This article was first published on Worldwide Quran Thinkers
A will, bequeath or testament is a legal document that allows a person to express their wishes and preferences regarding the distribution of their assets after their death. It is a way for a person to have a say in how their estate is handled, and it can be an important tool for ensuring that their wishes are carried out after their death. It’s also important to understand that the inheritance laws as per Quran are not meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution for every situation. In fact, Quran provides a general framework for the distribution of a person’s estate. This article highlights three major myths associated with ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’, identifies what the reality is with respect to these myths and discusses the true Islamic Inheritance Laws in light of the Quran.
General Myths Versus the Factual Quranic Guidance
With respect to Inheritance Laws, people normally refer to Ayahs 4:11-4:12 as ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ in order to identify detailed requirements as to how the estate of a deceased needs to be distributed. Religious scholars have come up with ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ which are based on gross misinterpretations of important Quranic verses. It is extremely important to consider the full context of a Quranic verse when interpreting and applying it. Whenever any divine law is taken in part only while ignoring the other phrases within the same Ayah or any Ayah is taken without considering the context in which it appears in the Quran, we enter into the dangerous domain of misinterpretation and misunderstanding of important divine laws as has happened in case of the ‘Islamic Inheritance laws.’ Following are the three most common Myths associated with Islamic Inheritance Laws.
Most Common Myth Related to Islamic Inheritance Laws # 1
Muslims should only draft their will and/or the estate of deceased’s Muslims can ONLY be distributed, in accordance with the ‘Islamic Inheritance laws’ as per Ayahs 4:11-12
As a general practice among Muslims, they consider the ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ based on Ayahs 4:11-12 in order to draft a will. Due to the misinterpretation of these Ayahs by Islamic religious scholars who have made these Ayahs too complicated for a simple Muslim to understand and implement, Muslims have to consult their religious scholars and Islamic lawyers in order to draft their will in accordance with these laws. As a result of this, they end up committing acts of gross injustices and harm against not only the female members of their household but also the Nisaa (to be defined and explained later in this article) members of their household, their parents (Walideen), near and dear ones (Aqrabeen) and children (Aulaad), simply on account of these misinterpretations. Thus, the very Quranic commandments that are perfected by Allah and were designed to uphold justice at its best, are misinterpreted to inculcate gross injustices at the hand of Muslims towards their loved ones.
Islamic religious scholars have wrongly interpreted ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ based on Ayahs 4:11-12 by overlooking and ignoring the most important phrase- the phrase which is repeated multiple times, that is “This Was’iy (يُوصِي) is from after he/she of Was’iyyatin (وَصِيَّةٍ) from it or Deen (دَيْنٍ)” means that “This instruction, guideline, commandment (Wasiy) is after any bequest or will (Wassiyat) he or she has made or after fulfilling any debt, obligation or loan (Deen)”– shows that all the detailed set of instructions in Ayahs 4:11 to 4:12 are ONLY applicable on the remaining balance of the deceased’s estate after two main aspects, which must be taken care of first and foremost
(1) Any Wassiyat, i.e., will or bequeath that the deceased has made prior to the death.
(2) Any debt, loan or obligation (financial or otherwise) on the deceased’s estate.
Once these two aspects have been taken care of, and if there is any estate left, then and only then Ayahs 4:11-12 would be applicable. This phrase highlights that all these divine instructions of estate distribution are only applicable on the remaining amount of the deceased’s estate once the deceased’s will or bequeath is fulfilled and any debt is taken care of. If there is anything left of the deceased’s estate after that, THEN AND ONLY THEN, the divine instructions as per Ayahs 4:11-12 would be applicable and that too ONLY on the remaining portion. These divine instructions are neither intended as replacement of the deceased’s will nor they have any preference OVER the deceased’s will or any outstanding debt or any obligation (financial or otherwise) of the deceased. Accordingly, these laws as per Ayah 4:11-12 are wrongly termed as ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ because they are NEITHER the divine guidance to draft a will NOR they are replacement of the deceased’s will.
