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Depriving women of inheritance violates Islam: Egyptian cleric

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An official of the esteemed al-Azhar university in Minya governorate in Upper Egypt, Sheikh Mahmoud Abd al-Hafeeth, said that depriving women of their inheritance violates all principles of Islam, reported a website on Saturday.

Hafeeth said that denying women their legitimate right was against the religion and reflected pre-Islamic values known as al-Jahiliya (ignorance) which suppressed women, Sada al-Balad reported on Saturday.

The cleric also said “whoever commits such sin will be gravely punished by God,” adding that such “practice will lead to the proliferation of bigotry, envy and hate between one solid family unit.”

In related news, the Egyptian Fatwa House warned of delaying the granting of women’s rights in inheritance saying that the practice was in violation of Islam, Egypt Independent online reported the group as saying last week.

Depriving women of their rights in inheritance is common in villages or in the Upper Egypt region where most people depend on farming for their livelihood.

Many believed that after the popular revolt which saw the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in January last year, Egypt would challenge its old ways, and address issues like women’s entitlement to inheritance, especially as there are calls for Islamic laws to govern the country.