Ayatollah Sanei’i Issues Fatwa in Support of Women’s Inheritance

Saturday 16 February 2008

Change for Equality: Grand Ayatollah Sanei’i has issued a Fatwa regarding the inheritance women receive from their deceased husbands. In this Fatwa, Ayatollah Sanei’i has explained that when a man with no heirs besides his wife, passes away, his wife becomes the sole heir of his assets.

The Fatwa by Ayatollah Sanei’i was issued in response to the question: "if a man passes away and his only heir is his wife, how much of his assets should be given to his wife?"

The issuance of this Fatwa is significant, because it differs from Iranian law, which is based on interpretations of Sharia law. Currently Iranian law claims that when a deceased man has no other heir besides his wife, only one-fourth of his assets are to be given to his wife, while the rest of his assets become the property of the state.

The issue of women’s inheritance remains a heated issue of debate in Iran and many other Islamic countries. Equal inheritance between men and women is one of the demands of the One Million Signatures Campaign which seeks to collect signatures in support of a petition asking the Parliament to reform discriminatory laws against women.


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