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Al-Azhar scholar warns Tunisian president of enacting inheritance law

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi holds a press conference at Conference Palace in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 May 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi holds a press conference at Conference Palace in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 May 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Mahmoud Mehanna, a member of the Higher Committee of Scholars of Al-Azhar, warned Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi against approving the law of equal inheritance between men and women.

Mehanna said:

He who initiated the inheritance law is the King of kings; he is God. The Prophet, peace be upon him, has delivered this law. Neither Tunisia, its president nor the whole world can legislate a law or innovate the religion of Allah.

He asserted in statements reported by Egyptian newspapers,

“during the first Era of Ignorance, women did not enjoy any rights. Islam came and determined the rights of women in Sūrat an-Nisāʼ(Women), which included women’s rights and came in honour of them as it bears their name. Allah the Almighty started the Sura with verses on women’s rights and the legislation of their right to inheritance.”

Mehanna addressed the Tunisian president saying: “I tell the President of Tunisia to read the words of Allah and the Prophet, and remember a day when your presidency, money or relatives would not help you.”

Read: Tunisia’s food trade turns from deficit to surplus in first half of 2018

Mehanna pointed out that there are 33 cases where women inherit more than men, have an equal inheritance to men or inherit and men do not.

He continued:

“According to Islamic law, women are the profiteers because under the Sharia law, man is obliged to spend all his money on them, including house, food, drink, treatment, protection and others, and she is not obliged to provide any expenses because she is completely independent in terms of financial matters.

The Tunisian President, Beji Caid Essebsi, has reiterated his support for equality between women and men in his country, and ordered to review the inheritance laws, which stipulate in Islamic law that men inherit twice as much as women’s inheritance in some cases.

Last year, Al-Azhar issued a statement stressing that inheritance is divided according to verses of peremptory significance that do not accept any innovation. They do not change with the changing conditions, time and place, and they are among the few topics that are mentioned in details and not in general in the Koran. They are all mentioned in Sūrat an-Nisāʼ, and this is what the Islamic scholars have agreed upon in the past and present.

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