Wednesday January 30, 2008
Settlement is too low, mum of convert tells court
Counsel Darshan Singh Khaira told the court yesterday that the offer for settlement made by the defendants to his client, cleaner M. Rukumony, 61, could not be accepted as the amount was too low.
At this, Justice John Louis O’Hara adjourned the matter, which was being mentioned at the open court, to be heard in his chambers.
The case was later fixed for mention on March 14, for the parties to consider offers for settlement.
Rukumony had named the Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Berhad and Amanah Raya Berhad as defendants. The court also subsequently allowed the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council’s application to intervene as a defendant.
In her claim, Rukumony said the cooperative had taken out a policy on her son but refused to pay her the RM56,300 and instead deposited it with Amanah Raya.
The cooperative said that under Syariah Law, Rukumony could not inherit the property of her deceased son because she is a non-Muslim.
A friend asked for an opinion to the above article. He told me that as a Muslim he felt uncomfortable with the decision. I consulted an imam at my surau and informed me that according to Islamic 'faraid law' the mother is entitled to only one eighth of the total amount and the other portion will be distributed to the wife, the children and the next of kin.
At the same time my friend also consulted an ustaz and got different answer. The mother is not entitled at all, since according to Islamic law the property is to be distributed to Muslim next of kin only. That is under faraid law. However, the mother can receive a portion of the property according to ‘hibah law’ ( consolation ). Probably the mother received her portion through this mean. I would think she is entitled to negotiate for a higher amount, but it is not her right.
It is unfair to report that article without furnishing more information. At a glance it will give an impression lack of fairness in Islamic law, even the fellow Muslims are confused and sympathized with the mother.