These are words I often hear when being asked to draft an Islamic will.
“It’s not fair!” some say…
By now, you’ve probably guessed what they’re complaining about. In the UK, we are raised in a tradition of “fairness”. We are happy to follow the Islamic law except when we think, in our sense of high morality, that it goes against what is fair.
Well, let me ask you this…
Who decides what’s far? Concepts of “equality” and “fairness” are subjective. I mean, just ask any child.
As humans, we cannot have a “fair” legal system which changes like the four seasons. We cannot, as Muslims, claim to want an Islamic will and equally want full control over who inherits.
In other words, we are happy with all the divisions except when the son gets twice that of the daughter. This is often where the problem lies.
I’ve never once received a complaint about the husband inheriting twice of that of the wife. Nor the brother getting twice of that of the sister.
But when it comes to the children – there is always this sudden sense of “fairness” that erupts from the testator (the one making a will).
We are not the deciders of what’s fair. Allah SWT is.
Allah’s name is Al-Adl (the Just) and it is not right as a Muslim (who is a slave of Allah) to question the fairness of the One who is most Fair and Just.
The Qur’an was sent as guidance for all of mankind at all time. It isn’t something which we decide on when and how to implement.
There is an agreement between scholars from the past and present that the divisions, as laid down in the Qur’an, are fixed and can’t be changed just because society changes.
Is there a wisdom to why the son gets two shares and the daughter one share? Absolutely.
Islamically, when a man marries, his property is shared with his wife but when a woman marries, her property remains her own.
Another potential reason is that whilst the daughter remains unmarried, it’s her brother’s duty to look after her and care for her until she is married.
You see, the problem with looking at the wisdom behind every ruling, is that people try to challenge the wisdom.
And so this is why it is always best to do as the early Muslims did and say, “we hear and we obey”.
Finally, I conclude by saying… It’s always fair!