Islamic law of succession and inheritance
The Law of Inheritance in Islam prescribes the share of male and female child at 2:1. Regarding this, Non-Muslims accusation expands as follows: Men are strong and they have many opportunities to earn. So, they should be given less. Even if both the sexes are given equally also it is an injustice. In this juncture, women are given half of a man‟s share is a big injustice.
Before the introduction of Islam there was no law of inheritance to woman. Women have the share of properties of neither from their parents nor from their relatives. For the first time Islam introduces this right to women. Even after Islam, for the past few centuries non-Muslims did not allow Law of Inheritance to women. In the law of Inheritance women were included in some parts of our country very recently.
In Tamil Nadu during the regime of Karunanithi, women were included in the law of Inheritance on a par with men. The share ratio of Islamic Law of Inheritance is based on wise and logical reasons. More burden to Men In Islamic social setup, men have more financial burden than women.
Sunni law of inheritance
A Muslim is bound to provide food, clothing, shelter and other expenses to his parents, wife and children. But a Muslim woman has no such responsibilities. The same situation prevails in Non-Muslim societies also. Those who forget to take into the consideration of this difference blames the Islamic law of Inheritance is injustice to women.
Is it an injustice, if it is bestowed more to those who bear the burden than those who do not have such burden? Though a Muslim male gets twice of his sister, it is insufficient to meet out expenses imposed on him. On the contrary, though a Muslim woman gets half of her brother, it is an excess for her, as she has no obligation to spend on others.
Even her personal expenses are also provided by another man (Father, husband, son and brother). So, it is obvious that the Islamic Law of Inheritance is more just and wise. Women‟s share goes to others Everyone wish that his property, after his death, should be distributed among his blood relations. It should be spent within his family circle. There is justice in that wish.
Inheritance in islam for daughters
Though his wish is not fulfilled exactly, at least to execute it to an extent, this kind of partiality is inevitable in the law inheritance. The share given to the female child will be spent on the family of her husband only. Though the daughter can keep her share for herself, due to her affection with her husband, she will be ready to spend on her husband‟s family.
But the share received by the son spent on the blood relations and wishes of the deceased is fulfilled to an extent also. So, the male child getting double share is not an injustice. Father‟s family is the shelter for women. Due to the weakness of woman, her share may be swallowed by her husband‟s family and in some cases driven out also. In this situation the woman takes shelter in her father‟s house.
If she had a brother, he has to provide for her. If both had got equal share the brother may neglect her. When he gets double share, it will be his bounden duty to provide her, in her pitiable plight. Male assists his father to develop his property. Mostly male children assist more his father to develop his property than his female children. This is also one of the reasons to show partiality in the law of inheritance.
Is it an injustice to pay more percentage of the share to those who assisted to develop the property? Female children gains more from the father. For food and shelter expenses of both the male and female children are equal. But, in other expenses the female children gains more from their father as jewelry, clothing and beautifying materials. The high worth remains with the female children as their property.
Division of property in islam
Moreover father spends a lot on her marriage and gives her gift as materials also. While the father alive, the female children get more than male children. Only after the death of the father, in the law of inheritance, they are provided half of a male‟s share. These are the justifiable reasons in the background for the partiality in the Islamic Law of Inheritance.
On 2nd Aug 2001 an article was published in Dinamani titled“brhj;jpy; rkgA;F,flikapy;?”“ Equality in Law of Inheritance! But in Duty?” If anyone think about, what Suthandra Thayagan has exposed as an important aspect, will affirm that the Islamic law of Inheritance is wise. The article expands as follows: “Bestowing equally by law of Inheritance is not astonishing. While prov iding equal share to women do they lend their hands equally in their duty also?”
The parents bring up their female children in a par with their male children. They provide food, clothing, shelter and education. They are wedded to good grooms spending lakhs of rupees. And they spend for their delivery and invite them for feasts. Moreover provide equal share in property and cash also. Can the parents who provided all these, during their old age, stay with their female children? The female children, taking all from the parents, leave them to their brothers. This tendency should be changed.
The son-in law, who derive all the facilities from the parents of his wife, should come forward to take care of them during their disability. “Right for daughter but duty for son only” is the bad situation. The son and the daughter-in-law, who face such situation, will be upset mentally. When the female is bestowed equally in the law of Inheritance, the male is prone to think “Why should not his sister foster her father?”
The time will come soon to stipulate female children, who get equal share, to foster their parents. Due to the equality maintained in the genders in the law of Inheritance may be also a reason to the increase of Aged orphanages. If Islamic Law of Inheritance is practiced this kind of bad consequences will be evaded.
It is good both for parents and female children. So, the partiality in the Islamic law of Inheritance is just and wise. Witnesses As Islam prescribes 2 female witnesses are equal to a male witness, Non-Muslims criticize that Islam degrades female witness. It is a great injustice to women. Take two men as witnesses. if there were not two men, then a man and two women you choose for witnesses, so that if one of them forgets, the other can remind her. (Al-Quran 2:282)
In School and College examinations women score more marks than men. This is the proof for the intelligence and remembrance of women. When women have more potential intelligence and remembrance than men, diminishing their witnesses as half, is an injustice. Some women are ruler of their country in some part of the world and governing their position well also.
