Islam’s position on inheritance is in reality to the benefit of the woman. In the Age of Ignorance, the daughters and wives of the deceased were deprived of inheritance and all of the wealth of the deceased went to his sons. Islam, however, came and annulled the laws of the ignorant times and made women amongst the inheritors of the deceased. From its inception, Islam gave women an independence in ownership and monetary matters, this being a matter that has only but recently entered the laws of European nations.
Those who misunderstand Islam claim that Islam does injustice to women in terms of inheritance. They opine that it is unfair to grant the male a double to that of the female even though they are children of the same parents. Allah, the Exalted, offered a full and detailed method of women’s inheritance in the Qur’an, and if an unbiased student of knowledge reflects on the details, he or she will discover the fault of this opinion.
LET ME EXPLAIN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MEN AND WOMEN IN ISLAM THROUGH THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE.
If a person dies leaving 150,000 dollars and a son and a daughter, the son gets 100,000 and the daughter only 50,000. There are two scenarios that may happen after this inheritance is distributed.
One is that both of them may get married to someone. In Islam, the man pays the bridal money or dower gift to the bride. So the son will spend about 25,000 as the bridal money to his wife and the daughter will receive the same amount from her husband. Now both of them have 75,000.
Then after marriage the husband is responsible for the household expenses, while the wife keeps her money.
The husband is solely responsible for everything, while the wife is not required to pay a single penny. However, if she decides to help her husband, this will be considered as an act of charity.
The second scenario is that they don’t get married, or the son marries and the daughter does not. Even if the daughter in the above example remains unmarried, her brother is obligated by Islam to be financially responsible for her.
If the woman is not married, still her male relatives have the responsibility to spend on her. If she is a mother, it is her son’s responsibility; if she is a daughter, it is her father’s responsibility; if she is a sister, it is her brother’s responsibility.
Even if she has no male relatives, according to Islamic teachings, the society as a whole has the responsibility to provide for such a woman.
Islam is about perfect justice for both the man and the woman. If the son and the daughter get equal shares, this will be really unjust to the son.
Even though apparently the inheritance of a man is double that of a woman, when we probe into the matter more thoroughly, we find that the inheritance of a woman is two times that of a man. The responsibilities that have been placed on the shoulders of men necessitates that they spend half of their income on women. Any given man is obligated to spend money on his spouse’s home, clothes, food, and other expenses, while the cost of living of himself and his children are on his shoulders.
This responsibility of upkeep is to such an extent that even if a woman’s social position necessitates her having a servant and she herself does not have the means to pay for such a person, the salary of the aforementioned servant is upon her husband.
These responsibilities are on the shoulders of men, whereas we see that women are exempted from paying any living expenses, including their own–whether that be clothes or food. Therefore and in all practicality, it is woman who has more of a portion of wealth than man.