This Article “Property rights of Muslim women in India” is written by M.M Kotwal
Every religion practiced in India is governed by its respective personal laws – which includes property rights as well. Hindu Law is governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. And Muslim law is governed by the Muslim Shariat Law Act of 1937.
However, Muslims in the country do not have codified property rights and are broadly governed by either of the two schools of the Muslim personal law – the Hanafi and the Shia. While the Hanafi school recognizes only those relatives as heirs whose relation to the deceased is through a male. This includes the son’s daughter, son’s son, and father’s mother. The Shia school, on the other hand, favors no such discrimination. This means that heirs, who are related to the deceased through a female are also accepted.
What are the Property rights of a Muslim daughter in India?
- In inheritance, the daughter’s share is equal to one half 1/2 of the son’s in keeping with the concept that a woman is worth half a man
- She has, however, and has always had full control over this property. It is legally hers to manage, control, and to dispose of as she wishes in life or death.
- Though she may receive gifts from those whom she would inherit from, there should be no doubt that the gift is a means of circumventing the inheritance laws of one-third of a man’s share, since, under Muslim law. The shares of inheritance are very strict.
- Daughters have rights of residence in parent’s houses, as well as the right to maintenance until they are married.
What are the Property rights of a Muslim Divorced woman in India?
- A divorced woman, after talak, is eligible for maintenance up till 3 months by her husband till the iddat period is over. Post which, the responsibility for maintenance reverts to the women’s parental family.
- · if the divorced woman has financially independent children, who are in a position to support the mother, the responsibility is again on them.
What are the Property rights of a Muslim wife in India?
- A widow gets 1/8th share in case there are kids and 1/4th share when there are no children.
- · If more than one wife, the property share may come down to 1/16th.
- Islamic law provides financial security to a Muslim woman, by virtue of marriage. As, at the time of marriage, a Muslim wife is entitled to receive total money or property from her husband.
- · A Muslim cannot give more than 1/3rd of his property by will, through this the wife may inherit a higher amount of will when there are no heirs for the estate as prescribed by the law.
What are the Property rights of a Muslim mother in India?
- A Muslim mother qualifies to receive and inherit from her children, provided they are independent.
- · If her dead son was a father as well, she is eligible to get 1/6th of his property.
- · If the dead son has no children, she is eligible for 1/3rd share of the property
What are the Property rights of a Muslim grandmother in India?
- Under the Muslim law, the maternal grandmother is entitled to 1/6th share of the total property,
- provided there is no mother or grandfather. On the other hand, the paternal grandmother gets a share only if there is no father or grandfather.
Other provisions ensuring the financial security of Muslim woman
What is the Maher (entitlement) under Muslim law?
- Under the Muslim Law, Mehr (dower) means money or property which the wife is entitled to receive from the husband in consideration of the marriage but this consideration is not the same as that of the civil contract.
- Dower is an obligation imposed upon the husband as a mark of respect for the wife. The major object of the dower is to provide a wife for her subsistence after the dissolution of her marriage so that she may not become helpless after the death of the husband or termination of a marriage by divorce
- There are 2 types – immediate and deferred. Immediate refers to the amount/property provided to the wife immediately after the wedding. In the deferred scenario, the amount/property is provided to the wife when the marriage ends or on the death of the husband.
What is the Hiba (gift) under Muslim law in India?
- Under Muslim law, any type of property may be given as a gift.
- For a gift to be valid, a declaration of the wish to make the gift must be made which should be accepted by the receiver.
What is the wasiyat (will) under Muslim law?
- A Muslim cannot provide more than 1/3rd of his/her complete property through the will.
- If there are no heirs in the estate as prescribed by the law, the wife gets the greater amount by the will.
- Mulla’s principals Mohammed law 22nd Edition
- Inheritance According To Islamic Sharia Law – by Fazli Sameer
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