Al-Quran and Sunnah emphasizeon the importance or sets a clear code of distributions as it is in specificand precise mode of distribution. Faraid is a complete system of inheritance asit discusses the share of different category of heirs. This further discusseson the rules of such distribution regardless of the category and solvesmathematical problems.
The Al-Quran (4:7) says both men and woman are entitledfor a portion of whatever parents and near relatives leave regardless of thelarge or small amount. Further more in Al-Quran (4:11) states Allah commandsyou regarding your children. For the male a share equivalent to that of twofemales. Where referring to both provision both male and female are entitled tocertain amount of inheritance which shows equality in both gender as in Islamicpoint of view anyone is entitled for the rightful amount of inheritance, degreeand class. Islam conferred inheritance to the woman, and gave herindividuality, and considered her equal to man. But in Islamic legislation, theportion of woman’s inheritance is half of that of man’s which can be seen inthe later provision but this does not lead to discrimination as there isseveral factors taken into consideration on why there is very specified amountfor the female and not for the male but entitled for double compared to thefemale.
The first factor is a man hasto provide for his wife and children which means a man has to bear both theexpenses of the family members. This can be seen in the Al-Quran where itstates that “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made someof them to excel others” (4:34). Which shows that man have greaterresponsibility compared to the female as they are the pillar for the family andthrough his wisdom support and take care of her happiness. The similarprovision which is (4:11) states on matter concerning on providing for thechildren.
Further more it is the duty of the man to provide protection, foodand clothing for his family. Therefore it is justifiable on why man is provideddouble of what a woman shall receive. As the main objective of Islamicperspective is to achieve equity instead of equality.
As it would be unfair orunjust to give the same portion as the woman who does not have the same amountof responsibility which is set for the man as provided in Al-Quran. In atradition where Imam Jafar b.Muhammad as-Sadiq was questioned on why take oneportion of inheritance when they are weaker than men and they are more in meedof help than them (men) ? Why is it man who is stronger than a woman and whosebody powerful than hers should get a double share of inheritance ? to whichImam Jafar replied that man has more responsibility and he must go to warenduring many expenses.
Aside form his own expenses a man must also take uponhimself the expenses of his spouse and children. The second factor is dowry.Dowry is something that is paid by the man to his wife to show respect andhonor in his desire to marry her. Therefore a man has to pay dowry which is aobligation for a marriage contract to show sense of responsibility or effort onthe his part.
Al-Quran (4:4) states “give the woman dowries with a good heart”.As during the Jahiliah period the dowry was taken from the woman and now it isgiven to them. This verse further address that a there is an obligation to givedowry and it is for them to use and not the guardian. According Malikis theminimum required for a dowry is three dirhams. It must be something legalaccording to the Shariah which can be handed over to the wife. It must be aspecified amount.
Their rationalized it on the ground that this is the minimumamount for which the thief gets the punishment of cutting. They also cite theverse Al -Quran (4:25) “And whoever of you does not have the means to wedfree believing women so from the believing women that your right handspossess”. Their argument is that at-taul means wealth and one who does not havethree dirhams is not considered as possession any wealth. This further bringadvantage to the woman.
Where the dowry and inheritance becomes a saving forher future if she separates from her spouse or her spouse dies. This will helpher in leading a comfortable and respected life without suffering any mentalanxiety and raise good and pious children. However this method ofinheritance distribution lead to woman empowerment in economics. Al- Quranstates “And woman shall have rights similar to the rights against them,according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them.And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
As in Islam there is no gender bias orfavourism to a particular gender. Which can be evidenced in the Islamic methodof inheritance. It can be seen that woman are given the equal rights becausethe woman is taken into matter of consideration and recognises them as anindividual who is indepenent . Faraid further recognized the obligation or needto be given their part of the inheritance. Through Faraid itself Islam empowerswoman to involve in the complex matters relating to the economics and togetherwith man develop the social welfare of the society.
God knows best as what isgood for both woman and man. Further more if the are situation where there isno male heir the female is entitled for half portion of the inheritance and theRADD principle which is applicable for inheritance system enable for the femaleto receive the other half instead of it going to Baitul-Mal. This principlealso cover situation when the woman has to care for the family after the deathof the spouse which puts all the burden on her shoulders. In the case of thewife of Sad b. al-Rabi came to the Prophet with her two daughters and said ” OProphet these are the daughters of Sad b. al-Rabi.
” their father died inmartyrs dead beside you in a battle. But their uncle took has taken away Sadestate and they cannot marry unless they have property. The Prophet told theuncle “Give the two daughters of Sad 2/3 of the estate , give 1/8 and keep theremainder yourself”.
Gustave Le Bon in his bookArab Civilization states ” The principle of inheritance which have beendetermined in the Quran have a great deal of justice and fairness. The personwho reads the Quran can perceive these concepts of justice and fairness in termof inheritance through the verses I quoted. I should also point out the greatlevel of efficiency in terms of general laws and rules derived from theseverses. I have compared British,French and Islamic Laws of Inheritance andfound that Islam grants the wives the right of inheritance, which our laws arelacking while Westerners consider them to be ill-treated by the Muslim man. Therefore it can be said thatFaraid system plays a important role in determining and confirming that aperson regardless of gender get the portion of property which is rightfullyentitled to them. Islamic wealth distribution assumes that everyone get theirrights and Allah who set up rules on Faraid is to make obligation to help theothers who are poor helpless or needy.
As the method of distribution coverpublic, state and private.