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Don't Kill This Sunnah By Nissar Nadiadwala

Last year a man, dressed in almost rags, was talking to me about the injustice done to him by his brothers in law. He was referring to the distribution of inheritance and said that his brothers in law had refused to share their father's wealth with his wife. He wanted to know what the Qur'an says about the inheritance. After going through the verses that rightly went in his favor, he got up in despair and threw his hands up and left saying, “Alas! This sunnah is dead.” I watched him walking down the lobby with painful steps.

A few years back, an interesting case came up on the table of Mumbai High Court where a Muslim refused to share his father's wealth with his sister. His claim was, “My father had already spent money on her wedding, so she has got her share, now everything else belongs to me.” The wise jury asked both the parties to get their testimonies and proofs. The brother got a fatwa (I will not disclose which sect gave the fatwa, but you can guess), where the mufti had ruled in his favor. The sister got a fatwa from Madrasa Rahmanya, Ahlul Hadith Kandilvli, Mumbai, and the Mufti stated that since the expenditure of marriage was done in his life time by the father, hence it does not deprive the sister from inheriting her share. The jury gave its verdict in favor of the sister.

Many of us display our generosity when it comes to little expenditures but our hearts shrink when it 27

Bakhabar : January 2014

comes to share our houses, shops, lands and other immovable properties, with the rightful heirs. At times it also happens that elder brothers of a joint family refuse or delay the share stating that their younger brothers will blow away their father's wealth. Some come out with excuse that since they are the eldest one, it was their hard work that earned the wealth and the father had no contribution in it.

This reminds me two threatening hadiths. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “If I give a ruling in favor of a person who argues smartly but is on wrong side, then he is tying a rope of fire around his own neck.” On other occasion he said, “Whoever snatches away a piece of land (property) unjustly, he will drag the piece of the said property in the court of Allah on the day of Qiyamah, with the land up to seven earth tied on his neck.”

Take this into consideration: A man is already 45-50 by the time his father dies and he inherits the property. Little does he realize that he has only 12-15 years to live more and yet he clings to the wealth. Surah Takathur begins with the plight of such

people who chase wealth and suddenly reach their graves. Here it is: The Mutual rivalry for piling up diverts you, until you reach the grave, Surah Takathur, chapter 102 verse 1-2.

Then why do many of us still refuse to share? The answer is also found in the Qur'an Surah Taghabun Chapter 64, verse 1415. Indeed among your wives and your children are your enemies (A test for you); so it warns that it is the love and concern for wives and children that man fails in the test of wealth, and the next verse confirms it that it is the children and wealth that is a test for you. Don't fail in this test.

From “Beyond Education” collection – Nissar Nadiadwala’s Editorial for Young Muslims

Bakhabar, January 2014  

BaKhabar is the monthly magazine of Bihar Anjuman, a network of those who care for Bihar, India and Muslims. Website: http://bakhabar.bihara...