By LI Research

Published On: February 13, 2022 at 12:18 IST


In India, Muslim law is governed by Shariat. Muslim law accords a great deal of respect to women. Although the Shariat has divine origins, when it comes to a Muslim woman’s Right to inheritance (Right to Property), the Shariat is sometimes seen as giving women less representation.

According to the Quran, a Muslim man should inherit twice as much as his female counterpart. This forms the bedrock of discrimination.


As per the Islamic law of inheritance, the person’s sex, age, place of birth or conjugal position doesn’t involve an obstruction to inheritance. There was no distinction in this association between the father and mother, the first-born child and the last-born child. Whatever divergence in shares there was in the midst of the recruits, it was proposed to relate them to their specific duties and commitments, as indicated by the lineal instantaneousness.

The calculation was that if life expectancy of the one possessing property of the family expired, the close family members, children and guardians, would be called upon to support them before those less closely related, such as their grandchildren and grandparents.

When comparing the property stakes of men and women, it is not incorrect to say that men have a higher price. Unlike Hindu law, where all people who have a vested interest in property are party to the suit, there is no such provision in Muslim law. Daughters are often considered to be non-existent at the time of the opening of the succession. A male counterpart receives twice as much as a female counterpart.

The common rules for succession in Sunni law are in totality unjust. For instance: A female can never acquire more than 33% of the property. The full sister does not get a share until there is an absence of other residuaries. In particular, the son, the son’s son, the father, the true grandfather and the full brother. Furthermore, a consanguine sister would possibly get a residuary share if a consanguine brother was not present, instead of acquiring one.

Talking about the Right to property of a Muslim widow, it is less likely that the widow has children and grandchildren. On that account, her share in the property is one-eighth of the expired husband’s property and if there is more than one spouse, this share may boil down to one-sixteenth, although a Muslim widow has no privilege to upkeep out of her spouse’s domain notwithstanding what she got by inheritance as his wife.

If the marriage occurs while the husband is sick, and the marriage isn’t consummated, and assuming the husband dies as a result, the widow isn’t qualified for any share of his property. Notwithstanding, if this man, who was poorly, divorced the lady and passed on from that point, the widow would be qualified to share in the property until she remarried. No widow is barred from advancement under Muslim law.

After meeting her deceased husband’s funeral and legal costs and obligations, a childless Muslim widow is entitled to one-fourth of his property. Nonetheless, a widow with children or grandchildren is entitled to one-eighth of her deceased husband’s estate. On the off chance that a Muslim man is diagnosed with an ailment and, in this way, passes on that ailment without a brief recuperation or consummating the marriage, his widow has no privilege of a legacy. However, in the event that her feeble husband separates from her and, a while later, he dies from that ailment, the widow’s entitlement to a portion of the legacy proceeds until she remarries.

Individual laws that benefit Muslim women range from the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act of 1939 to the Muslim Women (Protection of the Right to Divorce) Act of 1986, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 etc.

Details on Triple Talaq

The Muslim law of maintenance contrasts with the law of maintenance in most different frameworks of law. In addition, in the majority of cases, the commitment of a Muslim to keep up with another emerges just if the inquirer has no methods or resources out of which the individual can keep up with herself or himself. According to Muslim law, it is the spouse’s obligation to keep his wife, regardless of her obligation to the husband, and she requires the privilege of any remaining people to get upkeep, this support is called Nafqah. It incorporates food, attire, housing, and other fundamental necessities.

When it comes to a divorced woman’s right to have sensible and reasonable arrangements and support made and paid to her by her previous spouse during the Iddat period, as enumerated in Muslim law. The popular Shah Bano case can be treated as precedent. The Supreme Court in this case held that in the case of a divorce, it is the responsibility of the husband to make reasonable provision to keep his previous spouse even after separation under Section 3 (1Ha) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights in Divorce) Act, 1986. This period extends beyond Iddat period.

Both men and women are equivalent according to the law of inheritance and there is no particular treatment granted to all things considered, but this exists only in the Prima Facie. Nonetheless, the property portion of men is twofold the portion of women. The agreement is that women, upon marriage, get Mehr (cash or ownership given by the husband to them during the marriage). She is also supported by her husband, whereas her siblings are completely subject to familial property and, as a result, her offer is divided.

As per the law, men have an obligation to accommodate their wives and their children. A husband should accommodate his wife, regardless of whether she is well off to look after herself. So, women can get an inheritance as daughters as well as wives and mothers as well but she need not spend her abundance on her own family, all things considered.

Recommendations and Suggestions

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) was created during the 1970s with the essential purpose of shielding Muslim personal laws from Government interference. The Hindu personal laws were reformed during the 1950s, whereas Muslim personal laws have remained generally unaltered since the time of colonial rule and have become a vital marker of the character of ‘The community’ in the postcolonial era.

There is a stringent need to reform the Muslim personal laws so that there remains rigidity with flexibility where the basic principles of Islam remain unalterted, providing adaptability to the fast evolving society, thus ensuring the wellbeing of both men and women. Several Public Interest litigations (PILs) have been filed in this regard, but to no avail. This is an urgent need that Muslim law should be codified and provide equal representation for men and women, thereby removing gender biases.

Edited by: Tanvi Mahajan, Publisher, Law Insider

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