In this juncture, it is not reasonable to show partiality in the trustworthiness of their witness.These arguments are right. But there is no relativity between these and to act as a witness. Islam does not deny the intelligence and remembrance of women. In some matters they are more qualified than men.
Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has told that women have efficiency to control the intelligence of brilliant men and make him inactive (Buhari 304, 1463) Mother Ayesha (RL), and Mother Ummu Salma (RL) has the remembrance to educate even the friends of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). They had the intelligence to outwit them logically. It has been recorded authentically in the Islamic History.
Exaggerating Are Intelligence and remembrance only the sufficient qualification to act as a witness? Surely, they are not. There is another most important qualification is required. A witness should tell exactly what had happened without changing, diminishing and exaggerating. Truth and exactness is the vital quality of a witness. Witnessing is to deliver the truth to the world and determine the future of the accused.
Psychologically, women are partial ignoring the errors of those whom they like and exaggerate the errors of whom they dislike. To look at a needle as a pillar and an elephant as a cat degrade the qualification of a witness. The Tamil proverb “If the mother-in-law breaks a thing it is ignored as a worthless mud pot, but if the same thing is broken by a daughter-in-law it is punishable as if she has broken a golden pot.” depicts the feminine nature.
Mother property distribution in islam
Therefore, we come across so many mother-in-laws, who talk about justice about the atrocities that her daughter who is suffering in her father-law‟s house, show their dumb mouths over the injustice they enact to their daughter-in-laws. The real exemplars are those who accuse others for their makeups in unprintable words, themselves load up their makeups with their dear and near and feel haughty about it also.
Most of the women are like this. There may be some exceptions. To witness a man whom he hates, if the witness say that he saw that the man received some bundles of currency, in the case of Hundred Rupees loan the judgment will hang. If the witness curtailed the fact also there won‟t be judgment proper. Natural Weakness Women do not have strong body built-up like men. Due to mensuration they become weaker still. It affects their mind and they feel staggering and chaos.
Doctors, psychiatrists and physiologists approve this fact. During her menses period, if a woman is called for witness a case her witness may not be complete due to her menstruation. The witness should declare exactly the happening. If she declared in a lukewarm attitude, the judgment based on this witness will be defective. This is the second reason for degradation of woman‟s witness. Some may inquire why we should not take the women who passed menses age equal to men‟s witness.
Medical science informs they have another kind of chaos. So we can‟t take woman on a par with a man witness. Fear for Threatening Generally what the witness say may affect one side of the case. Those who may be affected by a woman‟s witness will threaten her. If she gets threatening that she may be killed or anyone dear to her will be killed, she will change the witness. For this reason also woman‟s witness may be degraded.
Excessive Mercy Physiologically, the women are merciful. Due to their motherliness they may be merciful towards culprits; they may hide the main points of the witness. So, two men required in the place of a man‟s witness. Truly, two women will not explain the incident as same. So, Islam prescribes two women witnesses in the place of a man‟s witness.
It is wise and just. In each and everything Islam evaluates the required qualification and on that basis differentiates man and woman and bestows on them their rights. Those, who think about it impartially, will understand the deep rooted justice hidden in that. Moreover, it should be noted that a woman acting as a witness or avoid this will not affect her. Iddah A woman should not marry immediately after the death of her husband. She should elapse Iddah time.
But a man has no such restrictions. If he likes he can marry on the same day of his wife‟s demise. This Islamic Law also is accused by Non-Muslims that it is against Women‟s right. When the husband dies, if the wife is pregnant, she should not marry until the delivery of her child. If she is not pregnant she should wait 4 months and 10 days and this period in Islam is called Iddah. Then only she is allowed to remarry.
Though this order of Islam seems to be an injustice to woman, if we know reason behind it, it will be agreed even by the accusers. At the demise of the husband the widow may be pregnant. If she marries another man it will be an injustice. It will be thrusting the deceased husband‟s heir to the new husband If the born child does not have the resemblance of him, the new husband will feel that he is cheated and he will not take care of the child.
Even if the child the real heir of the deceased, it can‟t get any share from his property also. If she proved that she has no embryo in womb and married, it will be safe to her and the child. Some may argue that there need not be 4 months and 10 days to prove that a woman is not pregnant; if the next menses is discharged, it will affirm that she is not pregnant and she is free to remarry.
Discharging of menses is a private and personal affair of the woman. We believe her saying only. When the menses stopped, on the desire of remarriage, if she tells the lie that her menses is discharging, none can verify it. If she is tested, it will be a shame to the woman concerned. This much elapse of time is required, what the concerned woman alone is aware of whether she is pregnant or not, to be understood by others also outwardly.
After the demise of her husband, a widow marries another husband as she is getting normal discharge of menses. If she gets premature delivery on 8th month, she may get problem with her new husband that she has cheated him and he may deny his heir suspecting that the child may be through her prev ious husband.
Moreover, the child can‟t claim the law of Inheritance on either of the fathers. After proving the people around her, elapsing 4 months and 10 days in Iddah, even if she gets pre-mature delivery at 8th month, the new husband can‟t deny the heir and he can‟t even doubt about it. The woman can be happy with her new husband. The child will get the legal right. So, Iddah is essential and wise arrangement of Islam to honor the womenfolk instead of degrading them. In short, Though Iddah seems to be against the women‟s right, in reality it is blessedness in disguise for women.