The author argues that nothing under Islamic law prohibits women from having equal access to property rights through an integrated and compensatory property rights regime. Under the integrated Islamic approach to women’s property rights, a woman’s reduced inheritance rights are theoretically expected to be compensated for through alternative means of wealth generation, despite resistance from patriarchal attitudes. 

This asserts that taken with rights to mahr and maintenance, the conventional half share of inheritance rule is more than fair to women.

This third and completely revised version of the "Knowing Our Rights" handbook is an essential resource for those taking a critical and questioning approach to rights, laws, and constructions of womanhood in Muslim countries and communities and beyond. "Knowing Our Rights" forms part of the international synthesis of the Women & Law in the Muslim world Programme and is based on some 10 years of field experience, research and analysis by multi-disciplinary teams of networkers in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

This article makes a case for the reform of traditional Muslim law of inheritance in the context of our times so that women can enjoy a stable, fulfiliing and independent lives. It includes a brief overview of the quaranic verses on inheritance, traditional rules of inheritance derived from these verses and the hadiths of the major schools of law, some examples of how these laws affect women, potential prospects for reform, and examples of reform from various countries of the world.&

The six position papers are part of eight position papers produced as part of a series on Islam, land and property, accompanied by a database, with proposed strategies which could enhance the knowledge and augment the capacity of UN-HABITAT and its partners to work more effectively in Muslim contexts. However, these papers have been written for a general audience without any assumption of knowledge regarding Islam, law or property rights and are therefore offer basic information as well as an opportunity to revisit first principles.

In this pioneering work, Siraj Sait and Hilary Lim address Islamic property and land rights drawing on a range of socio-historical, classical and contemporary debates and their practice. They address the significance of Islamic theories of property and Islamic land tenure regimes on the “webs of tenure” prevalent in the Muslim societies. They consider the possibilities with Islamic legal and human rights systems for the development of inclusive, pro-poor and innovative approaches to land rights. They also focus on Muslim women’s rights to property and inheritance systems.

Islamic inheritance regimes in the Muslim world continue to beguile advocates and feminists, non-Muslim and Muslim alike. One single characteristic, that women inherit far less property than men under Islamic inheritance arrangements, has for long been utilized as marker, in the West, for a perceived lack of gender equality. However the complexity and sensitivity of inheritance practices among Muslims has rarely been directly engaged. This chapter is concerned with developing such an engagement, for very pragmatic reasons.
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