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Woman and Inheritance

In the ancient world woman inherited nothing and, even when she inherited, she was treated like a minor. She had no independent legal personality. According to certain ancient legal systems, a daughter received an inheritance but her children did not. On the other hand, a son not only received an inheritance himself, but his children also inherited the property left by their grandfather. Certain other legal systems allowed woman to inherit but not in the form of a definitely prescribed share, or in the language of the Qur'an 'an appointed share'. They simply allowed a progenitor to make a bequest in her favour, if he so desired.

Historians and investigators have given detailed accounts of the various laws of inheritance found in the ancient world, but we need not go into all their details. For our purpose, the above given summary is enough.

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

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