AL-ASIR/DAMMAM – Tribalism, greed, and nepotism may well be the reasons for disinheriting several women in Asir. In most cases, Women here have to do away with their inheritance right under increasing pressure from their male family members.
Tribesmen in Asir believe that women married to people outside the tribe should be disinherited so that the tribe’s money is not transferred to strangers, Al-Watan reported on Monday.
Tribal women alleged that they are increasingly getting pressurized by their guardians to relinquish their right especially if they marry people outside their tribe. They also alleged that this disinheritance practice is fast developing into a social stigma.
They said senior female family members are also playing a substantial role in their getting disinherited. Dinner parties and hoisting of white flags atop houses indicating that the girl has relinquished her inheritance rights, are increasingly noticed here.
Some elder tribesmen believed that some embarrassed women do not seek their Shariah rights due to the involved social stigma.
Sheikh Qahtan Saad Bin Naser Bin Rassi Al-Qahtani, chief of Sanhan tribe in Asir, said only 10 percent of the women in Asir ask for their inheritance while 90 percent of them relinquish the right altogether.
Meanwhile, several scholars, academicians and lawmakers have warned about the negative consequences of such a phenomenon especially if it is associated with illegal coercion.
“We should differentiate between two issues. The first where the woman relinquishes her right on her own which is permissible while the second where the woman gives up her right under duress. This is prohibited in Islam and is against Shariah,” Dr. Abdul Wahab Al-Mazruae, an academic said.
Dr. Ghazi Al-Shemeri, a researcher in family affairs, links the phenomenon to pre–Islamic era stressing that stripping women of their right affects them morally and psychologically.
“Women in Asir don’t sue their brothers nor take them to courts to demand their rights as they feel their act would stigmatize their family and tribe,” Sheikh Saad Al–Naser, an elder tribesman said.