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Gender Equality Islamic scholar says Senate must reject equal inheritance bill

Sheikh Dahiru warned Muslim senators against supporting the bill, saying it is an infringement on the Islamic rights of Muslims.

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Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi play

Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi

(Daily Trust)

A renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, has condemned the controversial Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, warning the Senate to reject it.

The bill, which seeks to ensure equal inheritances for male and female children, has passed the second reading at the Senate.

Speaking to newsmen in his Bauchi residence on Wednesday, October 5, he said the bill is against the provision of Islam about inheritance between male and female - the religion  gave a higher percentage to a male heir.

Bauchi warned the Senate to be sensitive in dealing with issues that touch on the religious line as this may cause unnecessary tension among believers of the religion.

He particularly warned every Muslim Senator in the Chamber, who he said should know better, to strongly oppose the bill and ensure it is not passed into law.

He expressed pity for any Muslim senator who backs the bill, saying it is an attempt to change a divine law contained in the Qur'an. He said such person is doing so at his own peril.

Bauchi stressed that the attempt to give the same share of inheritance to male and female heirs‎ in Nigeria is an infringement on the Islamic rights of Nigerian Muslims as enshrined in the Qur'an.

The Islamic scholar said: "Since there is a law which guarantees the freedom of religion, our Islamic laws must not be tampered with. Giving a double female share to a male heir in an inheritance was prescribed by Allah in ‎the Qur'an.

"Anybody who thought that it is an attempt to short-changed women is only ignorant. Islam is the only religion that awards inheritance to women and guarantees their rights. In other religions and cultures, what is left by a deceased belongs to the eldest male child."

He called on Muslims to recall, reject and vote out their elected representatives who attempt to tamper with any Islamic law in whatever guise.

ALSO READ: Gender Equality Bill - Senators believe law will turn women into prostitutes, lesbians

The bill which is being sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi also seeks end to the harassment of widows and ensure equal employment opportunities for women.

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