” part of your statement .

    There are some questions which have most likely escaped your attention. I would appreciate if you find time to help me understand those too.

    This:

    So can we then safely assume that the sole purpose of Islamic Inheritance Laws is to reward the beneficiary for their benefiting services to the deceased?

    this:

    – Mr Ghamdi often says a daughter’s share is half because her marfa’at is transferred to her husband’s family after marriage because she looks after her husband and his parents. But my question is that if her marfa’at is towards her in-laws then why isn’t she entitled to get a share of her father- in – law’s and mother – in – law’s inheritance? Infact her entitlement even in her husband’s assets is only 1/8 if there are children and 1/4 if none!! She carrys his children in her womb for 9 months in great pain. She gives birth to his children in great pain. She raises his children which is one of the most difficult task on earth and men are not capable of that. In many instances she takes care of his parents ( which is not her religious obligation) . She takes care of the house and of the husband himself. Yet these massive contributions of a wife are totally disregarded by Allah in his defined laws of inheritance . Her contributions are regarded so insignificant that her entitlement in his inheritance is next to nothing. On the other hand for providing for her financially he is entitled to 1/4 of his wife’s inheritance if there are kids involved and 1/2 if there are no kids even though it’s the woman who struggles financially (if she is not a working woman) after the death of her husband not vice versa.

    this:

    – Moreover, in the absence of a brother a girl gets only one half of the inheritance and the rest goes to the relatives who in real life might have never contributed even £1 towards the marfa’at upon which they will claim the remaining half. Why?

    this:

    Why do fathers get 2/3rd of the share in the absence of children. If the reason is that in the absence of children the father becomes financially responsible for his wife then why is this very situation overlooked by Allah in the case of a widow where she has to raise her orphaned children. She is entitled to only 1/8th. Why?

    And finally this:

    – If a daughter’s share is half because her marfa’at is transferred to her husband’s house after marriage then why is the share half of a son’s even if she is unmarried.

    May God reward you for this.

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    OMG this video is a life saver! A billion thanks Mr Sadiq. I wish someone had sent me this link earlier. I feel so elated because this video has answered the question that has been haunting me for years , which was ” why does Islamic Law of Inheritance not take into consideration the changing times and ever evolving dynamics of societies”

    BUT IT DOES!!!!!! IT DOES!!!!!!!!!

    I can now finally put this topic to rest because all related questions too now fall into place perfectly.

    God is indeed kind and Merciful.

    May God reward you tremendously for this effort. Ameen

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Salaam Mr Haroon,

    I believe the video Mr Sadiq sent me has answered my main question and by extension other questions automatically resove. Thus I can now put this topic to rest finally.

    However thank you for your effort. May God reward you.

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 21, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    And Mr Jalal a bundle of thanks for your efforts too ofcourse. May God reward you

  • Faisal Haroon

    Moderator January 21, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Ghamidi sahab doesn’t agree with the viewpoint that inheritance law (as well as any other sharia law) can be changed. The argument that if a woman is married to a man for many years then her share can be increased is not sound. According to the Quran the sole reason why God spelled out the proportions is precisely that as humans we have no intellectual basis to determine these proportions.

    “As I said earlier on this forum I am desperately trying to reconnect with God.”

    The very first step I always suggest to anyone who is trying to make sense of God’s religion is to read a good translation of the Quran from cover to cover. For Urdu readers Ghamidi sahab’s translation is excellent, and for English readers I haven’t come across anything better than Muhammad Asad. When you come across any difficult passages, mark them and keep moving forward as many things become clear as we continue to read and contemplate. You can also post your questions on Ask Ghamidi or consult a religious scholar that you trust for further clarification.

    I know that I skipped some of your questions. The reason is that on Ask Ghamidi we require one objective question per post. All of our responses are also around the main question of the thread. For other questions, please don’t hesitate to create new posts. This allows us to keep all discussions focused as well as properly tagged and categorized for other readers.

  • Rukhsana Akbar

    Member January 22, 2022 at 2:01 am

    Thank you so much for your guidance Mr Haroon. Much appreciated. I will certainly try and get a copy of Muhammad Asad’s translation of the Qur’an and read it cover to cover and make notes as you suggested (IA).

    And thank you too for guiding me regarding the structure and parameters to follow when posting questions on this forum.

    Henceforth I will be mindfull of the fact that I am allowed to post only one question per post.

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