Allah in his infinite mercy has revealed many commandments in the Holy Qur'an and through our beloved Prophet Muhammed . He has done this in order to guide mankind to the straight path, the path which leads to entry into paradise. One can only achieve this goal by following the religion of Islam.
Islam being a complete religion gave rights to every living creature. In the times of ignorance: the pre-Islamic era, orphans, women and the weaker links in the human chain had become prey of many injustices and had no rights whatsoever, but the advent of Islam brought a change and a revelation that history had never witnessed before. Women, regardless of their dependency on men or their sensitive nature were given rights which were previously either non-existent or ignored. Out of the many rights women were given at the dawn of Islam is Inheritance.
In the Arabic language, Inheritance is known as ‘Fara-idh', which is the plural of ‘Fareedah', which means something that has been fixed, set or determined. This branch of knowledge is known as ‘Fara-idh' because it has been fixed by Allah in the Holy Qur'an.
The Holy Qur'an and our beloved Prophet Muhammed laid much emphasis on the importance of Islamic Inheritance. In many Hadith our beloved Prophet talks of the importance of Inheritance in the Islamic manner and Allah informs man in the Holy Qur'an of its procedure.
Our beloved Prophet said regarding learning Islamic inheritance and its importance:
Indeed I am a man who will be taken away, therefore learn Fara-idh and teach it. The time of the disappearance of knowledge will come close, when two persons will dispute regarding an Islamic ruling and they will find no one to decide the dispute.”
In another Hadith, our beloved Prophet says, “Learn Fara-idh and teach it, indeed it is half of knowledge.”
In one narration our beloved Prophet says, “It is my way and it is the first thing that will be taken away from my Ummah.”
The leader of the faithful and the great companion of our Prophet, Umar used to say, “O people, learn Fara-idh with the same concern and effort with which you learn from the Qur'an.”
It is also reported that he used to say, “O Muslims, learn Fara-idh, it is an essential part of the knowledge of your religion.”
Through the light of the Holy Qur'an, the sayings of our Prophet and his beloved companions, we can acknowledge the importance of Inheritance in the Islamic manner, but unfortunately we have begun to ignore the Islamic teachings and we have started to follow the ways and the practices of non-Muslims, in which one person or only a few would receive the inheritance and at times no one would receive inheritance except a pet of the deceased which would inherit everything instead.
Violation of Islamic Laws and injustices to Mankind leads to breaking ties which we can witness clearly in this day and age. At times, the main cause of these breaking relationships were all caused by the lack of Islamic knowledge and abandoning Islamic teaching sas is the case for Inheritance.
It is incumbent that we learn and practice inheritance in the Islamic way and where necessary we turn to our Ulama (Islamic scholars) who will guide us to live life on the straight path using the light of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah of our beloved Prophet .