Women Rights of Inheritance in Islam | Quranic Verses and Hadiths

Islam is the religion in which every aspect of life is being discussed and managed no matter what’s the issue in the life of human beings. We can say that Islam is the complete code of life. Religion Islam organizes a Muslim’s life by issuing many rules and laws which guarantee an honorable and happy life for each Muslim. Everyone is included in these laws; rulers, men, women, children, poor and sick people, and all other individuals living in the society. Since women form a main part of the society and most of their rights were denied in the pre-Islamic periods. Islam has honored women by issuing many laws to protect them and to give them a noble life. The distinct and fixed right of inheritance is one of these laws which Islam set for women. In comparison with other religions, Islam has guaranteed equal right of inheritance for women.

Allah Almighty says in Holy Quran: “For men is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, and for women is a share of what the parents and close relatives leave, be it little or much — an obligatory share.” (Quran 4:7)

From the above verse, we can conclude that Allah (SWT) mentioned clearly about the rights of inheritance for both men and women. It also clarifies the rights of women in inheritance that were not known before. Many people claim that Islam does injustice to women in case of inheritance but it’s not true. Allah Almighty offered a full and detailed method of women’s inheritance in the Quran and Sunnah, if someone wants to know about it they can read from Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

One of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas was ill and requested to devise the majority of his wealth as charity, or a half of it since he was wealthy and only had one daughter. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) forbade him and only allowed him to give a third, and said: “A third and a third is a lot, and it is better that you leave your heirs wealthy rather than leave them needy begging from the people. You will not spend anything seeking Allah’s countenance but you receive a reward for that expenditure, even the morsel of food you put into your wife’s mouth.”  (Bukhari)

Due to the result of Islam’s interest in giving each person in the family his or her right of inheritance, came very specific and evident to fit all changes of families in different cases. In Holy Quran Allah Almighty clearly defined the rights of inheritance for both men and women in a way: “Allah (thus) direct you as regards your children’s (inheritance)  to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. If only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance. If only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children. If no children and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third. If the deceased has brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. After payment of legacy and debts. Ye know not whether the parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Quran, 4: 11)

In short, Islam came up at the time when the status of a woman was at everlasting low and her rights were totally underprivileged. Islam has never failed to constantly improve the status of the women to the highest standard by giving an equal treatment to them as that of men. Islam is the only religion that gives women fair rights of inheritance.