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The Importance of Leaving an Islamic Will

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 12th April 2014 02:20
(bism1)

(salaam)

I was going to post this in the Inheritance thread (since they are related issues), but thought it would be better as a separate topic.

Islam is a very comprehensive religion. We have ahkaam regulating everything in our lives from using the bathroom to financial transactions. Some of these ahkaam apply even during and after our deaths. As such, the Shari'ah has made it a fardh upon every Muslim to write up a will regarding the assets and property he or she leaves behind. We must ensure that our estate is divided according to the Shari'ah and our family does not end up bickering and fighting over who gets how much after we pass on. It is a great sin and injustice to not leave behind a will. This applies especially to those Muslims where the Islamic laws of Inheritance are not the law of the land. It is especially fardh on such people to make sure that they specify in their will that the estate be divided according to the Shari'ah, and not according to the law of the land.

More information will be posted, but to draw up an Islamic will, please see a pious Muslim solicitor and consult with a scholar.




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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 12th April 2014 02:23
Inheritance Distribution according to Islamic Law or British Law?

QUESTION

I hope you can help me with an ongoing inheritance issue within our family. My father passed away 4 years ago. He left behind a wife (our mother), 2 sons and 3 daughters. His estate includes bank accounts, properties and cash.

My father did not leave an Islamic Will. My mother and my youngest sister who handles all the family affairs have chosen to have the estate distributed according to British law. We received letters from my mother's solicitors stating that she will be receiving the majority of the estate. This decision my mother and sister have made only refers to my late father's accounts, and does not include any mention of property that my father owned abroad or in the UK, plus rental money from a property that has accumulated over the years. They have taken full control of these assets through the solicitors, and are depriving me, my brother and my other two sisters of their full share of inheritance.

What Islamic rights do we have? I do not want my mother to do wrong as she is clearly influenced by my sister. I also do not want my late father to suffer in anyway. All I want is to let everyone have their right according to Shari'ah, and for all of this to be dealt with in an Islamic manner. Can you please give me the Islamic Shari'ah ruling regarding this issue, and what rights do we have?

ANSWER
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,


Islamic law of estate-distribution is different from British law. As such, every Muslim is duty-bound to prepare and leave a Will that is in accordance with Islamic guidelines in order that the estate can be distributed according to Islamic law and also be recognized by British law.

The Qur'an mentions in great detail the fixed-shares of those who inherit the estate from the deceased. Failure to distribute the estate according to these guidelines set in the Qur'an constitutes a great sin and punishment from Allah Most High.

After mentioning these laws of estate-distribution/inheritance, Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:

"These are the limits set by Allah; and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will admit them into gardens beneath which rivers flow, remaining therein forever. And that is great success. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger [in distributing inheritance] and crosses the limits set by Him, He shall admit them into the fire, remaining therein forever. And for them there is a humiliating punishment." (Surah al-Nisa', V: 12-13)

As such, it is extremely important for a Muslim to leave a Will that is in accordance with Islamic guidelines, especially in a country where not leaving such a Will results in the estate being distributed in a non-Islamic manner. If someone dies without leaving an Islamic Will, as your father did in this case, then it becomes necessary upon all the heirs/inheritors (wuratha) of the deceased to ensure that the estate is distributed according to Islamic guidelines; otherwise it will amount to a grave sin in the sight of Allah Almighty. There are severe warnings of punishment mentioned in the sacred Islamic texts for not distributing the estate according to Islamic law.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "Whoever deprives an heir of his/her inheritance-share [as fixed by Qur'anic guidelines], Allah will deprive him/her of Paradise on the day of judgement." (Sunan Ibn Majah, no: 2703)

Note that one will not be guilty of breaking the law of the land when distributing the estate according to Islamic guidelines, since the law does not force anyone to have the estate distributed in any particular manner. The heirs are free to distribute in any particular manner, as long as it is mutually agreed, and as such, British law allows Muslims to mutually agree on distribution based on Islamic guidelines.

However, if one or some family members do not wish to have the estate distributed in accordance with Islamic guidelines, such as your mother and sister in this case, then, unfortunately others can not do anything if no Islamic Will was left by the deceased (i.e. your father). The most you can do is encourage them to distribute the estate according to Islamic guidelines and remind them of the dire consequences and displeasure of Allah in the next life (akhira). They should be reminded that they will be accountable to Allah, and each and every penny that they receive in excess of their entitlement will have to be paid back in the next life. For a practising Muslim, this is an extremely serious matter which must not be taken lightly. Indeed, if one is not a proper/practising Muslim, he/she will go ahead and have the estate distributed in a non-Islamic manner.

