Just one more thing I came across showing similarities between Judaism and Islam. I skimmed over it, but haven't read the whole thing yet. That is why I'm posting it, so I have an easy reference to come back to.http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/lwsch/ ... 01_TXT.htm
THE INHERITANCE RIGHTS OF WOMEN UNDER JEWISH AND ISLAMIC LAW
Mary F. Radford*
Abstract: The inheritance rights of women in the Anglo-American system have evolved from a system whose primary purpose was the support of women to one in which women enjoy the same rights to inherit and own property as their male counterparts. The laws of Judaism and Islam contain elements of these two Anglo-American approaches, with a focus on support under Jewish law and on ownership (although not equal ownership) under Islamic law. In this article Professor Radford gives a brief overview of the legal systems of Judaism and Islam and of the place of women in these systems. She then provides a detailed description of the ways in which the laws of Judaism and Islam govern the rights of wives, mothers, daughters, and other female relatives to inherit property.
In the Western tradition, women generally, and married women in particular,1 had little or no place in the order of intestate succession.2 Until the end of the sixteenth century, women were basically denied the right to inherit property.3 Modern times have seen a dra[*PG136]matic reversal of this trend. Not only can women now inherit property equally with their male counterparts, but married women (and spouses generally) are favored in their ability to share the property formerly owned by the deceased spouse or by the couple during their marriage.
This reversal is illustrated by the current structure of inheritance laws in the United States. If a deceased spouse dies without a will, state intestacy laws guarantee that a portion of the estate will pass to the surviving spouse.4 Community property jurisdictions give both spouses equal ownership of the property that is acquired by the married couple during the course of the marriage5 and, at death, the surviving spouse retains her one-half ownership in the property of the marriage.6 In most separate property jurisdictions, the surviving spouse is allowed to elect to take a specified portion of the deceased spouse’s estate in lieu of taking under the decedent’s will.7 Throughout the United States, the surviving spouse is allowed to take from the estate amounts needed for his or her maintenance for a period following the death of the first spouse.8 Thus, these laws guarantee a woman both the ability to inherit property and, in some circum[*PG137]stances, the right to be supported after the death of a male upon whom she may have been dependent.
The advancements in women’s inheritance rights in modern Western law were presaged centuries earlier by the laws of Judaism and Islam. Long before women were given the right to inherit property in Western jurisdictions, the laws of these two religions had established a limited form of inheritance and support rights for the surviving wife and female relatives of a decedent.9 This article describes and compares the inheritance rights of women under the two religions. Part I is an overview of the sources of law for the two religions. Part II briefly describes the place women hold in Judaism and Islam. Part III summarizes the concept of marriage in the two religions and the nature of a wife’s rights to hold property within the marriage, as these rules reflect the philosophy behind women’s general rights to inherit property. Part IV outlines the basic structure of inheritance law in both religions and then describes in detail the inheritance rights of surviving wives and other female relatives of the decedent. Part V concludes with a brief discussion of the way in which the inheritance rights of women that were established by the laws of these two religions are played out in modern societies whose laws and customs are based on the legal precepts of Judaism and Islam.
I. Sources of Law
At the outset, it is necessary to explain the terms “Jewish” and “Islamic” law. The Jewish law described in this article is not to be confused with the law of the State of Israel. In 1965, Israel passed a comprehensive Succession Law that embodies theories from a variety of Western countries and that does not concur in every respect with traditional Jewish law.10 Nor is Islamic law to be confused with the law that is followed today in many Islamic countries. These countries in many cases have adopted, either officially or unofficially, legal systems that vary in substantial ways from traditional Islamic law.11 Rather, the terms “Jewish law” and “Islamic law” refer to the body of law in each [*PG138]religion that stems from divinely revealed sources and the interpretation and expansion of these revelations by scholars, community members, and local custom.
