Death can be a disturbing thought for most, and the thought of not being able to care for your loved ones can be even more troubling, but brothers and sisters you do not need to worry as Islam has the answers to our worries.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has stated: “It is the duty of a Muslim who has something which is to be given as a bequest not to have it for two nights without having his will written down regarding it.” (Muslim)
It is a duty upon Muslims to conduct a will if they have belongings or items they wish to give to their family or to charity. Your assets are to be distributed amongst all your immediate surviving family members; this is compulsory upon the individual on the will. Your inheritance is important and should be handled properly - this can happen through a Shariah-compliant will. Your will is a testament to your legacy, and through compiling a rightful will you will please Allah (SWT) and leave a positive mark on this world, ensuring you leave this world in the best possible way.
The importance of an Islamic will for Muslims is that it handles your inheritance and final wishes with your Islamic religious beliefs in mind. This is different from other wills as they do not handle inheritance in accordance with religious beliefs but in accordance with the law of the land. An Islamic will allows you to distribute your inheritance to your family through Sharia law. Doing this can help avoid family disputes occurring after your death.
If you do not do an Islamic will, all of your savings, assets and possessions will be distributed according to UK law. This way may not be in accordance with your personal wishes and will definitely not be in accordance with Islamic rulings.
An Islamic will, also known as Al-Wasiyya, is a legally binding document that gives instructions laid down by the individual in accordance with the Sharia law about the wishes and assets the individual will leave behind and how they should be distributed.
Unlike other wills, an Islamic will predetermines who is eligible to inherit assets. This can be seen instructed within the early verses of Surah an-Nisa (chapter four) in the Holy Qur’an.
Even though in Islam, inheritors of assets are already predetermined, Islamic wills are flexible as you are able to change who is able to inherit what of your assets. There is a predetermined percentage of how much each eligible individual is allowed to inherit, but that can be changed. For example, if you find the percentage allotted to an individual, such as your wife, to be problematic in your situation, you can request for more provisions to go to your wife by asking for written consent to take provisions from an individual with a higher percentage, such as your parents. When you have written consent, you must redraft your will.
Assets left should be used to pay for funeral expenses, outstanding debts and other remaining payments. After the previous obligations have been taken care of, some of the money can be given in bequest (optional), and the remaining assets are to be distributed amongst surviving family members, such as your spouse, parents and children. You are able to also gift possessions in your will to other family members; most commonly, gifts are given to female family members.
Bequests are a crucial difference between Islamic wills and other wills. This allows the individual who does an Islamic will to have the flexibility to do whatever they want with their remaining assets and belongings, as long as it is within the maximum one-third spectrum and does not exceed this value. This is known as a bequest. One-third is available to be given to individuals who are not entitled to receiving two-thirds of assets from the share of the individual's inheritance. This is at the whim of the individual and the bequest can be given to anyone. In most cases, bequests are often given out to charity in order for the deceased Muslim to continue receiving rewards and blessings. Actions like this are highly praised and encouraged in Islam as it benefits them on their journey to the afterlife.
It is of the utmost importance that you are very specific and properly explain your wishes and requests within your will. Doing so ensures that when you pass, your assets and belongings will be taken care of and distributed as per your wishes. For example, if you are considering giving a specific sum of money to charity, you will have to make sure that it is clearly stated within your will, or it may not be carried out how you wish.
Arranging a will can be done through two different methods, the first one being online where you create it yourself with little assistance, individually making sure it is in accordance with Islamic principles. The second method is hiring a trained specialist who can help guide you through Islamic requirements, making the process more understandable.
If you choose the second option, we can support you. The Muslim Aid team is happy to help and guide you through the process. We will work alongside you and aid you in multiple ways, helping you to write a will that clearly fits the required Islamic rulings, as well as your own personal concerns. We have partnered up with Farani Taylor Solicitors who are experts in Islamic wills and inheritance to give you the best advice possible.
Book an appointment today and receive expert guidance on making an Islamic will.