In regards to your specific situation, the Islamic law of inheritance is as follows:

All the wealth left behind by your late father (may Allah have mercy on him) at the time of his death, which includes everything he owned, such as cash, gold, silver, properties, all chattels, all contents; hence every big and small item that belonged to him at the time of his death will be totalled and termed as the "estate (taraka)".

From this, after taking out burial expenses, if there are any debts owed to fellow human beings, they must be paid off. Since your father did not make any bequest (wasiyya), the remaining amount will be distributed amongst the various heirs. Your mother (wife of the deceased) will be entitled to one eighth of the total and the remaining seven parts will be distributed between the sons and daughters of the deceased with the sons receiving twofold of the daughter's share in accordance with the Qur'anic verse:

"As regards your children's (inheritance): to the male a portion of that of two females." (Surah al-Nisa, V: 11)

Hence, the breakdown of the distribution is as follows:

Wife: 12.5%
Son 1: 25%
Son 2: 25%
Daughter 1: 12.5%
Daughter 2: 12.5%
Daughter 3: 12.5%

If all the heirs wish to distribute the estate in a different manner, then, Islamically, they are at liberty to do so. However, this must be mutually agreed, and without any force or pressure applied on any one individual.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 13th April 2014 18:43
Guidelines on Preparing a will and testament Islamically


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Writing and preparing a Will is undoubtedly very important, especially in non-Muslim countries, insuring that upon death, one’s wealth and assets are distributed according to Shariah.

There are a number of Islamic texts, both in the Qur’an and Sunnah, which point to the importance of Will-making, for example:

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them both) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is not befitting for a Muslim who has something to make a Will of, to remain for two nights without having one’s last Will and testament written and kept ready with one.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 2587)


The narrator of this Hadith (Abd Allah ibn Umar ibn al-Khattab) stated after hearing this from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace):

“I did not let even one night pass by except that my Will would be kept by me.” (Musnad Ahmad, 2/4)


Making a Will becomes even more important in non-Muslim countries, such as the United Kingdom and US. The reason being is that, failing to leave a valid written Will can result in the law of the land deciding on how your estate is to be distributed, which obviously will not be in accordance with Shariah (Islamic law).

Therefore, it is essential that all Muslims leave a valid written Will. Those who have, as yet, not made a Will should haste and prepare a Will. Writing a Will is not only for old people, rather all those who have reached puberty should quickly get their Will prepared, for there is no guarantee of when one will die.

Below are simple and brief guidelines with regards to preparing and writing a Will in the West:

The first and foremost aspect worth noticing here is that many Muslims are mistaken in believing that, writing a Will means distributing one’s wealth and estate amongst the inheritors during one’s lifetime.


This is incorrect, as making a Will does not mean one must divide one’s wealth amongst the various inheritors in one’s life; rather, one must merely stipulate in the Will that “upon my death, my executors will distribute my wealth according to Shariah”. One may also state that this will be determined by a local Muslim scholar or Mufti, who will be contacted and appointed by my executors upon my death.

The reason behind this is that the inheritance portions have been determined and allotted by Allah Most High in the Qur’an. These portions vary according to who is alive at the time of one’s death. Death with leaving parents behind will differ from passing away after the parents have passed away, in that the inheritance portions will be different in both cases.

As such, one cannot determine in one’s lifetime as to how much percentage of one’s wealth will be exactly allocated to each individual, for one is unaware who will be alive at the time of one’s death. Even the death of one person can make a big difference in the division and distribution of the estate.

The beauty of Shariah is its simplicity and certainty. When you are writing your Islamic Will, you do not have to try and figure out which of your relatives will still be alive when you die in order to make sure that they will receive something. Whoever administers your estate will ascertain (in collaboration with a knowledgeable scholar) which of your relatives are still alive and what fixed shares they are automatically entitled to inherit by applying the criteria of Shariah.