The structure of the law of Judaism and of Islam is similar in that the basic written source of each is believed to have been revealed to mankind by God.12 The divine revelations in both of these religions were made exclusively to one man13—Moses, in the case of Jewish law,14 and Mohammed, the Prophet,15 in the case of Islamic law. In each religion, the precepts of the divine source have been and continue to be interpreted and expanded over time by the combination of community practice and scholarly debate.16 In addition, the law of both religions was affected by the existing legal systems of the societies within which these religious laws developed.17
[*PG139]A. Sources of Jewish Law
The Jewish law, referred to as a whole as the Halakhah, is based in the Torah.18 The written component of the Torah19 (referred to also as the Pentateuch20) is the five Books of Moses:21 Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.22 The text of these books was conveyed to Moses on Mount Sinai, along with a large body of “oral law” that was not reduced to writing for several centuries.23 Where gaps or inconsistencies appeared in the written law, the process of midrash (interpretation and construction) was used for clarification and for filling out the skeletal structure.24 In approximately 200 c.e., [*PG140]Rabbi Judah the Prince produced a codex of laws that was recognized as an authoritative statement of the oral law.25 This Mishnah consists of six orders, the third of which is devoted primarily to women and the family.26 Baba Bathra, which is the third tractate of the fourth order,27 deals with inheritance.28 Over time, as the Torah and the Mishnah became the subject of increasingly sophisticated scholarly debate, the scholarly commentary was itself written down to serve as a further source for clarification of the law. The Talmud29 is the collection of this discursive commentary and is noteworthy in that the dissenting as well as the consensus opinions are recorded for use in future debate.30 [*PG141]After the compilation of the Talmud,31 scholars continued to develop the Jewish law and to record it in the form of Responsa32 and Com[*PG142]mentaries.33 Perhaps the best known of the Commentaries is that of Maimonides.34
Scholars were not the only ones who contributed to the development of Jewish law. Consistently followed courses of conduct became recognized as minhag or legal norms.35 Sometimes these courses of conduct were codified in local enactments, known as takkanot.36 The takkanot were sometimes initiated in reaction to changes in social conditions that proved inconsistent with previously recorded law.37
One scholar describes the complexity of Jewish law as follows:
Jewish law, then is the sum total of the law laid down in Scripture with interpretations and amplifications thereof in Talmud and Midrash, and the reforms and innovations superadded by Talmudical law, the post-Talmudic codes, the Commentaries and the Responsa, the customary laws and the takkanot of the various communities, and last—but not least—the rational and ethical principles deduced from them.38
[*PG143]B. Sources of Islamic Law
The body of Islamic law39 is referred to as Shari’a or “the clear path.”40 This body of law emanates primarily from four sources: the Qur’an, Sunna, Qiyas, and Ijma.41 The Qur’an is the word of God as recited by Mohammed, His Messenger (hereinafter the Prophet), beginning about 610 c.e.42 The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet over a period of 23 years, during which time he resided in both Mecca and Medina.43 The Qur’an consists of 6219 verses.44 About five hundred of these verses are legalistic in tone and some eighty verses deal exclusively with legal topics.45
The second source of Islamic law, the Sunna, is described as the practice of the Prophet.46 Essentially, the Sunna is comprised of the [*PG144]“sayings of the Prophet; his deeds; and his silent or tacit approval of certain acts which he had knowledge of.”47 The Sunna reaffirm the customary law that was prevalent in Arabia at the time of the Prophet’s life, to the degree that that law was not contradicted by him.48 The Hadith, which is the written record of the Sunna,49 was not compiled until many years after the death of the Prophet.50 Those who transcribed the Hadith did so by collecting the first-hand testimony of those who had lived with and observed the Prophet (his “Companions”) and the second-hand testimony of the second and third generation followers of the original Companions.51 Some controversy exists as to whether the human element involved in narrating and interpreting the Prophet’s words and actions may have compromised the accuracy of the Hadith.52 Traditionalists, however, look [*PG145]solely to the Qur’an and the Sunna as the source of Islamic law53 and deny “[t]he possibility of error, bias or evil intent” in the Hadith.54
Qiyas and Ijma, the third and fourth sources of the law, are based in human analysis rather than divine revelation. Qiyas involves an expansion of the law through analogical reasoning, or the application of a textual rule from one situation to a different situation.55 Qiyas can be accomplished only if the underlying purpose of the rule itself is clear.56 A common example of the use of Qiyas is the expansion of the express prohibition against the use of alcohol to include a prohibition against the use of drugs which, like alcohol, impair the user’s control of his actions.57
Ijma is the consensus reached by scholars and jurists as to a rule of law.58 As with Qiyas, Ijma involves the application of human reasoning to the Qur’an and Sunna. Consequently, although the Ijma may have represented the unanimous opinion of a certain age, “ijma is not simply the consensus of all past jurists.”59
There are several distinct movements and schools of Islamic law. For purposes of this article, it is important to note that two schools—the Sunni and the Shi’i—developed soon after the death of the Prophet and their origin was basically political in nature.60 The Sunni school is that followed by the vast majority of Muslims today and is the school of thought that is described in this article, unless indicated otherwise.61 The Shi’i school is practiced by a significant minority of [*PG146]Muslims and contains certain critical distinctions relating to inheritance rights that will be described as appropriate.
