Indian Muslims lag behind due to the Islamic inheritance system ?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by LurkerBaba, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Interesting hypothesis. Maybe YB can shed more light ? :hmm:

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    Going back to the 2006 Sachar Committee report and research that’s followed, it’s been widely documented that Muslims in India have lagged behind the population as a whole on a range of economic and social indicators, such as education and health. Specifically, data in the Planning Commission’s India Human Development Report 2011 suggest that Muslims lag all social groups except scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

    ....
    ....

    A team headed by Abusaleh Shariff, lead economist on the Sachar report, has produced new research, reported on here, that reconfirms the impression Muslims lag on economic and social indicators, in particular the share of their contribution to high value-added sectors of the economy.

    Mr. Shariff and his team suggest that the lower performance and productivity levels of Muslims provide a prima facie case that they’re disadvantaged, adding that this provides a case for “pro-poor and just policies” to help bridge the gap.

    While the raw data are not in dispute, Mr. Shariff’s interpretation is incomplete because, beyond referencing a state of deprivation, it doesn’t probe into the reasons why Muslims may be faring poorly.

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    Timur Kuran, an economics professor at Duke University, together with Anantdeep Singh, a researcher at the University of Southern California, in a new study have argued that the roots of Muslims’ lagging performance may be attributed to institutional differences that go back to the British colonial period. In doing so, they discount conventional explanations including the supposed “conservatism and insularity” of Islam, the supposed “demoralization” of the Muslim community after the fall of the Mughal empire, and the supposed animosity of the attitude of British colonizers against the Muslims and in favor of the Hindus.


    Instead, Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue that the real culprit is the Islamic inheritance system, which the British codified and enforced after coming to power in India. They suggest that the typical Muslim form of saving across generations, family trusts known as Waqfs, were not well suited for the pooling of capital across families, nor were they well suited to pursuing profit-making enterprises. What they were good at, though, was providing a safe way for an individual family to save its wealth over time.

    By contrast, more flexible Hindu inheritance practices were much better suited to capital accumulation within a given family, the pooling of resources within extended family and clan networks, and the preservation and growth of wealth across generations. What is more, Hindus tended to do business within family run enterprises that were able to transition to modern corporate setups in the 20th century, whereas Muslims tended to rely on transitory and short-lived business partnerships with other Muslims that were difficult to translate into the structure of a modern corporation.


    While it’s obviously true that Islamic inheritance practices predate British rule, the study documents that these laws were only loosely enforced during the late Mughal period and many Muslims, especially converts, continued to live by non-Islamic customs including inheritance practices. However, the British, who set up common law courts, more rigorously applied the distinct inheritance laws of different communities. Crucially, as Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh argue, the British, being unfamiliar with Indian traditions, institutionalized a more “classical” or Arabic form of Islamic law than the more flexible practices derived from Persian and other sources that had existed under the Mughals.

    The end result was that in practice many more Muslims became subject to a stricter enforcement of Islamic laws. Tellingly, the Muslims who’ve fared best economically come from small ”nonconforming” communities that converted from Hinduism – the Khojas, Bohras, Memons and Girasias – who as it happens were allowed by the British to retain their original inheritance practices. Azim Premji, India’s richest Muslim and the only Indian Muslim on the Forbes list of billionaires, is a Khoja.

    To borrow a term from historian Niall Ferguson’s book “Civilization: The West and the Rest,” were the majority of Indian Muslims deprived of a “killer app” that Hindus and nonconforming Muslims had access to, preventing their development of modern enterprises? Mr. Kuran and Mr. Singh make a compelling case that the answer is yes and that this helps explain their current state of relative deprivation.
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    Economics Journal: A Theory Why India’s Muslims Lag - India Real Time - WSJ
     
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  3. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    in one another report i saw that Indian muslim by percentage are more poor than any other community in India

    i dont know why because initially muslim were sought to be the richest in the regio
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I have no clue about this TBH. I wonder what they meant by "non confirming Muslims". That was a total Paki statement.

    Bohras have been doing business for generations. The inheritance is as per Islamic traditions. But I has no effect on capital pooling.

