The policies of controlling and regulating of the population in Iran started in 70s. In the last two decades, demographic factors such as; increasing age – level of marriage, delaying in child birth, and increasing of the permanent virginity are the factors that leaded to reduction of the extent of productivity and Reduce household population. In addition, cultural and economic factors are also effective in this regard. The results of the census of the population and the settlement show the outstanding reduction of the family dimension in all parts of the country and provinces. So, the dimension of the family in Tehran province reduces from 3.6 in 85 to 3.3 in 90 while this index reduces from 4 to 3.55 across the country. One of the inferences of the reduction of the family dimension is that the number of the families that have only a child is increasing and this is one of the reasons of the increasing of the only – child families (boy or girl) .  In any case, the integration of the solo – child is not troublesome because it cannot affect the phenomena of the massive society but from the social and judicial perspectives the structure of the solo gender of the Childs specifically the mixture of the solo gender in Sunni Sharia Muslim families in families with one child girl is problematic. In this case the relevant ordinances to legacy cause some problems for these families. According to this fact, based on the jurisprudence rules of legacy if parents have only a girl in this case all the legacy won’t be accrued to her and those who don’t have right to receive legacy directly such as; brother, nephew, father, grandfather etc., can receive it. This affair concerned those families that have only one girl because their properties won’t get to their Childs and the other persons, even, receive the legacy more than them. The solutions that are provided like change in increasing the number of the child and transference of the legacies to the daughters cause other problems per se. The present survey is the documentary and library research, too.

Key words: Legacy, family dimension, and single-sex families.

 ۱. Introduction

 Family is one of the main social institutions that have continued through history and it devoted a special position in social life and cause survival of social system. So, in different society specific rules and regularities created specific values and normality.

 In spite of the undeniable effect of it this special institution it always confronted with social and pathological problems in time and in some societies its applications faced with some problems. Alongside family the rules of ownership also forming economical system, human social life, durance or problems in life, different economical and social problems, devoted a specific role to itself. One of the main rules, normalities, and regularities is related to heritage. From one side, formal and informal rules of Legacy and regularities that is codified to it, is based on ownership rule and in order to recognize it formally it is regulated. On the other side it is based on principles and interrelations of the families in relation with different social rules in it. Probably one of the causes interest to the rules of legacy in different religions and societies is respectability to ownership rule and maintain relationship and support the family bases. But like many other social rules and institutions, potentially in special social condition legacy may have negative and inappropriate consequences that lead to the creation of problems in the family.


۲. Statement of the problem

In the past years, specifically, from 70s onward in order to control Inhibition of the growth of the population, the policies of controlling and regulating of the population was run. At the same time, by the effort of the government to run this program different demographic factors like increasing marriage age level and an elevation of the amount of definitive Unmarried, delaying in child birth and so on. Other cultural and economic factors such as urbanism, change the pattern of life/ lifestyle change, growth of the individualistic thought, low economical power of the families, risk arising of guardianship, change of attitude towards life and the place of child in the family and parental relationship with the child(s), lead to reduction the extent of productivity and as a result the reduction of the family dimension. The results of the census the population and housing in 90 show that the outstanding reductions of the family dimension in national and provincial levels. So, the dimension of the family in Tehran province reduced from 3.6 in 85 to 3.3 in 90 while this index reduced from 4 to 3.55 across the country.

The reduction of the population is not problem-orienting per se but it causes problem when the number of the family that have only a girl added and the rules of legacy related to these families and the extent of the share that is devoted to the girl should be taken into consideration. The fact is that legacy is one of the crucial judicial and jurisprudence issues in Islam that has a specific complexities and applicability, especially for the family. In this regard one of the outstanding factors is the rules of unequal sharing based on gender that in different conditions children or male relatives receive more legacies related to the girls and heirs. This condition when the families have only one child or woman receives only the heir is clear. Based on the rules related to inheritance in Shafee jurisprudence if the heir is the girl or wife the share of the girl is determined by “Tasib” [۱]that is from the heritage two shares devoted to the brother or nephew and one portion devoted to the girl (1/3 share to the girl and 2/3 to the brother or nephews). If the Dead man has several daughters and has brother or nephews legacy is divided via Tassib, too.