II. Women’s Place in the Two Religions
The status of women under both Judaism and Islam is the subject of continuing debate. In both arenas, there are those who praise the religion for the dignified status to which it elevates women and those who criticize the religion for its sexist and discriminatory treatment of women. As will be noted, a modern resurgence of fundamentalism in both religions reinforces and emphasizes to women’s detriment religious rules and historical traditions that relegate women to an inferior status.62
A. Women in Judaism
Dissonant attitudes about the status of women in Judaism appear as early as the creation accounts in the Book of Genesis.63 In Genesis 1:27, God created man “in his own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them.” This passage would seem to give equal dignity to the two genders.64 Yet later in the same book, God is said to have created man first, from the “dust of the ground,”65 and then later created woman from Adam’s rib,66 because “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”67 Thus, woman appears in the creation story both as man’s equal and as secondary to him.
The Book of Genesis also lays the groundwork for the focal point that marriage plays in Jewish life.68 The creation chapter states that [*PG147]the bond of marriage between husband and wife overrides the parent-child relationship.69 This chapter arguably allots an elevated status to a wife, for whom “a man shall leave his father and his mother.” 70 However, this passage, which speaks of the married couple as becoming “one flesh,” may also have been a portent of the English common law concept that a woman’s legal existence was subsumed into that of her husband at marriage.71
The Book of Leviticus contains a series of rules relating to bodily impurity that apply both to men and to women.72 This book is the origin of the ostracization of a woman while she is menstruating (niddah).73 The Book of Leviticus also describes unequal periods of impurity that follows a woman giving birth to a child.74 The period of impurity for a woman who has given birth to a female child is double that of a woman who has given birth to a male child.75
Several women appear throughout the Bible who are powerful in their own right.76 Yet Biblical references to women in general indicate that a woman’s highest honor is to be found in her role as wife and mother.77 The Mishnah order that deals with women concentrates on [*PG148]marriage and divorce.78 The Talmud emphasizes further “the husbands’ and fathers’ duties with regard to the maintenance and care for his wife and daughters.” 79 The Talmud also adds to the role of the woman/wife/mother the important task of freeing her husband from mundane household tasks so that he will be free to study the Torah.80 Generally, women did not study the Torah, although history records the story of one woman scholar, Beruriah, who was purportedly able to “absorb over three hundred laws each day, . . . some of her legal decisions were accepted as Halachah, despite the opposing views of some Rabbis.”81
The status of Jewish women in modern times varies in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism.82 For example, Orthodox Jews continue to restrict women from participating in religious rituals even though Reform Jews now admit women to the rabbinate.83 Jewish feminists continue to fight for the equalization of women’s status in the religion against the traditionalist view that this equalization is contrary to talmudic legislation.84
Jewish women, particularly in Israel, remain threatened by the political influence that may be wielded by Jewish “Ultra-Orthodox fundamentalists.”85 Like Islamic fundamentalism,86 Jewish fundamentalism dictates an inferior and submissive status for women.87 Jewish fundamentalism “does not explicitly declare that a wife must be submissive and obedient to her husband [but] the overall structure of marriage and divorce laws delegates such a degree of authority and power to the husband as to allow him effectively to coerce his wife’s obedience.”88 Additionally, Jewish fundamentalists, in the name of “guard[ing] women’s chastity [and] prevent[ing] women from [*PG149]‘tempting’ men into adultery,”89 segregate the sexes, relegate women to the home, and restrict women’s public dress.90
B. Women in Islam
One scholar has noted that “[t]o attempt to talk about women in Islam is of course to venture into an area fraught with the perils of overgeneralization, oversimplification, and the almost unavoidable limitations of a Western bias.”91 Islam is criticized by some as having created a “male-dominated society”92 and praised by others as having “elevated the status of women, providing them with an independent legal and spiritual identity.”93 The Prophet’s legislation is praised by some as having declared “a new equal status for women in society,”94 yet criticized by others as setting forth a set of rules on family life with “almost all of them favoring men.”95 A brief examination of the status of women in pre-Islamic Arabia reveals that, while Islam generally improved the status of women in that society, it may also have resulted in imposing severe restrictions on the rights that some pre-Islamic women enjoyed.96
