Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Islamic law aids tsunami widows


By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA – When the tsunami came to sweep away her seaside home, her three children, and her husband, Yuniarti thought that she had lost everything she could possibly lose.

She was wrong. After the disaster, the parents of her late husband took away her car, her motorcycle, and other belongings, telling Yuniarti that they had more right to inherit their son's property than she did as a wife.

They were wrong. According to Islamic law, a widow has greater right to inherit her husband's property. Now, Yuniarti is asserting those rights under Islamic sharia law, a 1,300-year-old legal system that has some surprisingly modern notions of women's empowerment.

"The only way I have is to go to sharia court," says Yuniarti, who claims her husband's family has begun to threaten her after she asked repeatedly for her property back. "I know that I will win the case in Islamic court. My husband's parents are religious people, I hope they will hear the decision of the sharia court and accept it."

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