As regards the numerous research studies show that the social assets are severely eroded and mistrust pervades relations between families, in Iran.  In the areas that the religion of the people is Sunni the problem of all the families that have one child is that: Is the deprivation of the girl(s) of the family from inheritance and assigning more shares of her to the relatives fair? Do the girls have inheritance right of their parents? In other words, due to the reduction of the family dimension the number of the family that has only one girl increased considerably related to the past and many of the families that their religions are Sunni because of the rules related to the inheritance that some share of it devoted to the relatives lead to the problem that why don’t their girl(s) receive inheritance of their parents equal to their relatives. When the solutions cause more problems for the families this issue becomes more complicated and we should take into consideration that due to the erosion of the family asset many of the family networks lost their solidarity and the atmosphere of mistrust has been prevailed over them.

۳. Theoretical definition of the problem

In order to clarify the problem which is stated before it is needed to consider three dimensions of it.

۳.۱. Erosion of the social capital

According to the World Bank it refers to institutions, relations, and norms that form the quality and quantity of the reciprocal social act. Social capital is not only the sum of the institutions that forms the society but it is a solid link that relates them to each other. Most of the studies show that social capital in Iran after revolution reduced (Rafipor, 1378, Ranani, 1385, and Tavakoli, 1389).

This situation caused that reciprocal social acting, norms, and relation is weakened and lack of confidence, free riding, fear of being rich and prevention from discrepancy between relatives increasing.

۳.۲. Reduction of the family dimension

The results of the obtained census in population and housing in 85 shows the reduction of the social size related to the past few years in Iran that it is obtained from the division of the whole population to family number. It means that social size In 75 in urban population was 4.6 and it reduced to 3.9 in 85. The urban population decreased from 5.1 in 75 to 4.4 in 85, too. Also, the results of the census in population and housing in 90 show that the outstanding reduction of family size in national and provincial levels that is family size in Tehran province decreased from 3.6 in 85 to 3.3 in 90 while this index decreased from 4 to 3.55 across the country.

Following the decline of the family size one of these results is that low populated families (3 or 2 sealers) of those who don’t have child or have more than one is increasing.  So that after 70s the 2 or3 family sealers gradually increased in this case 2 or 3 family sealers was stabilized (23.3) from 1365 to 1370 and after that in 75 reached to 27.3. This process can extend the ratio of the aforementioned family to 29.4 till 1384(Zanjani, 1385). Since, it is possible that around half of the child that is born is girl so we can claim that the totality of the families that have only one girl is more that 15% of the families in the society. The opposite of this case is also true that after 70s the percentage of the populated families is gradually reduced and reached to 27% of the whole family in 85 reached to 21% in 75 and 17% in 85.

۳.۳ Rules related to legacy in Shafee jurisprudence

Consequently, the inheritance of property is one of the main judicial and legal issues in society that is in each case special, distinct and to some extent complex rules are created. Human in his social life creates different norms, values, cultural and unworldly goods and through the process of acculturation, social acceptability and different educational institutions transfer them from one generation to another. This is also the case about material products that is individual or social groups that have collected goods and inventories in long years they don’t leave them after death per se. They identify political and religious institution as a legacy and they transfer them to the survivors in a sermon in particular and sometimes to the others in general.

Among different religions, jurisprudence have devoted a special place in Islam so that in the history of Islam a coherent science and system of the jurisprudence is created in which in many Islamic countries it is one of the main and principal aspect, interpretation and administration of the rule and regularities. Legacy is one of the issues that are referred in Holy Quran and in Nessa Surah and discussed succinctly in Islam and in ‘Bab Al Fraez” jurisprudence as a necessary affair and also special rules, applications, and decrees is posed upon it. Afif Tabbare about the place of legacy in Islam and its applications believes that Islam posed the rules of legacy and in order to prevent from class difference and wealth accumulation to a minority group makes it necessitate to all (Afif Tabbare,A.(1375:550).

