The realization of women’s right to property inheritance in the Islamic context: a case study of Iganga municipality
Inheritance is the main avenue through which Muslim women acquire independent ownership of land and housing. This study focused on examining the realization of the right of women to property inheritance in the Islamic context with specific reference to Iganga Municipality. The objectives of the study were to; analyse the Islamic teachings on women‟s right to property inheritance, investigate the perspectives of Muslim women on their right to property inheritance, establish the views of Muslim clerics on women‟s right to property inheritance and examine the causes of the disconnect between the Islamic teachings and practices on women‟s right to property inheritance. To achieve these, purposive sampling, interviews, focus group discussions and questionnaires were employed. A total of 140 respondents were selected comprising of the Muslim clerics and Muslim women. The study was fundamentally qualitative in nature. The study revealed that the majority of the Muslim women are ignorant about the Quranic teachings on their right to property inheritance. It also uncovered that some clerics especially Imams don‟t understand the Quranic teachings on inheritance right principles. The study further showed that the main cause of the disconnection between the Islamic teachings and practices on women‟s right to property inheritance is ignorance of most of the Muslims especially women about the Quranic teachings on the same. Cultural dominance over Islam which treasures sons more than the daughters, poverty and greedy among family members especially males and some sheikhs that make them corrupt and unjust are also prominent causes. Other causes of the disconnection included limited number of clerics who have the knowledge to teach and execute this right, reluctance of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to fund and supervise these clerics to implement this right, inability of Muslim women to demand for their right and the undermining of women by the community as being inferior and of less importance among others. Therefore, the study recommends that all Muslim stakeholders especially the Uganda Muslim supreme council should intervene and ensure that this right is implemented through constant teachings in seminars and Juma prayer sermons, monitoring and supervisions of the implementers, funding of the clerics to spread this gospel to the entire community so that people are aware and well informed about this right, developing of keen interest by the Muslim women to search for both Islamic and secular knowledge to enable them understand their rights since “knowledge is power” and educate the community about the dangers of cultural norms that undermine the female sex as well as the importance of empowering women.