The primary governmental unit of pre-Islamic Arabia was the tribe.97 The tribes were either settled tribes or nomads (the latter often referred to as “Bedouin”).98 Children were viewed as children of the tribe,99 and the members of the tribe were bound to one another by blood ties,100 through either a patrilineal or a matrilineal [*PG150]system.101 Marriage was a “flexible, loose institution with no strict, uniformed rules”102 and a woman’s role within a marriage ranged from that of property103 to “free agent.”104 Infanticide, primarily female infanticide, was a common practice.105 Polygamy was also prevalent.106 In those systems in which a wife was regarded as property, women had no property or inheritance rights and could be divorced at will by their husbands.107 In the matrilineal systems, however, some rights of inheritance in women most likely existed.108 In Mecca, the Prophet’s first wife was a successful businesswoman “who had inherited a large fortune from her late husband.”109
The Prophet replaced the tribe with the family as the primary social unit.110 He adopted the patrilineal system as the framework for [*PG151]his scheme of inheritance,111 but he established explicit inheritance rights for women.112 The Prophet restricted to four the number of wives that a man could have and forbade a woman from having more than one husband.113 He abolished the practice of female infanticide.114
Strong women played an important role in the life of the Prophet and the foundation of the religion. The Prophet’s first wife, Khadija, supported his cause and became known as “the Mother of all believers.”115 Another of his wives, A’isha, is portrayed as a powerful influence, both on the Prophet and on his followers.116 The Prophet’s daughter, Fatima, stood by him during his life and played a political [*PG152]role after his death.117 Despite these forceful feminine influences, some believe that women as a class do not fare particularly well in those segments of the Qur’an and the Shari’a that deal with topics other than inheritance and property rights. This belief is summarized as follows:
The purpose of women, according to the Koran, is to compliment men. Women’s rights to employment and participation in public life, freedom of movement and freedom of organization, are severely restricted through a combination of the Shari’a principles of qawam (men’s guardianship over women), hijab (the veil) and segregation between men and women. Examples of women’s inequality can be found in the administration of justice and in certain aspects of family law. A woman’s judicial testimony is deemed to be of half the value of that of a man, in civil cases, and is not accepted at all in serious criminal cases. In certain types of wrongful homicide, monetary compensation paid to the heirs of a female victim is less than that paid to the heirs of a male victim and a woman’s share in inheritance is half that of a man’s. Additionally, no woman may hold any public office which involves exercising authority over men.120
In addition, one verse of the Qur’an seemed not only to confirm the inferior role of women but also to sanction wife-beating. This verse states:
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out their property; the good women are therefore obedient, [*PG153]guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded, and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.121
Finally, proponents of the practice of female circumcision cite this “tradition as ‘a duty on every Muslim woman.’”122
The status of women in Islam is complicated by the fact that scholarly interpretation of the Qur’an may have been subject to the biases of those who stood to benefit by a society that favored their gender.123 Women played no part in interpretation of the Qur’an, and their absence “has been mistakenly equated with voicelessness in the text itself.”124 Furthermore, social norms in many male-dominated countries may have obscured many of the original purposes of the Qur’anic legislation.125 Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, claims that the subjugation of women in Islam “has got nothing to do with the religion, but it has got very much to do with material or man-made considerations.”126 She concludes, “It is not Islam which is averse to women rulers, I think—it is men.”127
An example of the effect of male interpretation and social norms appears in the development of the concept of “the veil.” The required covering of a woman’s face and body when she ventures out in public is seen by many as a symbol of the Islamic subordination of women.128 [*PG154]However, this practice does not seem to have been mandated in the Qur’an.129 The Qur’an does state that, if a man is to ask anything of the wives of the Prophet, “ask it of them from behind a curtain.”130 Muslim feminist Fatima Mernissi describes the origin of this requirement as an event in which the Prophet, who was eager to be with his newly married wife, yet unwilling to be impolite to wedding guests who had lingered too long, eventually let fall a curtain between himself and the last-remaining of his Companions.131 She then goes on, however, to describe how recent books by Muslim fundamentalists emphasize the importance of women wearing the veil.132 As Mernissi notes, the “relatively minor incident” in the Prophet’s life, which originally was prompted by a need to separate public from private space, “was to turn into a segregation of the sexes.”133
