chapter  12
12 Pages

Islamic law of inheritance

Ultimate solution to social inequality against women in Yorùbá land
WithAbdulmajeed B. Hassan-Bello

The Islamic law of inheritance plays a significant role in reducing the degree of inequality in Islamic society in each generation as it effectively reduces the everlasting gulf between rich and the poor. The cognatic element in Yoruba inheritance arises from the rights of women to their parents' property. Women have inheritance rights similar to those of men where possible. Where there is a serious dispute, the family head is permitted, in some parts of Yoruba land, to have the final discretion by recommending the distribution of the estate per capita; that is, by the number of children, not by the number of wives. The chapter examines the Yoruba customary system of inheritance as well as inheritance under the Shariah, the shares and the sharers, intestate succession, bars to inheritance, and discusses the female share. It shows that in Islamic inheritance laws, there is no gender bias, and the inheritance is distributed according to a diverse set of relations.