Why does a male inherit double of a female?

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Question

In Islamic Law of Inheritance a male receives two shares & a female receives one share of a deceased’s estate. Could you please explain the reason for this situation from an Islamic Perspective?

Answer

Muhtaram / Muhtaramah

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāh wa-barakātuh.

1. As Muslims, we are required to express submission to Allah Ta’ala and His commands, for this is true Abdiyyat (servitude). We submit to all the orders of Allah Ta’ala whether we understand them or not. This is in all issues of Shariah, Salah, Zakat. etc. We do not question as to why Salah is five times a day or why should we pay two and a half present of our wealth in Zakat. We simply submit, similarly, Shariah has considered the condition of both male and female and specified a just share for both.

2. Shariah has taken care of the maintenance of a woman in every phase of her life, as a mother, her son is responsible for her expenses, as a wife, her husband is responsible for her expenses and as a daughter, her father is responsible for her expenses. It is not obligatory on her to spend her wealth on herself or on her children, even though she may be wealthy. Whatever she has is retained for herself without any obligations on her to spend.
On the contrary the expenses and financial obligations upon men are many. Therefore their needs for wealth are more than a women. A man gives dowry to his wife and is obliged to provide housing, provisions and clothing etc. for her and her children. Medical and educational expenses of both wife and kids are an obligatory on men and not on women. In this respect Allah Ta’ala says;

“Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the one whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah Ta’ala has given him. (65:07)”

To illustrate the above points with a practical example, the following may be considered; Assume ‘A’ died and left behind two children, one son and one daughter, and has left three thousand dollars in inheritance. According to shariah the son will receive two thousand dollars and the daughter one thousand. They both then intend to get married. Assume that the boy has to pay a dowry of two thousand dollars, thus he paid whatever he inherited from his father and still has to see to his expenses, as well as the expenses of his wife and provide housing, clothing etc.

As for the girl when she got married, assume she receive a dowry two thousand dollars. She also received one thousand from her father, thus she has three thousand dollars and has no expenses. Thus her wealth increased and her brother’s wealth decreased. Whatever she inherited from her father’s wealth is still in her possession. As for her brother, his wealth has dwindled away. Thus she is wealthier than him.

(المواريث للامام محمد علي الصابوني, ص.17- 18,عالم الكتب )

And Allah knows best

Darul Iftaa, Madrasah Inaa’miyyah