Kasim Mwasa, the head of Research at Muslim Center for Justice and Law-MCJL, a Ugandan faith-based NGO dedicated to promoting and advancing Justice, Tolerance and Human Rights says that the Act doesn't take into consideration the interests and teachings of Muslims. Mwasa says Succession and specifically, inheritance are acts of worship in the Muslim faith, whose implementation is already stipulated in the Qur'an, the Muslim Supreme law.
are up in arms against the Succession Act, which was passed by parliament on
Tuesday saying it disregards the teachings of Islam.
The bill seeks to ensure equality and equity in the
distribution of the deceased estates. The bill repeals the Succession law that
was enacted in 1906. According to the bill, a surviving spouse or spouses is or
are entitled to 20 per cent of the deceased’s or testators wealth, the
dependent relatives take 4 per cent, the linear descendants or biological and
adopted children take 75 per cent while the customary heir will take 1 per
But Kasim Mwasa, the head of Research at Muslim Center for Justice and
Law-MCJL, a Ugandan faith-based NGO dedicated to promoting and advancing
Justice, Tolerance and Human Rights says that the Act doesn't take into
consideration interests and teachings of Muslims. Mwasa says Succession and
specifically, inheritance are acts of worship in the Muslim faith, whose
implementation is already stipulated in the Qur'an, the Muslim Supreme law.
Mwasa says the Qur'an provides for what family and relatives are entitled to
when a member dies. For instance, in Islam, a man is entitled to half of the
property of his deceased wife if the couple didn't have a child and a quarter per cent if the couple had a child or children.
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Mwasa says that last year when the government invited stakeholders to contribute to
the bill and raise concerns, they made it clear that Muslims prefer to follow
the Islamic teachings and hence should be excluded from the Act.
They argued that since there was a provision of the law establishes the
Muhammadan Laws of Marriage and Qadhi Courts, these be used in administering
the Islamic law on succession. He was however dismayed to learn that Parliament
passed the Act without considering the interests of Muslims.
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Dr. Abdulhafiidh Walusimbi, an expert in Islamic Law and Lecturer at Islamic
University In Uganda, says that inheritance is a form of worship in the Muslim
faith and is guided by Islamic jurisprudence.
Dr. Walusimbi argues that the 1995 Constitution provides for freedom of worship
and establishes Qadhi Courts to administer the religious affairs of Muslims,
which should be respected. He explained that in Islam succession and
inheritance starts rights from the burial arrangements.
For instance, it is
from part of the deceased's wealth that burial arrangements are made and debts
that he or she might have left are cleared before the burial proceeds and
eventually distribution of the estate.
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Imam Ahmad Kyeyune, a renowned Islamic Law Scholar says that succession being
an act of worship, cannot be regulated by humans. He says God was cognizant of
the conflict that could accrue in distributing a deceased's estate and that's
why He (God) decided to dictate the process of succession and specifically
Imam Kyeyune says that there is wisdom in God's guidance regarding
inheritance. For instance, he points out the fact that a boy child is entitled
to double what a girl child inherits from a parent, something that has been
interpreted by some people as oppressive and unjust.
“There is no better system than that provided for in the Quran. Allah is just
but it is because of our lack of knowledge that we do not understand the
teaching of Islam,” said Imam Kyeyune.
that, “God knew that males are the providers yet females have a right to be
taken care of say by their husbands. A female folk is entitled to benefit
from a husband's, father's and brother's wealth even when they are still
leaving, which is not the case with males.”
The bill is yet to be
forwarded to the president to assent to it before it is gazetted and