As a result fairness and justice is outspreaded in the society. He also believes that respectability to individual property and general legacy rule caused interest in work and trying to get mine wealth extended between rich because he knows that he can benefit from his own wealth till he is alive and he can also help poor and spend it a good work and after his death his legacy will reach to his children and relatives (Afif Tabbare, A 55). About the functions of the legacy rules in Islam Noori also believes that the rules of legacy in Rome and Greece, India, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia before Islam was accompanied by injustice and unfairness but legacy in Islam Sharee is based on the supporting of poor and lower class (Noori,H.39). Muhammadipor also pointed to put an end to injustice against women and children, girls or boys as one of the functions of the rules of legacy in Islam.

Despite the functions that jurists on have been counted on legacy in some cases may create problems for some social institutions or for the quality of the relationship between individuals. One of this institutions that is influenced by the change in number of the population and the rules of legacy was problem oriented is family.

Laws relating to the heritage about only girl or the family are that have only one girl in other words a female is like this:  The legacy system in Islam divided heirs in two classes: the first class includes paternity, children, and couples and the second class includes brothers and sisters.  All those who are on the first class receive directly legacy from the dead man i.e., they are the main heirs and in all classes receive legacy and won’t be deprived from legacy by other heirs but those who are on the second class won’t receive legacy unless all the heirs of the first class or most of them doesn’t exist.

 ‘Majority ‘ is the key term here. In other words, there may be some of the heirs of the first class that receive legacy directly from the dead man won’t be deprived from inheritance by other heirs and are alive but despite this, those who are in the second class doesn’t have right to receive legacy. Whatever is related to our discussion is that the girl not only can’t deprive the heirs of the father, grandfather, or brother like the boy but due to the presence of others her share of her inheritance may be reduced and “Hujb Nughsan” happens about her.

  • If the dead man has only a girl 1/2 reached to her and if he has two girls 2/3 of its legacy reached to them and in other cases, the refusal manner (Rad)[۲] is applied (Muhammadpor;59).

  • If the dead man has only one girl but have brother or nephew the share of the girl is determined via “Tasib” that is; 1/3 reached to the girl and 2/3 to the brother or nephews.

  • If the dead man has several girls but have brother and nephews it is also divided via “Tasib” it means 2/3 of his legacy reached to the brother or nephews and 1/2 to the girls. (Ibid,51)

  • If the dead man has one daughter and several grandchildren, 1/2 of his legacy reached to the girl and the rest 1/2 reached to the grandchildren in relation to the girl, boy receive two shares. (Ibid,59)

  • If the dead man has several girls and grandchildren 2/3 of it reached to the girls and the rest to the grandchildren. In this case, if the grandchildren of the dead man have one girl or several daughters the legacy won’t be reached to them. (Ibid,60)

  • The formularization of the Hajaab of the legacy is based on nearness to the deceased. That is, the closer person to him can deprive the farther person from the legacy (Ibid, 44).

The second and noticeable point in this regard is that girl(s) can’t deprive the farther male persons from the legacy and this rule (Hujb) won’t be devoted to them. The cases about the inheritance of the girls that have mentioned show that fathers and mothers, brother, grandchildren, and so on, however, they aren’t counted as a close relative but if the heir of the first class is only a girl(s) they are able to receive the legacy. In the case of boys, the rule of the Hujab is true that is; father despite of boys or boy boys, brother despite of their fathers, and uncles despite of their brothers won’t receive legacy via “Tasib”.

۴. Consequences

By specifying these introductions about the alternation of sizes of the population of the family and the existence of rules and regularities about inheritance, now we return to the early question of this article that what problem the family will be confronting with in the new situation?

Before replying this point, the mentioning of this point is necessary the problem of having single – sex girl is a social problem that it wasn’t the case in the past.  In the past, due to high fertility rates those who have girl reduced per se and if there was concern in this regard, it wasn’t related to the inheritance. It was only related to the lack of having a boy that was enumerated as the lamp life (Ojagh) and it refers to the continuity of the family lineage. Also, due to the style and methods of the families that was mainly extensive and the high and high levels of social capital within the group and the power of religious faith the division of the inheritance between persons like brother, nephew, boy boys was easily acceptable and having single-sex girl was very not sensitive and it didn’t cause a social problem.

