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Sharia on Saturday- Inheritance Laws-an upgrade

Those who believe in one God do not always agree with others who believe in one God.  The biggest disagreement is the set of laws the believers in one God must follow.  Even though there is only one God, there are several sets of laws, like the day of rest.  For Muslims that day is Friday.  For Jews, it is Saturday and for Christians, it is Sunday.  Two laws say their God will not allow them to eat pork, yet one will say pork is allowed.  And two will say you cannot leave the belief of one God, one says it’s up to you.

Some say the laws were progressive, some say they’re for all time.  Depending on which laws you like could determine how you believe in one God.  The Mormons believe in one God in a totally different way than a Jew.  But if you were to ask them how many Gods they believe in, they both would answer, one.

As the feeder of the dwellers of the Hellfire, I personally don’t care how many Gods you want to believe in so long as you do it peacefully and if you think about it, isn’t that why you were given laws to follow?

Now I’m sure this week’s law will piss some people off, but I’m just following a law given to me, to be an ordeal and all things disagreeable.
This is about the complaints regarding the Sharia inheritance law. How  many say it’s not fair to women, that God must hate women, that this is proof that women are not seen as being equal to men, etc..  So what’s the truth and what’s the story behind this unfair ruling towards women and the Sharia inheritance laws?

Well first, this is one of the few laws of Sharia that is actually based on the Quran.  While many may find the laws of inheritance to be unfair, many have no idea what the laws were before the Quran.

If you were a un-married female living in the 7th century and your father died, instead of getting an inheritance you could be inherited.  That’s how it was.  If your husband died and you didn’t have children, his brother could inherit you, if he wanted to. 

If you were married to a pagan or were the daughter of a pagan, you’d be left to defend yourself and probably end up as someone’s slave or raped and dead or, all of the above.  Inheritance?  What inheritance?  In some cultures, even her kids didn't belong to her.

If you lived in parts of India, when your husband died, you were expected to kill yourself.  More often than not, you’d throw yourself on his burning body.  You get to inherit death.

And if you were old when your husband died, some tribes would leave you off at a tree, to die alone, because without him you were nothing.  You couldn’t inherit his house, his money or his status.

Men did not complain about these inheritance laws.  However, when Muhammad revealed the new inheritance laws, many of his companions had fits….and I’m not talking about the kind of fits Muhammad is said to have had.  The guys were pissed off.  Why should a woman get anything?  All she does is create life.  She can’t make money she can only make humans.  Blah, blah.

At that time, many of the deserts Arabs were familiar with the inheritance laws of the Jews and the new Christians. They knew that the inheritance only comes from the father and is passed down to the sons. The oldest son received twice as much as the other sons while the daughters received nothing.  Numbers 27:1-4 says that if he didn’t have children then it goes to his brothers and it goes on down the patriarchal line.

Under the Law of Moses, the firstborn son was regarded as belonging to God.  The actual words can be found in;
Exodus. 13:12–15; 22:29;
Numbers. 3:45;
Luke 2:22–23.

Hard to say who the rest of the sons and daughters belonged to, but they didn’t belong to God.

However, Numbers 36, states that if a daughter inherits land and she wants to keep it, she has to marry someone from her father's tribe or give that land to the tribe.

For the 7th century desert Arab women, God, (or Allah, if you speak Arabic), decided that men weren’t doing such a great job of taking care of their widows and daughters and made changes to the inheritance laws.  3 verses in the Quran laid out the new rules.

4:11 (Asad)  Concerning the inheritance of your children, God enjoins [this] upon you: The male shall have the equal of two females’ share; but if there are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what their parents leave behind; and if there is only one daughter, she shall have one-half thereof. And as for the parents [of the deceased], each of them shall have one-sixth of what he leaves behind, in the event of his having left a child; but if he has left no child and his parents are his [only] heirs, then his mother shall have one-third; and if he has brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have one-sixth after the deduction of any bequest he may have made, or any debt he may have incurred. As for your parents and your children - you know not which of them is more deserving of benefit from you: therefore this ordinance from God. Verily, God is all-knowing, wise


4:12  (Asad) And you shall inherit one-half of what your wives leave behind, provided they have left no child; but if they have left a child, then you shall have one-quarter of what they leave behind, after the deduction of any bequest they may have made, or any debt they may have incurred. And your widows shall have one-quarter of what you leave behind, provided you have left no child; but if you have left a child, then they shall have one-eighth of what you leave behind, after the deduction of any bequest you may have made, or any debt you may have incurred. And if a man or a woman has no heir in the direct line, but has a brother or a sister, then each of these two shall inherit one-sixth; but if there are more than two, then they shall share in one-third of the inheritance, after [the deduction of] any bequest that may have been made, or any debt that may have been incurred, neither of which having been intended to harm the heirs. This is an injunction from God: and God is all-knowing, forbearing

These new inheritance laws were so complex that they invented algebra to help with the math.

4:176  (Asad) They will ask thee to enlighten them. Say: "God enlightens you about the laws concerning inheritance from those who leave no heir in the direct line: If a man dies childless and has a sister, she shall inherit one-half of what he has left, just as he shall inherit from her if she dies childless. But if there are two sisters, both together shall have two-thirds of what he has left; and if there are brothers and sisters, then the male shall have the equal of two females' share." God makes all this clear unto you, lest you go astray; and God knows everything.

And for the record, on a later date, these laws also became law for Catholic women.

No doubt, Muhammad was seen as a rock star for delivering such a message.  The women were thrilled and in their joy many women converted to this new religion.  It was the first time a woman had an elevated status when it came to inheritance.  And it wasn’t just law, it was God’s law and because of that, it’s still in place today.

Now many might think it’s unfair in this day and age, but you forget, not everyone is really up to speed for this day and age.  But the intent was right.  A woman deserves something when most would give her nothing. 

Back in the 7th century, or, today in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, women didn’t have the right to work or…hellfire, they aren’t allowed to act like grown women, it’s a male ruled society and thanks to the Saudi scholars, these are very insecure men.  But in the west these laws seem so archaic.  Women do not need to throw themselves on their husbands burning body or wonder if her brother in law will marry her or that her brother has to be her guardian.  Today, inheritance laws are either set by state or the country, or they are written out in a will, and if the oldest son gets cut out of the will for being a drunk or a gambler, no one cares.  Well, the first born drunk son might, and he can contest the will in a court of law.  But it wasn’t like that 1400 years ago.

And for those of you who didn’t know how God elevated the status of women through the Quran, well now you know.  Women were given the right to inherit.  And, no strings attached.

For those who prefer to follow the traditions of old, no one minds that.  And for those who want to blend the old with the new, no one minds that, either.  It’s the intent of the law that counts here.

So how scary is this Sharia law?  Does it affect you in anyway?  If you don’t like the law, what do you think of the intent of this law?  Most would say it’s pretty good, and very progressive considering what was going on before this law was revealed.

In the west, women couldn't inherit property until 1870...think about that for a minute.

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