Every Muslim must believe that Allah’s law is the most suitable law for all mankind, even if its wisdom is unclear. Differences in the distribution of inheritance is not based upon gender differences but rather on other considerations such as the degree of consanguinity between the giver and the receiver of inheritance, the fact that younger generations receive a larger share of inheritance than older ones, and that persons with heavier responsibilities receive more of the inheritance.
Dr. Salah Sultan, President of the American Center for Islamic Research, Columbus, Ohio, and Manager of the Center for Fatwa and Islamic Education in Columbus, Ohio, states the following: True Islamic understanding for the jurisprudence of inheritance in Islam reveals the variation in the shares of inheritance for men and those for women. However, this variation is not due to gender difference, but rather due to divine wisdom and objectives that many fail to see. They even regard this difference between the shares of men and women in some cases of inheritance as something to prove the incomplete competence of women in Islam. However, the Islamic jurisprudence of inheritance is controlled by the following three criteria:
1. The degree of kinship between the receiver (man or woman) and the deceased. The closer the relation, the greater the share given regardless of the heir’s gender.
2. The position of the inheriting generation in the chronological sequence of generations. The younger generations usually receive larger share than the older ones regardless of gender. For instance, the daughter of a deceased man receives a bigger share than his mother does, and the daughter of a deceased woman receives a bigger share than her father does even if the daughter is an infant.
3. The financial responsibility imposed by law upon the heir. This criterion is the one from which difference results between males and females. However, such difference does not lead to any injustice done to women; it may be quite the other way.
Furthermore, the following four points should be known:
1. Women receive half of men’s share in four cases only.
2. In many cases, women receive the same share of inheritance as men.
3. In 10 cases or more, women’s share is bigger than men’s.
4. In some cases, women receive shares of inheritance while corresponding men do not.
In other words, in more than 30 cases, women take the same or more than men take, or women take a share while men do not, while there are only four definite cases in which women receive half of men’s share.