In recent years, a situation was created inside the families that under the influence of economic and cultural statues, in general, family planning and the policies of the depopulation, in particular, and in order to have an easy life caused many families to born less scions (that is the family size decreased in Tehran province from 3.6 to in 85 to 3.3 in 90 while the index across the country reduced from 4 to 3.55).

Top of Form

This issue has caused an increase in the number of households that are less populated and have one gender and as a consequence the number of the families that have girl increased. In addition, due to the daily erosion of social capital, the importance of material values, the attitudinal relaxation related to the place of the girl in the family and deformation from wide large to nucleus, for many families the donation of some parts of the legacy to the other is not acceptable and they consider themselves as a true receiver more than brother or grandchild, etc.

Despite the quantitative extension of the single-sex girl families and the attitudinal relaxation towards the share of the female from the inheritance is another factor that   this new situation has turned to a social issue. The existence of solutions that is not useful to solve the problem is:

  • The vexation of religion or faith

Regarding the situation that the change of religion in Islam is not possible, a person who has changed his religion is considered as heretic so in one case this solution is not possible. In the case of the change of the religion from jurisprudence points of view it may be a milder approach was considered but Surveillance and social control play main role here. The people who have change his faith for money or materialism will be excommunicated and other issues will cause trouble for him and his family.

  • Fertility increase

As we have said, moreover, the policies of the family control that had an effective role in family, cultural and economic factors such as urbanism, life style change, individualism thought growth, low economical power of the families, the risk of fend, attitudinal change towards life and the place of child in family, and parental relationship with the child or children have played a crucial role in this regard.

So, by change of the family controlling policy and change of the slogan ‘ the fewer children, the better life’ to ‘ the more, and the better, in the short term, they won’t be persuaded to increase productivity level and this solution in solving the problem is not very effective.

  • Transference of the parent wealth to the child or females

Due to many reasons this solution cannot be effective. For many parents, the transference of wealth to the child is a great risk. On the one hand, lack of confidence and disagreement between parents and children can be the result of social capital erosion and on the other hand life style change and breaks in generation can create different expectations and this can prevent the transference of wealth to the child. As a result, this solution for those who have a girl is not very effective. These concerns are significantly increased after marriage. There is a probability that the female pressed her husband due to the wealth that is devoted to her and this cause her life to face with troubles. Or the girl may die before his parents and the legacy that has left from her; in fact it’s her parents wealth reached to her husband.

۵. Conclusion

In sum, it can be concluded that the rules of the legacy related to the female share in present condition that reduced social dimension and as a result increasing single-sex girl family number. The attitudinal change to the place of female and emphasis on the sexual equality in family, society, and social capital erosion leads to the new social problem that put many families in difficult situations in which they don’t consider it in justice promotion and equality. The resolution based on the solutions that is considered in society is not possible unless, these jurisprudence rules revised by jurist and by application of the new and dynamic procedures in contemporary jurisprudence based on needs, values, and daily conditions, create change between them. Finally, it can prevent from social and juridical consequences.


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[۱].  ‘Asabat’ are the people that their shares like the share owners have not been identified and they include relatives and ‘Aghrab’. ‘Asabs’ are those relatives that reach the dead man on behalf of the father and they should be his “Aghele’. When there isn’t anybody from   (zoi l foroz) the group inherits and if there wasn’t anybody after getting their share something remained from scion (Tarake) (Muhhamadpor; 36-39). ‘Assaba’ literally means; the male relatives of the individuals such as; ancestor, father, boy, grandson …brother, uncle …nephew, nephew …uncle, parental uncle ….parental uncle, and parental cousin and they receive legacy via Tassib (Alkhan etal; 336).

[۲]. ‘Rad’ is the reducing of the main problem and increasing of the heirs’ legacy. ‘Rad’ is against ‘Aul’.  If the owners of the assumed shares received their legacies and something remained and there wasn’t a qualify man to receive the additional legacy, the remained legacy will goes to the assumed owners but ‘Rad’ won’t be devoted to the couples (Alkan etal (۱۳۹۳):۳۳۶)

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