بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على النبي الكريم
“WHY IS WOMAN’S SHARE OF THE INHERITED WEALTH ONLY HALF THAT OF MAN?”
Alhamdulillah, with the grace of Allāh Ta’ālā the Ulamā and savants of Islām have given multiple answers to the above question and other such queries. Some of these answers are based on logic and human understanding. But, it suffices to say that the best answers are those given by Allāh Ta’ālā and Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم . Therefore, let us have a close look at the answers of the Glorious Qurān and Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم in regards to the above mentioned query.
DO NOT WISH FOR THOSE THINGS WHICH ALLĀH TA’ĀLĀ HAS MADE OTHERS TO EXCEL
Imām Ahmad (Rahimahullah) and Imām Tirmidhi (Rahimahullah) have recorded that Umm Salmah said, “O Messenger of Allāh! Men go to battle, but we do not go to battle, and we receive only half of the inheritance (that men receive).” Thereupon, Allāh Ta’ālā revealed the following verse:
وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
And wish not for the things in which Allāh has made some of you to excel others
لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ
For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned
In accordance to the great scholar of Tafsīr Ibn Jarīr al-Tabari (Rahimahullah) , this verse indicates that each person will earn his wages for his efforts, a great reward if his deeds were righteous, and an agonizing punishment if his deeds were evil.
It has also been reported that this Ayah refers to inheritance, indicating the fact that each person will get his due share of Inheritance. Al-Wālibī (Rahimahullah) has reported from Hadhrat Ibn `Abbas (r.a) that Allāh Ta’ālā then directed his servants to what benefits them:
وَاسْأَلُواْ اللَّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ
And ask Allāh of His Bounty
Therefore, the Ayah denotes: “Do not wish for what other people were endowed with over you, for this is a decision that will come to pass, and wishing does not change the decree of Allāh Ta’ālā. However, ask Allāh Ta’ālā of His favours and He will grant it to you, for Allāh Ta’ālā is Most Generous and Most Giving.”
Allāh Ta’ālā then says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً
Surely, Allāh is Ever All-Knower of everything
Allāh Ta’ālā knows the hidden and the apparent, and He also knows who deserves amongst His servants’ so He enriches him, and whoever deserves poverty, He makes him poor. He also knows who deserves the Hereafter, and He Ta’ālā directs him to perform righteous deeds which will take him towards eternal success, and whoever deserves failure, Allāh Ta’ālā prevents him from achieving righteousness and what leads to it.
MEN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF WOMEN:
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allāh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support women) from their means.
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ
(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,) meaning, that man is responsible for woman, and he is her maintainer and caretaker.
بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
Because Allāh has made one of them to excel the other
Men excel over women in the sense that they are more eligible than them to carry out certain tasks, such as the tasks of maintaining and providing for their families and tending to household needs, likewise they have to see to the education of their children, tend to the elderly and sickly members of their families.
وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ
And also because they spend from their means, such as the dowry, household expenditures and various other expenses which Allāh Ta’ālā has ordained upon them. For these reasons it is suitable that he is appointed as her maintainer, just as Allāh Ta’ālā has said:
وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ
And men have a degree (of responsibility) over them
MALES GETS TWO-FOLD
Allāh Ta’ālā states:
يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ
Allāh commands you for your children’s inheritance to the male, a portion equal to that of two females
Allāh commands: observe justice with your children.
The people of Jāhiliyyah used to give to the males a share in the inheritance whilst depriving females of their rights. Therefore, Allāh Ta’ālā commands that both males and females take a share in the inheritance, although the portion of males is twice as much as that of females. There is a distinction because men are required to spend on their dependants, commercial transactions, work and fulfilling various other obligations. Consequently, men get twice the portion of inheritance that females get.
An authentic Hadīth stated that a captured woman was looking for her child and when she found him, she held him, gave him her breast and nursed him. Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said to his Companions (r.a):
«أَتُرَوْنَ هذِهِ طَارِحَةً وَلَدَهَا فِي النَّارِ وَهِيَ تَقْدِرُ عَلى ذَلِك»
Do you think that this woman would willingly throw her child in fire? The sahabah d answered: “O Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , she will never do such a thing.”
Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
«فَوَاللهِ للهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا»
By Allāh! Allāh is more merciful with His servants than this woman is with her own child.
Islām has not placed the burden of financial obligations upon woman and the economical responsibility lies on the shoulders of man. Before a woman is married it is the duty of the father or brother to tend to her lodging needs, clothing and other financial requirements. After her marriage it is the duty of the husband, and later on in case of his demise it is the duty of her son. Islām holds man financially responsible for fulfilling the needs of his family. In order to be able to fulfill the responsibility man gets double the share of the inheritance.
For example, if a man dies leaving about R 150,000 for his son and daughter, the son inherits R 100,000 and the daughter inherits only R 50,000. Out of the R 100,000 which the son inherits, as his duty towards his family, he may have to spend on them almost the entire amount or say about eighty thousand and thus he has a small percentage of inheritance, say about twenty thousand, left for himself. On the other hand, the daughter, who inherited 50,000, is not bound to spend a single penny on anybody. She can keep the entire amount to herself. Would you prefer inheriting 100,000 and ending up spending 80,000 from it, or inheriting 50,000 and having the entire amount to yourself?
VERILY, ISLĀM IS THE CHOSEN DEEN OF ALMIGHTY ALLĀH AND A MERCY UPON MANKIND