Myth Related to Islamic Inheritance Laws # 2
Although it’s important to write a will, but even if one is not able to, it’s not a problem since ‘Islamic inheritance laws’ as per Ayahs 4:11-12 can be applied to all situations
The general misunderstanding of Muslims that ‘the Islamic inheritance laws as per Ayahs 4:11-12 are very simply defined and can be applied for all situations and circumstances’ has led to lack of dedication and attention that should be attributed to drafting one’s will. As a result, Muslims either draft their will in accordance with Ayahs 4:11-12 by being completely oblivious of real Quranic guidance viz a viz Islamic Inheritance Laws, or they do not give due importance and considerations to drafting their will at all by being under the impression that these laws would be applied regardless of their wishes, desires, unique situations and priorities. Either way, this has resulted due to huge misinterpretations of the Quranic Ayahs.
Contrary to the general understanding, the Ayahs from 2:180-2:182 should in fact be termed as “The Islamic Inheritance Laws as per Quran” as these Ayahs describe the aspects of Wassiyat- i.e., will, writing of will, why is it so important; whose Haqq-due right it is; what should be done before and after a person’s death and what should be done to ensure that the justice prevails at its best based on each and every person’s unique situation, beneficiaries, the due rights and the priorities. Also contrary to general understanding, the writing of will is enjoined as ‘Kutiba’- i.e., written and made obligatory by Allah upon all of us as our bare minimum duty and responsibility towards those of our near and dear ones as their Haqq, their due right. Quran gives us explicit and clear guidelines through Ayah 2:180 which says that “Is written and made obligatory (Kutiba) upon you that when death approaches any of you that leaves behind the best (Khai’run) the will/bequeath (Wasiyyat) for the parents (Waaliden) and the near and dear ones (Aqrabeen) with due fairness, acceptable, pleasant and desirable (Maruuf) as a due right (Haqq) upon the Muttaqeen”. This basically identifies will as something that has been made Kutiba, i.e., written, prescribed, made obligatory and compulsory by Allah upon those who are Muttaqueen- i.e., those who observe Taqwa, who follow the laws of Allah extremely carefully and remain within the boundaries of Deen by being extra cautious and nurturing of their Emaan. With regards to the phrase “…Wassiyat is Haqq upon the Mutaqueen.” the word Haqq is used in the meanings of obligations, duties, responsibilities that is enjoined, prescribed, made obligatory. This means that the writing of the will is the obligation on us, as our responsibility and duty as well as in order to take care of the due right of our loved ones. Therefore, it has been made compulsory by Allah, to bequeath will before our deaths.
Who are the rightful beneficiaries are not as per the fabricated inheritance laws by religious scholars but those who have the due right and this is something that Allah has left in the hands of each and every person to decide based on his or her own unique situation and circumstances. The two most important recipients mentioned with respect to our will are as follows
(1) Walideen, i.e., our parents, both biological as well as those who have played parent, teacher and guardian roles for us during our lives and
(2) Aqarabeen- our near and dear ones, our loved one, our children, our family or relatives, our friends, our neighbors, whoever we hold highest in terms of their importance and significance to our lives, whoever are nearer to us in terms of their contributions to our lives and can even be outside of the circle of our blood relatives.
The words which are of prime importance in this ayah is that the Wasiyyat, the will for our Waalideen and the Aqrabeen should be Ma’roof – i.e., something which is pleasant, valuable and acceptable as per their due right, based on their efforts and contributions to our lives, their significance to us, whatever is pleasant and acceptable to them should be mentioned in the will.
The Ayahs 2:181 to 2:182 then, give a set of direct instructions to those who are responsible to execute the deceased’s will as desired by the deceased. In no unclear terms, Ayah 2:181 highlights that “And whoever alters it after that which he/she has heard, then its I’sm upon those who altered it. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” Shows that no alteration, amendment or change is allowed with regards to the Wassiyat- will of the deceased. However, the next Ayah 2:182 highlights a situation and a solution thereof of reconciliation between the beneficiaries through the phrase “And whoever fears bias or Is’man from the Muwas’in…” there could be many instances wherever a person’s Wassiyat-will shows clear biases and ism- doing of injustice among the children or against the parents or the Aqrabeen. In that situation, keeping in consideration that one cannot alter or amend the Wassiyat, but the instruction is two folds in such situations “… and then Is’lah between them…” Not only the person has to do Is’lah, that is put things back where they belong, doing things in the rightful manner but the instruction is to do Is’lah between them, as in making sure that the person’s Wassiyat ends up connecting people together, in mutual love and compassion with each other, rather than diverting them apart. Hence the person against whom the injustice was about to be done, is consulted alongside with the one who was favored in the Wassiyat and only through mutual agreement and consultation, the Is’lah is being done to make sure it is a win-win situation for everyone. Therefore, amendment in will is not allowed but only in case of such situations where the prime objective is Is’lah- the correction, putting it back to its rightful place. The basic purpose is twofold, (1) there should not be any Ism upon the deceased since there cannot be any injustice and zulm that took place due to the deceased’s Wassiyat- will (2) It ends up of connecting people together, in mutual love and compassion with each other.
