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Inheritance of Woman During the Sasanian Period

The late Saeed Nafisi in his book, 'Social History of Iran from the Sasanian times to the end of the Umayyad period", writes: "Another interesting feature of the Sasanian culture was that, when a boy reached the age of puberty, his father married him to one of his own numerous wives. During that period, woman had no legal personality. The father and the husband had vast powers over her property. It was the duty of the father or the head of the family to marry a girl when she reached the age of 15 But the age of marriage for the boys was 20. After being married, a girl was not entitled to receive any inheritance from her father or guardian. She had no right to choose her husband herself, but she could contract an unlawful marriage if her father failed to marry her when she reached the age of puberty. In that event also she did not inherit from her father.

The number of women a man could marry was unlimited. The Greek sources mention cases, where a man had several hundred women in his house. The Zoroastrian religious books show that the rules of marriage during the Sasanian period were complex and confused.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"

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