Q. Assalamo Alaikum, I am Sayed Riaz speaking – I am in business. As you said and as I know, that in Islam, men and women are equal – So why is it that a woman in Islam, is not entitled to equal property Rights? – thank you.

A. (Dr. Zakir): Brother has posed a question, that I said that in my lecture, that economical rights of women and men, are equal. So how come she is not entitled to her equal rights, when it comes to inheritance – and normally people say that the woman gets 1/2 the share, as compared to that of the male. The answer to this question, is given in the Qur’an, in Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, Verse No. 11 and 12, which gives the guidelines, how the inheritance should be divided. It says… ‘Allah has ordained for your as regarding your children… as regarding your children’s inheritance – for a female, a share half that of the male, and if only daughters 2 or more, they share in a two third – if only one, they get half’.  The Verse continues… ‘And one sixth share for the parents, if the deceased have children. If you have no children… if the deceased has no children, the mother gets one third. If the deceased has brothers and sisters… mother gets one sixth’. And the Verse continues… Verse number 12 says… ‘As in what your wife leaves your share is half, if there are no children, and your share is one fourth, if there are children. As in what you leave for your wife, your wife’s share is one fourth, if there are no children, and one eight if there are children’. In short, most of the time, the female gets half the share of the male counter part, but not in all cases. For example, for a uterine brother and sister, both get one sixth, if the deceased has got no ascendant or descendent… both get equal share. If the deceased has got no children, both mother and father get equal share of one sixth. And in certain cases, if the person who has died, is a lady who has got no children, the husband gets half, the mother gets one third, and the father gets one sixth. That means, there are cases in which the woman even gets double than that of the male coun­ter part – that is, the mother gets double than that of the father. But I agree with you, in most of the cases, the female gets 1/2 the share as compared to the man, when it is considered to daughter and a wife. But the answer to this, is that since man… since man is held responsible for the financial aspects of the family, and in order not to do injustice to the man, Allah has given a higher share to the man, as compared to the woman – Otherwise we will have to have a lecture on… ‘The rights of men’. I would like to give an example – Suppose a person dies, and after the properties have been distributed… the share of the children, remaining is one and a half lakh – and that person has two children, one son, one daughter. According to the Islamic Shariah, the son gets 1 lakh Rupees, and the daughter gets fifty thousand Rupees – but of the one lakh Rupees which the son receives, he has to spend, may be the majority of it, on looking after his family – may be eighty thousand  or… eighty thousand … or 1 lakh, he has to spend on looking after the family. But that lady when she receives 50,000 she does not have to spend a single pie on looking after her family. 

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