In addition to a history of male interpretation and legislation, the resurgence of Muslim fundamentalism in recent decades has had a profound impact on the status of women in affected societies.134 In general, countries in which fundamentalist rule has taken hold have adopted laws that severely restrict the rights of women to work outside the home,135 to appear unveiled in public, and to protect their rights in the context of marriage and divorce.136 Thus, the rights of women [*PG155]in these male-dominated cultures have become virtually non-existent. Yet, ironically, even these fundamentalist regimes illustrate a grudging recognition of women’s innate power, as their motivating theory seems to be “that women harbor the seeds of destruction of all society and that to avoid this they and their sexuality must be carefully controlled.”137
III. Marriage as the Context for Succession Rights
Marriage is considered a cornerstone of both Judaism and Islam.138 The succession rights of women under Jewish and Islamic law cannot be understood fully unless they are examined in the larger context of the property rights of women within a marriage. Marriage as an institution in pre-Islamic Arabia bore many similarities to marriage in early Biblical times. In both cultures, marriage was a business transaction between the family of the groom and the family of the bride.139 The bride was a productive piece of property who was bought by the groom from her family.140
In both of these cultures, polygyny was permitted.141 In the Jewish tradition, the number of wives a man could have was limited only by his ability to fulfill his marital and sexual duties to each of them.142 The only man for whom the number of wives was limited was the king, and he was limited to 18.143 When asked how many wives a man should have, the rabbis speculated that the number four was realistic in that the husband could serve (or service) each one for one week in the month.144 It was not until somewhere between 960 and 1028 that a definitive Jewish order against polygyny was entered.145
[*PG156] As noted above, the Prophet did not object to polygyny but limited the number of wives that a man could have to as many as the man could care for, up to four.146 The Prophet himself was married to several women through the course of his life.147 Some commentators note that, at the time the Prophet recited the Qur’an, it would have been an unrealistic burden on women to abolish polygyny because tribal warfare had depleted the number of men in the communities and a woman needed the support of a marriage for her own financial well-being.148
In pre-Islamic Arabia, as well as in both religions, the husband could divorce the wife without the wife’s consent. Later Jewish law required the consent of the wife, although the husband technically is the only one who can deliver the get.149 Islamic law allows a man to divorce his wife unilaterally but gives the wife only a limited right to seek a divorce, either upon her husband’s consent or through the judicial system, unless the right to seek divorce on other grounds was reserved by the wife in the marriage contract.150
[*PG157]A. Marriage in Jewish Law
Marriage as an institution is similar under current Jewish and Islamic law in that it is in both cases based on a marriage contract between the spouses.151 In Jewish law, the contract is called the ketubah.152 This contract evolved from the earlier contract under which the groom would pay the marriage price, the mohr, to purchase the bride.153 The ketubah developed into a contract between the husband and wife that outlined both the husband’s and the wife’s obligations.154 The ketubah amount was no longer payable to the bride’s family but to the bride herself.155 One important purpose of the ketubah is to provide for the wife in the event of divorce or her husband’s death.156 Thus, the ketubah speaks of an amount of property that is available to the wife in the event of either of these occurrences.157 The ketubah amount is minimal, but the husband is free to add to that amount.158 The ketubah amount is a lien on the husband’s property.159 At the husband’s death or upon divorce, the wife is also entitled to a return of this amount and of her dowry.160 This property is sometimes referred to as “iron sheep” or “iron flock” assets.161 The assets are merged into the husband’s estate during the course of the marriage and, as with assets such as sheep, he is free to enjoy the fruits of the property during that time. However, the property resembles iron in that, at death or divorce, the value of the property when the marriage began must be returned to the wife (even if the property itself has gone down in value).162
