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Woman's Inheritance in Islam

The Islamic law of inheritance is free from all the short-comings and defects of the past. The only thing, which is objectionable in the eyes of the upholders of equality between man and woman, is that the share of woman is half that of man. According to the Islamic law, a son receives twice as much as a daughter, a brother twice as much as a sister and a husband twice as much as a wife. The case of father and mother is the only exception.

If a deceased has children and his parents are also alive, each of his parents will get one-sixth of the property left by him. It is because of woman's special position with regard to dower, maintenance, military service and some of the criminal laws, that her share has been fixed at half that of man.

For reasons mentioned earlier, Islam considers dower and maintenance essential and effective in the consolidation of a marriage. They ensure domestic harmony and coherence. The abolition of them is likely to shake the family structure and to push woman to prostitution. The dower and maintenance being compulsory, naturally woman's financial commitments have been reduced and man's burden has proportionately increased. To compensate man for his extra burden, his share in inheritance has been fixed at twice that of woman. It is dower and maintenance which have reduced woman's share.

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

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