Background: Some think that women are inferior to men in Islam and a commonly cited example is that women receive less share in inheritance than a male.
This is only true in some cases and
if there is no recorded will for the deceased. Shares of
inheritance should be stated in a will, and can be done in any
way a person chooses [2:180, 5:106-108] however in cases where
there is no will or a will leaves leftover wealth/property/etc
The Quran has a default system that can be used for such cases
[4:8, 4:11-12, 4:176]. In this default system, a male could
receive more than a female, likely because they have a wider
duty of care for maintenance of the family/household [2:228,
2:233, 4:34, 65:6].
they have other financial obligations, e.g. payment of a dowry
before marriage [4:4, 4:24 and compensation after divorce if
If no default backup system such as this existed, this opens the possibility to much argument, hostility, legal action, delays and the outcome would likely favour those with more power/wealth/influence, thus leaving the disadvantaged even more disadvantaged.
It should also be noted that in the case of a widow, it is necessary that providing of maintenance for a year be granted (if the house was bequeathed to another for example and not the wife):
And for those of you whose lives are terminated and if they leave widows behind; a testimony to them that they may enjoy for one year without being made to vacate. If they leave then there is no sin upon you for what they do to themselves in goodness; and God is Noble, Wise. [2:240]
click to return to homepage
READ - click to look up verse references