By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Head, Darul Iftaa

Faculty of Jurisprudence & Islamic Verdicts

13 January 2013

 

Every woman, whether she is a minor or an adult, has a right of ownership in financial and property issues. This is clearly understood from the following points:

a) If a son passes away and he is survived by his, his mother will inherit 1/3 or 1\6 of his estate depending on circumstances and the Shariah Laws of inheritance and succession.

b) If a father passes away and he is survived by a daughter, the daughter will inherit 1\2 or 1\3 of the estate depending on the circumstances.

c) If a husband passes away, the wife will inherit 1\4 or 1\8 of his estate depending on the circumstances.

d) Even if the grandchild passes away, the grandmother will inherit from the grandchild’s estate.

e) If a brother passes away, the uterine sister will inherit from his estate.  However, the blood sister and consanguine sister will inherit according to the over-arching principles of inheritance and succession.

In all these cases, the mother, the daughter, the wife, the grandmother and sisters will inherit according to the Shariah Laws of Inheritance and Succession.

The point in focus is Shariah itself has appointed a share of inheritance for woman. That clearly indicates a woman’s right of ownership in financial and property issues.

 Dowry-mahr:

When a woman gets married, the husband has to give his spouse dowry. Allah says:

أَنْ تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً (سورة النساء آية 24)

“[provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity.”

After enumerating which women are Haram in marrying, Allah says other women are permissible and seek from them with your wealth. That is, give them mahr.  That is the sole and independent right of a woman.

When there is a marital dispute and the wife wants to terminate the marriage, she can offer to return the Mahr which the husband gave her in exchange of divorce. This point again illustrates a woman’s right of ownership of financial and property issues.

KHARWASTAN

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