    What is true however is that Bohras don't have Multi national empires or large corporates barring a few. that is more to do with the traditional methods of business being adopted and total aversion to taking loans from banks.
     
  5. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Khojas, Bohris and Memons are mainly business communities, Gujjus to boot. So I'd say a large part may be their traditionally good business sense and thrifty nature.

    YB could you explain this wakf inheritance ? AFAIK there is Wakf board which takes care of Muslim charities, Haj, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I don't know what wakf inheritance means. There is no role of wakf board in inheritence. Not in my community at least.

    The Quran is very clear about inheritance.

    From wiki

    Inheritance is considered as an integral part of Shariah Law and its application in Islamic society is a mandatory. Muslims inherit from one another as stated in the Qur'an.[Qur'an 4:7] Hence, there is a legal share for relatives of the decedent in his estate and property. The major rules of inheritance are detailed in Qur'an, Hadith and Fiqh.

    When a Muslim dies there are four duties which need to be performed. They are:

    Pay funeral and burial expenses.
    Pay debts.
    Execute the testamentary will of the deceased (which can only be a maximum of one third of the property).
    Distribute the remainder of estate and property to the relatives of the deceased according to Shariah Law.
    Therefore, it is necessary to determine the relatives of the deceased who are entitled to inherit, and their shares.[2]

    These laws take greater prominence in Islam because of the restriction placed on the testator (a person who makes a will). Islamic law places two restrictions on the testator:

    To whom he or she can bequeath his or her wealth.
    The amount that he or she can bequeath (which must not exceed one third of the overall wealth).[2]
    Different types of heirs

    Heirs referred to as primary heirs are always entitled to a share of the inheritance, they are never totally excluded. These primary heirs consist of the spouse relict, both parents, the son and the daughter. All remaining heirs can be totally excluded by the presence of other heirs. But under certain circumstances, other heirs can also inherit as residuaries, namely the father, paternal grandfather, daughter, agnatic granddaughter, full sister, consanguine sister and mother.[2] Those who inherit are usually confined to three groups:

    Quota-heirs (dhawu al-farāʾḍ), usually include daughters, parents, grandparents, husband and wife/ wives, brothers and sisters, and others. This group usually take a designated share or quota of the estates.
    Members of the Ê¿aá¹£aba (residuaries), usually a combination of male (and sometimes female) relatives that inherit as residuaries after the shares of the Quota-heirs is distributed.[1]
    In case a person leaves no direct relatives and there is no Ê¿uá¹£aba, his property goes to the state treasury, Bayt al-mal.[1]
    Rules of Inclusion and Exclusion

    In Islamic law, only relatives with a legitimate blood relationship to the deceased are entitled to inherit. Thus, illegitimate children and adopted children have no shares in inheritance. In general, a full brother will exclude a consanguine brother, but not uterine brother.[2] In case where a deceased man leaves a pregnant woman, the unborn child's share will be reserved. Also a woman during the time of waiting (Ê¿idda) after divorce is considered as a wife of the deceased for purposes of inheritance.[1]

    There are even further rules of exclusion and inclusion of different relatives. The only "practical situations" which may cause disqualification are differences of religion and homicide. But schools of Islamic jurisprudence differed whether a Muslim can inherit from a non-Muslim or not. All the jurists agree that intentional or unjustifiable killing would exclude a person form inheritance.[2]

    Women and inheritance

    In Islam, women are entitled the right of inheritance.[3] In general circumstances, though not all, Islam allots women half the share of inheritance available to men who have the same degree of relation to the decedent. For example, where the decedent has both male and female children, a son's share is double that of a daughter's.[4] Additionally, the sister of a childless man inherits half of his property upon his death, while a brother of a childless woman inherits all of her property.[5] However, this principle is not universally applicable,[2] and there are other circumstances where women might receive equal shares to men. For example, the share of the mother and father of a childless decedent.[citation needed]. Also the share of a uterine brother is equal to the share of a uterine sister, as do the shares of their descendants.[2]

