The Islamic Conceptual of Inheritance: Discrimination to Women?

Treasure and property are thorny problems that not easy to be solved. Lot of blood is wasted to gain property due to human nature that never satisfies until his/her mouth are full of sand of the grave, which is until death overtakes them.

There is a claim that posits inheritance law in context saying that on the bottom line the law is just in the context of the advent of Islam but not in the modern world. However, it is worth to note that in Islam the inheritance law is explained thoroughly in the Quran compared to other commands such as praying, giving alms, fasting, and pilgrimaging that mostly are globally explained.

In the Quran, there is verse that explains the right of women to be half of the men. “For the male, what is equal to the share of two females” (Quran, 4:11). However, that is not the main criterion in deciding the inheritance. In Islam the share of inheritance does not weigh on different gender. On the contrary the inheritance depends on 3 things: First, the degree of closeness between testator and the heir, the closer the relationship the bigger the share. The relationship is based on nasab, nikah, and guardianship. In this case, the children are the primary heir to receive the share, then husband or wife, the parents. However, if those three were not exist then, the relative may take that with blood relative precede step-relative.

The second basis of inheritance depends on the difference of generation among the heirs. The young generation that has prospect to continue living compared to older generation, usually receive more share compared to old generation. The youth basically needs more the share than the older does due to responsibility of the youth for the future generation that is not yet able to sustain independently. Thus, daughter receives ½ compared to husband who receives ¼ of the testator.

The third basis of inheritance depends on the load of life among the heirs. This is one of the point differentiator between men and women. In Islam, the men are obliged to sustain their wives and the progeny, while the women are not obliged to do so. However, Islam still gives room for women to help the burden of the family.

There is interesting detail that underlines the concept and point of controversy on the center of women receiving half of the men share. This concept actually only applies to 4 conditions, while 11 conditions actually show that men and women receive the same shares, and 14 conditions show that women get higher share than men do, even so 5 conditions which women receive share while the men don’t receive anything. These appealing conditions and concepts are clearly rejecting the claim that women are treated like second class citizen which is basically doesn’t have frim ground.

In this opportunity, the conditions when women receive more than men will be discussed. There are 14 conditions which basically show that women can receive share more than men.

  1. When the testator has gotten husband and daughter, then daughter receives ½ while husband receives ¼ due to the reason of future generation.
  2. When the testator has gotten husband and two daughters, the daughter each receives 1/3 while husband receives ¼.
  3. When the female testator leaves husband, father, mother and two daughters.
  4. When the testator leaves husband, mother and 2 blood sisters.
  5. When the testator leaves husband, father, mother, and daughter.
  6. When the testator leaves husband, 2-step sisters, and mother.
  7. When the testator leaves husband, mother, and full sister.


Some of proofs above show that share doesn’t rely on gender but on the three things discussed earlier. The calculation above shows that sometimes women do receive more than men.

Ahmad Nursalim



Work cited:

  1. Hasan, Fahmi. “Islamic Concept of Inheritance Law” Kompasiana (2012): March 2012. Web. 30 June 2016.






About elfatah

No more much motivating except my own enthusiasm. Defeat never comes to any fighter until he/she loses this magic spark called enthusiasm. -Ahmad El Fatah-
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