Moreover, it is unlawful and invalid to make a bequest (Wasiyya) in favour of an individual who automatically is entitled to receiving a share of the estate, such as one’s spouse, children and parents, etc. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said in his historic sermon (khutba) of his farewell hajj (haj al-Wada’): “Verily Allah has given each rightful person their right, thus there is no bequest in favour of a inheritor.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, no: 2120, narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Umama al-Bahili)

The meaning of this Hadith is that Allah Almighty has already fixed and allotted the shares of those who are entitled to inherit from one’s estate. As such, if one was to make a Will in their favour, one will be going against the shares fixed for them in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

However, if one wished to make a bequest/Will for a non-relative, or for a charity, then this would be allowed (and rewarded), but only up to a third of one’s total wealth. The remaining two thirds will be left to be distributed amongst the relatives according to the fixed shares prescribed by Allah Most High. If one does not make a bequest of up to one third of the estate, then all of the estate will be divided between the surviving relatives. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade from making a bequest of giving one’s wealth in charity which is more than one third, and regarding a third also, he stated: “And a third is also more (although permissible)”. (Sunan Tirmidhi, no: 2116)

The second point to remember here, which is very important, is that one must distinguish between a bequest/Will (wasiyya) and a gift (hiba). Many people fail to differentiate between the two, thus a grave error is committed.

What a person gives to another in one’s lifetime is considered a “gift” whilst attributing the giving of something after one’s death is a “bequest or Will (Wasiyya)”. For example, if I give my house to a friend whilst I am alive, then that will be a gift, but if I was to say that my friend will take ownership of my house after I pass away, then that is a bequest.

At times, one would like to distribute one’s estate amongst the children whilst one is alive. This will be valid provided it is given as a gift and not a bequest, because to make a bequest (or Will) for a relative who already qualifies to inherit is invalid, as mentioned previously. As such, if one desires to distribute the estate amongst the children whilst one is alive, then it does not have to be in accordance with the Shariah laws of inheritance, for it is merely a gift.

However, the question arises as to whether it is necessary to distribute the estate equally between the children? The answer to this is that it is permissible to give the male children twofold of that given to the female children, as it would have been distributed as inheritance. It is also permissible to give all the children, male and female, equal shares. However, to give less than this to the daughters or to completely deprive them of any share, or to be unjust in the distribution of the wealth among the sons, without a valid Shar’i reason, is considered to be blameworthy and sinful. One will be sinful for favouring one child over the other, although the gift will stand as valid.

Yes, if there is an Islamically valid reason, such as one child being extremely disobedient or involved in open sinning, it would be permitted to give him/her less. (See: Radd al-Muhtar)

A point worth noting here is that Islamically a gift is only valid and complete when the one to whom the gift is given, takes full ownership and possession of the item. Merely, registering it on one’s name is of no consequence in Shariah, hence the gift will be considered invalid.

The possession in houses and properties will be established by the giving of keys, removing of furniture, and leaving no obstacles for the one whom the gift is given to come and reside in the property. Many times it is observed that the father only verbally says that this is your house, but he himself resides in the house and it is considered to be his. This will not be a valid gift. A gift is such that if the son was to say to the father: you must move out, he moves out without any hesitation, and it is completely understood to be the son’s house.

Thirdly, there is the issue of the husband and wife. If the house is solely owned by the husband, then upon his death, it would be distributed among all the inheritors. Many times it is observed that years pass by after the husband’s death and the inheritance is not distributed. The deceased’s wife and some children keep residing in the house without even thinking about distributing it. This is a grave sin committed by all those who overlook this great injunction of Shariah.

If the house was jointly owned by the couple, then in the event of one of the spouse’s death, half of the house will remain in the ownership of the other spouse, and the remaining half will be distributed. Thus, it would be wise for the couple to have joint ownership of the house. This also should be made clear to all the children, for being negligent in this regard brings about disputes and problems.

Note that if the inheritors give their consent in their mother or father residing in the house, then this is permissible. However, what is necessary is that the shares are distributed, and then they may give their consent in allowing their mother or father to reside. However, one must be extremely precautious here, for all the inheritors must consent to this from their heart and must not be pressurised into it. If even one inheritor disagrees, his/her share will have to be given to him/her.

The fourth point to note with regards to inheritance is that at times the deceased makes a unlawful and invalid bequest, such as saying that, my eldest son will take such and such property, the other such and such, my daughter will take the house, etc.

In this case, it will be unlawful (Haram) and a grave sin for the relatives to distribute the inheritance according to the bequest made by the deceased. The estate must be distributed in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Finally, one must make sure that one’s Will meets the requirements of the law of the land, for failing to do this may well render one’s Will invalid. So in order to ensure that one’s assets are distributed in accordance with the Shariah after one’s death, one must write a Will, and that “Will” must comply with the requirements of the country one is residing in. Therefore, it is advisable that one seeks the advice of an expert practicing Muslim solicitor.