    Some times woman gets double share then share of man, for example if there are only parents and husband, husband will receive half, father gets 1/6 and mother gets 2/6. This is according to Ibne Abbas's interpretation of verses 11, 12 of sorat an nisa. [Quran-4:11,12] Also the Qur'an does not discriminate between men and women in cases of kalalah relation.[6][7]Kalalah describes a person who leaves behind neither parents nor children; it also means all the relatives of a deceased except his parents and children, and it also denotes the relationships which are not through [the deceased’s] parents or children. Islamic scholars hold that the original reason for these difference is the responsibilities allotted to spouses. A husband in Islam must use his inheritance to support his family while a wife has no support obligations. Additionally, Arab society traditionally practiced the custom of bride price or dower rather than dowry; i.e., the man paid a gift to his wife or her family upon marriage, rather than the opposite, placing a financial burden on men where none existed on women. This custom received Islamic sanction.
     
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  7. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    There seems to be much to learn from Persian customs than the Hardline Wahabbi customs which seem to be gaining in the mainstream.
     
  8. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    the main reason for present situation of indian muslims is their inability to understand and accept the importance of women in the hierarchy, women education and women rights.
    when rest of communities in india are increasingly giving importance to women education,the chances within a muslim community is not bright for women

    turkey is a clear example. the only self sufficient,democratic& (relatively) peaceful muslim country in the world with women literacy crossing 90%
    till the day when quality of life of muslim women don't improve their community as a whole suffers.

    second reason for their lagging uncontrolled births & improperly planned families. how come a middle class person feed 3 or more children these days?
     
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  9. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    Actually I think it's the other way round, Muslims in India form one of the poorest sections of society particularly in backward states like Bihar and UP and backward areas of central Mahrashtra and Madhya pradesh. Presumably vast segments of this population were low caste Hindus who converted.

    In terms of poverty today, I don't think Muslims in particular are poor in India because they are targeted for their religion (as much as people in Pakistan want to believe). The Indian establishment and to a certain extent the general ethos of the society is equally hostile toward all poor communities in India regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Wealth in India has a greater association with geography, as in rural vs urbanization than with religion.

    As far as the pre partition wealth among the Muslim community is concerned, there was a huge disparity in the distribution of this wealth. The few elite rich feudals held almost all the wealth while the rest were left to fend for themselves, so I don't think large scale wealth attrition among the Muslim community was a major post partition phenomenon. This again isn't a religion specific phenomenon because the same was true for Hindus as well, furthermore things didn't change in Pakistan or Bangladesh either.

    I too believe that the lack of institutions is one of the major reasons for mass poverty among Indian Muslims today, actually for most of South Asia in general. While the Ferguson "killer app" analogy works at a superficial level much like his book (and apparently his outlook in general) this observation is overly simplistic. We have to remember that the whole belt from Bengal to West UP (which is home to vast swaths of Muslims) was horribly oppressed during the British Raj. The entire society in this region regardless of religion was systematically decimated and the people were basically turned into chattel and exploited to the core; so the lack of institutions isn't accidental or due to "inferior cultural attributes" by any means. This also explains why Muslims in other regions like Kerala that did not suffer the similar fate are much better off.
     
  10. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ A Paki who is brought up on a staple diet of conspiracy theories and victimhood, and constant falsehood about "persecution of Indian Muslims" will hardly understand anything you are saying here. This fellow was claiming on another thread that Col. Purohit's son was given a range rover and 500 liters free fuel every month. What a typical display of Pakistaniyat. :puke: These people simply manufacture statistics and "facts" on the fly.
     
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  11. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    One more thing! the only Secular Country that allows Muslim law to be followed like in marriage and maintaining property is India - so also Hindu laws -and that too since Independence. There was much pressure from Hindu Organisations to make India "Hindu Rashtra" after partition but thanks GOD our leaders chose "Secular" path. That may be the reason why our constitution never mention "secular" word before amendment in 1976. This may have been a tactic to show that India is neither non-Hindu or non-Muslim nation to pacify the Communal tensions boiling at that time! Kudos to the leader of that time....
     
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