Ever since Pakistan is born there has been a huge controversial debate on the topic that whether women have any rights on the property or dower that they receive. The debate ignites on the either side of their family, which is the brothers’ side and also the husbands’ side. In the detailed discussion of this topic one would find a list of benefits that Islam, the religion, as well as the constitution and penal code of Pakistan has given to the women. But the issue lies in the traditions and customs that were made before the era on enlightenment by few men who always wanted to suppress women, and make them dependent on them for life.
This post discusses briefly about what are the women rights on property in light of Islam and the Law of Land. Also we are going to discuss major issues that the woman of today faces in term of acquiring her very own property that gets confiscated by her so called relatives, well-wishers, and caretakers. So without further ado, let’s jump into our main topic.
Property Ownership or Dowry and Islam
Although we find traces in Islam where the dowry is proven and is established also by fiqah and the ulema council. However, spending way too much on it and any demands made by the groom side in this regard or blackmailing, if done afterwards is strictly prohibited in Islam as well as the law of Pakistan. The roots of the dowry do meet back in the time of Sahaba, from who a majority was in the favor of this concept as this is prolly the last gift that the bride might take from her parents’ family.
Islam allows a woman to own property, gold and any other thing that has been gifted to her or she has earned by dong any business or trade. And also she reserves all the right to get into any business or trade treaty with or without partnering with her husband, parents or brother. Apart from that she also has the right to spend whatever she earns whether on herself or on anyone that she wants to spend on. However, these rights have been curbed by few violent men in the name of respect and honor which is slowly eating up the social fabric of Pakistan.
The Quran, the holy book of Muslims has already stated it very clear almost 1400 years back that anything that belongs to the woman, only she has the right over it and no one including her husband, father, son or brothers can claim any right on it and no one should be allowed to take that away from her, but only in a case where a woman happily and with her own free will decides to gift it to someone, no one should stop her from doing so. This is what the holy book has said about the property, gifts, mehr, and dowry ownership of the woman, anyone failing to abide by these rules is said to deviate from the religious obligations and Pakistani Law at the same time.
Property Ownership or Dowry and Pakistani Law
The government has taken such measures in order to curtail the menaces that have been created in the society due to the misuse of these religious symbols. The framework that has been established in this regard with the name Dowry and Bridal Gifts Act 1976 that is enacted in order to protect women ownership rights in Pakistan. Nonetheless, the act doesn’t seem to stay active in majority or the areas where there is lesser education and enlightenment and women continue to compromise on their rights in order to save their lives and faces in the society.
In addition to these government of Pakistan under the constitution of Pakistan has laid special framework to ease out the women in attaining their very basic rights that has been given to them, if they in any case feel any jeopardy in getting their rights the government also has formed family laws and family courts which enable them to visit and resolve their matters right away. Hudood Ordinance, shariah law and shariah courts are also in force in Pakistan to assist the gender prejudice cases on any matter whatsoever.
Additionally, as per the Islamic law and jurisprudence anything that has been gifted to the woman at the time of wedding must also remain in her custody and possession, and she reserves all the ownership rights over these things. Also, if she buys any real estate property worth the cash gifts that she has received then also the right of ownerships is retained by her.
Supreme Court’s Ruling Over Property Ownership
In the month on March this year the top court has taken notice of property ownership and women rights under their own supervision and decided to formulate a comprehensive rule which suits the best and is also in greater benefit of the women in the country. The bench that was led by justice Qazi Faiz Isa which after hearing all the stakeholders issued a 12 page brief and comprehensive ruling on the case.
The bench mentioned in their judgment that under the Islamic law the women hold all the rights to the property ownership for any real estate that they have in addition to the gold and gifts that they have received as gifts on the wedding or have bought afterwards. It is totally a false notion that says that women don’t have the right to possess anything of the monetary value and any person hindering to the pursuit in any regard would be punished under the law. Also, he stated that these customs to confiscate or keep women away from their property and Islamic rights is totally unlawful and contrary to what the religion and the law of land says in the books. This didn’t only law a foundation or trigger a new response for the property rights, but also the ape court taking the matter into account establishes the severity of the subject into the minds of the masses.
Islam has ordained every man to stay very loyal and show extra care where the matters of women come. It has given the rights to both the men equally staying into their own stature and the rights and duties of both have already been affirmed by the religion almost 1400 years back. This is sheer injustice and against the law that these customs have coming into the existence. This judgment has also ruined what based the ill customs and traditions to come over the religious obligations and law of land.