Thus, after highlighting the importance of writing a will and for whom, these next Ayahs are basically applicable in the unfortunate situation of any extreme biases and/or presence of extreme injustices against any of the two groups of people i.e., Walideen and Aqrabeen. Although no alteration, amendment or change is allowed with regards to the deceased’s will, but in the unfortunate situation of extreme bias and or the execution of will resulting in extreme injustices, Quran gives a solution of consultation and reconciliation between the beneficiaries keeping in focus the end result of Is’lah, that is to put things back where they belong, doing things in the rightful manner, connecting people together, in mutual love and compassion with each other, rather than diverting them apart. Hence the person/s against whom the injustice was about to be done, is consulted alongside with those who was/were favored in the deceased’s will and only through mutual agreement and consultation, the decision is made to make sure it is a win-win situation for everyone. Therefore, amendment is not allowed in a deceased’s will when the Is’lah is being done, the correction, putting it back to its rightful place, to ensure that there should not be committing of any injustice or zulm due to the deceased’s will and that the deceased’s will results in connecting people together in mutual love and compassion with each other, and for the greater good of the society.
Myth Related to Islamic Inheritance Laws # 3
The Islamic Laws of Inheritance are gender-specific, giving more wealth and contributions out of the deceased’s estate for males than the females since males are made financially responsible for households
As per general misunderstanding of the Islamic Inheritance laws resulting in gross mal-practices among Muslims, the female members of the household are kept at a disadvantage position by making their inheritance half than that of the male members of the household. This malpractice is excused and justified on the pretext that the male is the head of the household and is responsible for the financial upkeep of his wife and children, whereas the female members of the household are the responsibility of their respective male household members. This is a gross violation of basic human rights for women and actually results in creating an impression about ‘Islam oppressing women’ and ‘the God of Muslims favoring men and discriminating against women’.
The interpretation and application of these ‘fabricated Islamic inheritance laws by religious scholars’ have been the subject of debate and controversy within both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. It’s very obvious that the way these laws as are generally understood and applied are discriminatory towards women and reinforce patriarchal attitudes and practices, whereas we all know that the divine commandments are always based on the principles of fairness and justice as outlined in the Quran. It is important to recognize that the Quran never discriminates between men and women when it comes to the laws of Deen and the distribution of inheritance in not an exception as well. The specific rules and ratios for the distribution of inheritance that are often referred to as “Islamic inheritance laws” that are gender specific are actually the product of human interpretation and are not based on the Quran at all.
These ‘Islamic inheritance laws by religious scholars’ have been fabricated by mistranslating Ayahs 4:11-12 and are only there to justify the patriarchal mind sets of the Islamic religious scholars. Additionally, these laws have been made overly complicated to ensure dependencies on these scholars. They have mistranslated words such as ‘Rijaal’ and ‘Nisaa’ as well as fabricated flawed grammar rules of masculine and feminine with patriarchal mindsets in order to use Quran as an aid to look down upon, consider women as inferior gender, to control and oppress them. Whereas we all know that Deen is justice at its best, with no discrimination of any sort, not even gender and we know that Allah is the epitome of being fair and just judge and that Allah’s justice is absolute with no discrimination against anyone and there could be no possibility of any injustice towards any human being or any of Allah’s creations as per the Quran. In this regards, the four important concepts that are usually mistranslated are as follows
Rijaal (الرِّجَالِ) & Nisaa (النِّسَاءِ):
The word Rijaal is normally mistranslated as men or males in almost all of its usages in Quran, whereas the basic characteristics of the word is in the meanings of resourceful or being given any aspect of resources, i.e., any part of Allah’s Fazal on the basic of which action is required as per the divine guidance. Similarly, the word Nissa is normally mistranslated as wives or women, but the over-riding characteristics of the words as per its usage in Quran is in the meanings of that segment of community which is devoid of resources, titles, powers, wealth, money, authority, connection, generally a resource-less or resource starved segment of the society such as orphans, oppressed, Yateem, elderly, oppressed, destitute etc. including all genders, not just women or females only for instance, in ayah 4:127 “They surround you concerning Nisaa…” when the matter under discussion is the rulings related to Nissa, it means resource-less segments of society such as oppressed, Yateem, elderly, orphans etc., because the ruling that follows relates to oppressed children, orphans etc. How is it possible that the ayah would start with the rules related to women and then only talk about children, orphans, yateem, oppressed or resource-starved segments of the society? This proves that the word Nissa in this ayah is used in an all-comprehensive manner for those people in the society who lack resources, Allah’s Fazal, wealth, money, authority, title etc.