[*PG158] The husband has the duty to maintain the wife during the marriage.163 This duty exists even if the husband is in financial difficulty and the wife has the independent means to support herself.164
B. Marriage in Islamic Law
The Islamic marriage contract calls similarly for a payment (the mehr or mahr) to be made to the bride by the groom. The institution of this payment was seen as an elevation of the woman from her previous status as an “object of sale”165 to that of “a contracting party in her own right.”166 The mehr is not a purchase price paid for the wife to the wife’s family; rather, like the ketubah amount, it is a free gift given into the sole possession of the woman upon the making of the marriage contract.167 The mehr may be specified168 or unspecified169 and a specified mehr may be paid in two parts—prompt and deferred.170 The prompt mehr is to be paid immediately upon the marriage.171 The deferred mehr is an unsecured debt from the husband to the wife.172 The wife is free to demand the deferred mehr at any time during the marriage and, if the husband does not pay it, she can “refuse herself to [*PG159]him.”173 The deferred mehr is typically not paid until the death of the husband or divorce.174 If due at death, the mehr “must be paid before any other estate distribution takes place.”175
In addition to paying the mehr, the Muslim husband is required to provide support for his wife during the marriage in the form of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.176 However, this support is based on the wife’s willingness to submit to her husband and his refusal to provide maintenance may not be sufficient grounds for her to sue for divorce.177 The wife’s male relatives also are responsible for supporting her.178
IV. Inheritance Under Jewish and Islamic Law
Despite the similarity of their approaches to marriage and divorce, the Jewish and Islamic legal systems differ dramatically in their approach to women’s rights to inheritance and succession. In general, the Islamic law offers an intricately specified system of inheritance rights in contrast to the vague outlines that comprise Jewish inheritance law. In particular, the two laws differ in that Islamic law provides specific shares of property for women in their spouses’ and relatives’ estates, while Jewish law allows women to inherit only in very limited circumstances. In any event, in both legal systems, women’s inheritance rights are generally not equal to those of men.
A. Jewish Inheritance Law
As noted, the Biblical inheritance laws are vague, derived more from Biblical references and illustrations than from explicit direc[*PG160]tions. The Biblical passages focus often on the necessity of retaining the stability of the tribes of Israel179 by maintaining property within the tribe via the patrilineal line.180
The text of Numbers 27:8–11, which is cited as the seminal Biblical source of the laws of succession, provides as follows:
If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren. And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father’s brethren. And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family and he shall possess it.181
This passage contains a number of clear rules. First, at the father’s death, the sons, if any, received his estate.182 If there were no sons, the property passed to his daughters. If there were no daughters, the property passed to the decedent’s brothers and, if none, to his uncles. The passage seems to exclude female heirs (other than daughters), the mother’s family, and even the male ancestors of the decedent. [*PG161]The passage also does not explicitly include the issue of the decedent’s children or the issue of the decedent’s brethren.
This Biblical passage is the subject of the eighth and ninth chapters of Baba Bathra, the tractate of the Mishnah that deals with the ownership of property. The Baba Bathra interprets the passage so as to include issue and to fill in certain other gaps in the order of succession. It provides in part as follows:
the son precedes the daughter, and all the son’s offspring precede the daughter; the daughter precedes the brothers and the daughter’s offspring precede the brothers; brothers precede the father’s brothers and the brothers’ offspring precede the father’s brothers. This is the general rule: whosoever has precedence in inheritance, his offspring have also precedence. The father has precedence over all his offspring.183
Thus, the descendants of the decedent’s sons, daughters, brothers, and uncles hold a place in the order of inheritance,184 as does the decedent’s father.185
Even the elucidation in the Mishnah did not satisfactorily answer all questions about the order of inheritance. One disputed issue was that of who should inherit if the decedent was survived by a daughter and the daughter of a deceased son. The Talmud includes discussions of this issue and states definitively that, contrary to the teachings of the Sadducees,186 the son’s daughter would inherit and the decedent’s daughter would take nothing.187