The inheritance law of Islam is known as Ilm-e-faraid or the science of inheritance shares. It is incumbent on every Muslim to be aware of this law.
Abu Huraira reported that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, “O Abu Huraira! learn fara’id (the shares of inheritance mentioned in the Quran) and teach it to them. Indeed it is half of the knowledge.” (Sunnan Ibn Majjah 37)
Uqba ibn Amir said, “Learn before people act on supposition”. This statement refers to those who speak based on assumptions.
Islamic tenets are based on equality and justice. So naturally the Islamic law of inheritance is also framed in such a way that the inherited wealth can be distributed in a fair and just manner amongst the beneficiaries. The Islamic law of inheritance has put to an end the malpractices which were prevalent during the pre-Islamic days. During the period of Jahilliyah, the women were denied the right to property. They did not inherit any wealth from their parents or husband, when they died.
Unfortunately, the oppression of women did not end here. After the death of their husband they were treated like a property and their own son used to inherit them, get married to them and even have children from them! This repulsive and cruel custom was also abolished by the Quran in the following verse:
“And marry not the women whom your fathers have married, except what has already passes; this surely is indecent and hateful and it is an evil way”. (TMQ-4:22)
The Islamic laws have uplifted the status of women from the degrading position of a sex-object and a chattel, during Jahillyah, to a respectable status in the Islamic society. The Islamic law on inheritance has empowered women financially and has granted them with a sense of security and dignity.