Therefore, those who have more Fazal from Allah, i.e., knowledge, faculties, skills, abilities, resources, wealth, money, title, authority etc. than their needs and requirements are termed as Rijaal by Quran, whereas those who have the shortage of these resources verses their needs and requirements are termed as Nisaa. Both these words Rijaal and Nisaa is used for people in general and are not gender specific i.e., used in Quran for both men and women. With more of Allah’s Fazal comes more responsibility and hence more accountability for Rijaal. In terms of clear and explicit divine instructions, whatever aspect of Allah’s Fazal or resources one is blessed with, after keeping the share for one’s own needs and responsibilities, whatever is over and above, then have to be spend for the benefit of others. Such Allah’s Fazal and resources can never be withheld, hoarded or used for personal gains, of gaining more control or for suppressing others etc. It’s because of this that whenever Quran discusses about hell, Quran mentions Rijaal only and never Nisaa for instance, in Ayahs 7:48 and 38:62- the word Rijaal is used while discussing hell. Since the Risalaat, i.e., Allah’s message is counted as one of the greatest Fazal, resource by Allah, Allah says in Quran that 21:7 and 12:109, “We did not Arsalna (sent as Messengers) before you except Rijaal (resourceful ones), whom We Wahiy (inspired)…” does not mean that Allah has send only men as messengers, but basically this ayah refers to the Fazal of Allah upon Allah’s Rasool, as the greatest resourcefulness of being able to receive and deliver Allah’s message, and it has nothing to do with people’s gender at all. For those who are adamant that Allah has only send men or males as Allah’s Rasool as per Ayah 21:7 and 12:109, then they also have to accept that only men would be there in hell as per Ayah 7:47 and 38:62. Both these aspects have nothing to do with gender but refer to people, regardless of their gender, who are more resourceful and blessed with Allah’s Fazal and hence are more accountable.
Similarly, Ayah 4:34, is the most misinterpreted Ayahs of Quran, and because of the mistranslation of these two important words Rijaal as men and Nisaa as women, the religious scholars have embedded a discrimination between men and women, and a patriarchal mindset into the divine guidance. When Allah says in 4:34 that “The Rijaal (الرِّجَالُ) is Qawamona (قَوَّامُونَ) of the Nisaa (النِّسَاءِ)…” this is not at all talking about men as head of households over Nisaa at all. The word Qawwamoon is also mistranslated as in charge of, head of the family of, or managers of the affairs of. The word Qawwamoon basically means establishing, supporting, strengthening and providing the foundation of justice and standing firm with justice and Qist in accordance with Haqq of individuals aligned with their due rights, which is in ayah 4:34 is related to Nissa. This means that it is the duty and responsibility assigned to the Rijaal who has been given resources to take care of, stand up for, support, establish and strengthen those who are the Nisaa, i.e., who are resource-starved and dependent upon the Rijaal. The Rijaal being Quwwamoon of Nissa has nothing to do with gender but basically highlights the divine commandment that since Rijal are resourceful therefore, they are made responsible to take care of the Nisaa regardless of the gender of either the Rijal or the Nisaa.
