Why Do Women Inherit Half of the Share Given to Men?

By Editorial Staff

In some cases, women inherit half of the share given to men. Why does Islam do injustice to women giving her only half of what is inherited by her male counterpart? It’s serious injustice to them, isn’t it?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about Islam.

Here’re some of what the Qur’an says about inheritance:

It is prescribed for you, when death approaches one of you, if he leave wealth, that he bequeath unto parents and near relatives in kindness. (This is) a duty for the pious. (Al-Baqarah 2:180)

(In the case of) those of you who are about to die and leave behind them wives, they should bequeath unto their wives a provision for the year without turning them out, but if they go out (of their own accord) there is no sin for you in that which they do of themselves within their rights. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Al-Baqarah 2:240)

Unto the men (of a family) belongs a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much – a legal share. But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice. Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: Let them fear Allah, and speak words of appropriate (comfort). (An-Nisaa’ 4:7-9)

O you who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower you have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. (An-Nisaa’ 4:19)

Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are (only) daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one’s estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one’s parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents (alone) inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers (or sisters), for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he (may have) made or debt. Your parents or your children – you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. (These shares are) an obligation (imposed) by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. (An-Nisaa’ 4:11)

So, what does this mean, and what do we learn from that?

Learn about inheritance in Islam in general and for women in particular as Dr. Zakir Naik answers this misconception about Islam…


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