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Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta: Rulings on inheritance are enacted through explicit definitive Shari’ah texts that are not subject to Ijtihad

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta: Rulings on inheritance are enacted through explicit definitive Shari’ah texts that are not subject to Ijtihad

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
In a news statement issued on Wednesday, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta stated that Shari’ah explicit definitive (qat'i) rulings are not subject to personal reasoning (Ijtihad) and the rulings on inheritance are not an exception.
Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta illustrated that the rulings on inheritance are established through explicit definitive texts from both the Quran and the mass transmitted Prophetic Sunnah and therefore are not subject to ijtihad or change according to personal interests. God the Almighty has decided the shares of each heir as per His words, “God instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females" [Quran 4: 11]. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily, God has given every person his right, so there is no bequest for an heir.”
In the same context, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta warned of the recently launched calls demanding equality between males and females in inheritance, considering it baseless claims that misinterpret Shari’ah rulings. “Claiming that Shari’ah discriminates between males and females in inheritance and unjustly favors men over women in shares distribution is a general unacceptable sweeping that lacks proper understanding of Shari’ah rulings,” Dar al-Ifta said.
In Shari’ah, males are entitled to inherit double the females’ shares only in four cases. Both genders, on the other hand, inherit equally in more than 30 cases, while in some other cases women inherit more than men do; and sometimes males are not entitled to inheritance at all.
The statement pointed out that personal reasoning or Ijtihad is only allowed with issues that are not decided by explicit definitive Shari’ah texts as per the words of God the Almighty, “Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth so you may judge between the people by that which God has shown you” (Quran 4:105).
On its part, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta stressed that religious issues should be separated from policy and vice versa. Religious scholars have to distance themselves from political issues, the Dar demanded, since mixing the two entities undermines both religion and policy.
Stemming from its role to combat erroneous ideas and clarify the right rulings of Shari’ah, Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta has took the initiative to illustrate the correct opinion regarding inheritance in Islam, while respecting others right to freedom of expression. Needless to say that no country or institution is entitled to interfere in other countries’ affairs.