The Zikar (لِلذَّكَرِ) & the Ans’a’en (الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ)
The phrase in Ayah 4:11, “…for the Zikar (لِلذَّكَرِ) is like Hazzan (حَظِّ) of the Ans’a’en (الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ)…..” is mostly mistranslated as that for the male is like that of two females, which is not what this ayah is talking about as Quran never deals with and decides matters based on one’s gender at all. Neither the word Zikar means male nor the word Ans’aeen means as two females. The word Ans’aen, is plural of Ans’as which is used in Quran to refer to anything that is the result of one’s nature at birth combined with one’s impact of the environment and surroundings. Thus, Aunsa (our basic nature, fitrat) or An’sa’een as plural in terms of our basic nature are those aspects on which we are created along with the impacts of environment and upbringing. The word Zikar or Zakara is basically the same as Zikar, meanings the Hidayah, the Kitaab, the Quran. In terms of Allah’s creations, Allah has created everything in the universe including the Hidayah (the Zakara) and the nature (the Aunsa). Thus, everything created by Allah either works as per Hidayah like us being humans or as per nature like everything in the universe even for us as humans. Therefore, if we exclude the Zikar then only Aunsa is left or with respect to Ayah 4:11 the plural Ans’ae’n referring to the basic nature, characteristics of Allah’s creations, as a combination of one’s nature as well as the environment and upbringing, be it Ins- the humanity, or the plant or animals or the universe, or anything therein. The word Hazzan is normally mistranslated as part or portion or share, but basically used in Quran in the meanings of fortune or prosperity.
Thus, when Allah says in the ayah 4:11 that, “Allah Was’iy (يُوصِيكُمُ) you regarding your Auladekum (أَوْلَادِكُمْ) for the Zikar (لِلذَّكَرِ) is like Hazzan (حَظِّ) of the Ans’a’en (الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ)…..” means that Allah is giving Wassiyat, instruction, explicit commandment and guidance regarding your Aulaad, i.e., children or people who are closed to us like our own children, the reason of which is then mentioned in the next phrase, as, ‘for the Zikar, Quran, the Hidayah, the acts of taking Lessons from the Quran, and being Shaakir, is like that of Hazzan- source of fortune and prosperity of the Ans’aeen, your natures as impacted by the environment. This phrase therefore is basically telling us that once we do Zikar, understand and follow these laws of the Quran, we would be in recipients of great fortunes and prosperity that would be aligned with our Ans’a’een, our nature and our instincts, this is the way that we would be most content and blissful based on our instincts and nature. There is no discrimination between genders when it comes to divine guidance. There is no difference with regards to divine guidance between men and women, neither the one is given preference over the other, or given more skills or more blessing over the other, nor the one is given more rights over the other. All these are fabrications nothing else and nothing more.
Quranic verses and Islamic teachings related to inheritance are meant to be applied in a way that is fair and just, and that takes into account the unique circumstances and conditions of the individual. Deen, the Islamic laws as ordained by Allah, is perfected by Allah and there is no possibility of any injustice or discrimination as per Deen. These laws have to be applied by keeping in mind that Allah’s Deen is based on Allah’s Solid judicial principals with justice at its best with the basic foundations of care, compassions and considerations for each other by uniting each other through strong bonds of love and compassion not only during the life but more so, upon our deaths through justified writing of our will and its execution keeping the principals of justice, unity and fairness as the benchmark objectives.
Islamic Inheritance Laws as widely understood are Fabricated by Scholars
It is important for Muslims to be aware that the ‘Islamic inheritance laws’ are fabricated by religious scholars and are not only dissociated and detached with Quranic guidelines but in fact these laws are against the very basic principles of justice and fairness that is promoted by Quran. These fabricated laws are one of the many ways the scholars have used to ensure dependencies on themselves by making things too complicated for a simple Muslim to understand and in order to promote the misogyny and patriarchal mindsets in Muslim societies. The gender-based bifurcation and discrimination are constructs of a misogynistic mindset intent on relating women to a lower status than men. If it is applied to Quran, one cannot escape the understanding that promotes the degradation of women, which Allah’s words and Kalam could never do. It’s also important to understand that these fabricated laws of Inheritance are promoted by religious scholars as a one-size-fits-all solution for every Muslim whereby no importance or due consideration is given to the unique situations, conditions, loved ones and/or their contributions towards each other. These fabricated laws are promoted as Islamic Inheritance laws in the name of Quranic guidance and have led to malpractices at a mass-scale amongst Muslims resulting in gross injustices accorded towards the due rights of their loved ones.
