Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Several examples can be cited where the USA and European Laws are derived more from Islam than Christianity. Permission of divorce is one obvious example. Over time we will collect a list of laws which meet this criterion of being closer to Islam than Christianity. Here I want to bring out the fact that the eldest child’s exclusive right of inheritance was given up in USA in the first session of USA legislature after the Declaration of Independence. Here I quote from a letter by President Thomas Jefferson to John Adams:
At the first session of our legislature after the Declaration of Independence, we passed a law abolishing entails [limitations on the inheritance of property to a specified succession of heirs]. And this was followed by one abolishing the privilege of primogeniture [the eldest child’s exclusive right of inheritance], and dividing the lands of intestates equally among all their children, or other representatives. These laws, drawn by myself, laid the ax to the foot of pseudoaristocracy. And had another which I prepared been adopted by the legislature, our work would have been complete. It was a bill for the more general diffusion of learning. Read more.
For men is a share of that which parents and near relations leave; and for women is a share of that which parents and near relations leave, whether it be little or much — a determined share. … Allah commands you concerning your children: a male shall have as much as the share of two females; but if there be females only, numbering more than two, then they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased leaves; and if there be one, she shall have the half.…This is an injunction from Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, Forbearing. These are the limits set by Allah; and whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will make him enter Gardens through which streams flow; therein shall they abide; and that is a great triumph. (Al Quran 4:8-14)
1. Recognition of Doctrine:The right of the firstborn to inherit the headship of the family, carrying with it certain property rights and usually such titles as those of the high-priesthood or kingship. The writings of the Hebrews take for granted the recognition of a doctrine of primogeniture from the earliest times. In the most ancient genealogies a distinction is drawn between the firstborn and the other son (Genesis 10:15; Genesis 22:21; Genesis 25:13; Genesis 35:23; Genesis 36:15). In the bestowal of parental blessings in patriarchal times great importance was attached to preferring the firstborn (Genesis 25:31; Genesis 27:29; Genesis 48:13; Genesis 49:3). The feud between Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27:1-28:21) grew out of the stealing of the firstborn’s blessing by the younger brother. Joseph was displeased when, in his blessing, Jacob seemed to prefer Ephraim to Manasseh, his firstborn (Genesis 48:18). The father in such cases seems to have had the right to transfer the birthright from one son to another, from the days of Abraham in the case of Ishmael and Isaac, through those of Jacob in the matter of Reuben and Joseph and in the matter of Ephraim and Manasseh, down to the days of David in the selection of a successor to the kingship. Nevertheless, the Mosaic code, which declared (rather than enacted) the law of primogeniture, prohibited the abuse of this parental privilege in the case of a younger son by a favorite wife (Deuteronomy 21:16 f).2. The Double Portion:The manner of acknowledging the firstborn incidentally referred to in Deuteronomy is “by giving him a double portion of all that he hath” (Deuteronomy 21:17), that is to say, double the share of each of the other brothers. Jewish tradition (Bekho. 46a, 47b, 51a, 51b; Babha’ Bathra’ 122a, 122b, 123a, 124a, 142b) accepts and elaborates on this right of the firstborn son. Thus, it applies only to the firstborn and not the eldest surviving son; it does not apply to daughters; it has reference only to the paternal estate, and not to the inheritance left by a mother or other relative, nor to improvements or accessions made to an estate after the death of the father.3. Reasons for the Custom:The object of the doctrine may be that the eldest son might be enabled to preside over the affairs of family with proper dignity, or that he might assume additional responsibilities, such as the support of unmarried sisters. Hence, one’s birthright could be waived or sold (Genesis 25:31, 34). On the other hand it may be based in the ultimate analysis on the primitive feeling of favoritism for the firstborn reflected in the disappointment of Jacob, when he speaks of Reuben as his firstborn, his might, and the beginning of his strength (re’shith ‘on, Genesis 49:3; compare Deuteronomy 21:17). This theory would be in accord with the right of the parent to transfer the right to a younger son. The suggestion of favoritism conveyed by the Hebrew bekhor is manifested in its figurative use: of Israel (Exodus 4:22), of Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9), of one dearly beloved (Zechariah 12:10); (compare figurative usage in the New Testament: Romans 8:29 Hebrews 12:23; Hebrews 1:6 Revelation 1:5).