True Islamic Inheritance Laws in light of the Quran- Ayah 2:180-182
The Quranic Ayahs 2:180-182 should basically be termed as the true Islamic Inheritance Laws in light of the Quran that emphasize the importance of writing a will for Muslims, why is it important, the different aspects of Wassiyat- i.e., will, writing of will; whose Haqq-due right it is; what should be kept in mind while drafting a will; and what should be done to ensure that the justice prevails at its best based on each and every person’s unique situation, beneficiaries, the due rights and the priorities before and after a person’s death. These verses clearly highlight that writing a will is made compulsory for Muslims as their basic duty and responsibility and as the due right of their loved ones. While drafting a will, the distribution of the individual’s assets should be done in a way that is fair, just and reasonable, taking into account the wishes, needs and contributions of the loved ones, the two of most important ones are the Walideen (parents) and Aqrabeen (near and dear ones).
It is important to give careful consideration to drafting a will in order to ensure that their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes after their death because each person’s circumstances and priorities are unique, and a will allows an individual to ensure that their assets are distributed in a way that aligns with their values and wishes by taking into consideration the due rights of the rightful beneficiaries and will also help to avoid conflicts and disputes after their death. Allah ordains Wassiyat, i.e., writing of will as compulsory as due right of our parents, our near and dear ones and our children. We have to take care of this due right before death approaches us, making sure that there is no bias or injustice at all and that we do not go against Haqq- due right of any of our loved ones.
The same responsibility of ensuring justice at its best is ordained to those who carry out the instructions of the deceased’s will. The basic foundation of these guidelines is the unity of each other through compassion and care, uniting people and making sure that there is no bias, no zulm, no injustice to anyone by anyone. Even if the person is deceased and the will shows any bias or Ism, we have been ordained to make sure that the Wassiyat is communicated as it is to the beneficiaries, but in consultation with everyone, we need to aim towards Is’lah to ensure that there cannot be any injustice. While it is important to consider the wishes of the deceased when executing the will and to ensure that the distribution of assets is fair and just in accordance with the deceased’s will, but, in the event that the execution of the will results in extreme biases or injustices, the Quran provides guidance on how to handle the situation. It suggests consultation and reconciliation between the beneficiaries with the goal of achieving Is’lah, and the restoration of balance and harmony. This may involve the amendment of the will through mutual agreement and consultation, in order to ensure that the distribution of assets is fair and just and that the greater good of society is served. It is important to seek out peaceful and mutually beneficial solutions in these situations, rather than allowing conflicts to persist or escalate.
Divine Commandments as per Ayah 4:11-12
While the Ayahs 4:11-12 do provide guidance on how to distribute a person’s remaining assets after the fulfillment of their will and/or any loans or obligation, these Ayahs are not the ‘Islamic Inheritance Laws’ in the light of Quran as these laws DO NOT dictate the drafting of a person’s will or even the specific distribution of a person’s assets in light of their unique situations, priorities and loved ones. The divine instructions as per these Ayahs are not a replacement for a will. The Ayahs 4:11-12 are intended to handle the deceased’s estate that is remaining after their debts and any specific bequests made in their will have been fulfilled after their death. Since, those who are left behind, do not always know who among the parents, children and loved ones of the deceased were more helpful or beneficial to the deceased, therefore these laws as per Ayahs 4:11-12 only provide a set of rules to follow in such cases, where the estate is still remaining after the deceased’s will is fulfilled and any obligations or loans paid off. This is to ensure that the assets are distributed fairly and justly among those more desiring ones based on the justice at its best.
When interpreting any Quranic commandments, it is important to remember that Quran proposes laws that are based on principles and guidelines of justice and fairness, without any element of discrimination. It is important for Muslims to approach the interpretation and application of Islamic teachings, including those related to inheritance, with an open mind and a commitment to fairness and justice. It is also important for Muslims to recognize that the Quran neither ordains one-size-fits-all unjustified solution for every situation nor supports discrimination or inequality between men and women, and that such attitudes and practices are contrary to the teachings of Islam. While we recognize the ways in which cultural and social practices have shaped religious beliefs and practices, we need to continuously work towards a more just and equitable society that is grounded in the principles of equality and justice as per the Quran that are central to basic gist of Islam.