Having understood the above general guidelines regarding Will-making, let us now look at how an Islamic Will is written. Normally when making a Will, one would stipulate the following:

1. Revoking of all previous Wills.

2. Naming the executors of the Will.

3. Payment of funeral and burial expenses.

4. Payment of all debts connected to the servants of Allah: After one’s death, paying off one’s debts is given primary consideration. Thus, one’s leftover wealth will first be utilized in repaying the debts, and then the remainder, if any, will be distributed amongst the inheritors according to the Shariah. Note that this is with regards to debts payable to the servants of Allah (and not with regards to liabilities due by Shariah, such as unpaid Zakat, etc). Also, there is no condition here of it being from only one third of one’s wealth.

5. Payment of any bequest (Wasiyya): This refers to any religious liabilities, such as unpaid Zakat, Fidya for Salat, etc, and also anything that one would like to give in charity. However, the condition here is that this is only permissible from one third of one’s wealth.

It is worth remembering here that along with one’s written Will, one should have a separate document stipulating the number of unperformed prayers, missed fasts, unpaid Zakat, unperformed Hajj, any other religious obligations and debts payable to the servants of Allah.

One must strive in accomplishing these obligations in one’s life, and make the necessary amendments to the document whenever an obligation is fulfilled. For example: One had 500 unperformed prayers. In such a case one should stipulate this in the document. Thereafter, whenever, a prayer is made up, it should be deducted from the total of 500. This “important” document should be attached with the Will in order to let the relatives know of one’s obligations and liabilities after one’s death.

6. Distribution of the remaining two thirds of one’s estate (or full, if one does not include no. 5) among the inheritors in accordance with Sunni Islamic law, and in consultation with a qualified local scholar or Mufti.

7. Signing of the document by both the Will-maker and the relevant witnesses.


Finally, the responsibility of the relatives is that they haste in distributing the estate of the deceased as quick as humanely possible. Being negligent in this regard will be highly sinful. All the inheritors will be jointly responsible for this distribution.

Also, when totalling the deceased’s assets, the inheritors must include every big and small item left behind by the deceased at the time he/she passed away, which includes Properties, house, car, financial instruments, cash, gold, silver, clothes, furniture, etc.

At times, people overlook small items and give them away in charity without the prior consent of all the inheritors, which is unlawful (haram). The permission and full consent of all the inheritors must be sought before giving away any item to anybody.

I hope the above has been helpful in simplifying the laws governing the great responsibility of Will-making and inheritance. May Allah Almighty forgive our shortcomings and keep us steadfast on his Deen, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 15th April 2014 00:01
Islamic will: Why, What, Where, How?


Asslamo Allaikum,

Disclaimer:

I have tried to make this as generic as possible for people to easily understand the issues involved, however I am neither an attorney/solicitor nor a scholar therefore please consult your local experts on the issue.

Why leave a will?

Because it is Sunnah and specifically emphasised in Hadeeth.

Malik related to me from Nafi' from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath not to let two nights pass without writing a Will about it." (Al-Muwatta' of Imam Malik: 37.1.1)

I still don't get it, what's the point?

For Muslims living in the West this is a very serious issue because the laws of the country often operate in contradiction with Shariah laws. Islamic Shariah operates in the following simplistic and straight forward manner in the event of the death:

1) Burial/Funeral are ASSUMED to be done according to Sunnah
2) A person is allowed to PAY compensation for missed prayers, fasts etc.
3) A person is allowed to DONATE up to 1/3rd of their wealth to a Charity of their choice
4) The remaining needs to be distributed in accordance to the guidelines set forth by Allah (SWT) in Surah An-Nisa
5) Islamic Nikah ONLY, 2nd wives etc. are covered
6) Divorced spouses are covered

The pitfalls of not leaving the will for Muslims in the West are as follows:

In the West if you die without leaving a will, legally you die "INTESTATE" which means that:

a) In most states in US, your assets will be distributed according to what is termed as "Common Sense", in contradiction to Islamic Shariah

b) In UK, your assets will be distributed according to fixed shares to fixed individuals according to legal precedence, in contradiction to Islamic Shariah

What does all this mean in Plain English?


It means the following in simple English:

a) Prospect of Family/Community BICKERING over burial and funeral i.e. which Masjid/cemetery should the last rites take place! Who should be the Imam your prayers! And there is nothing your local Mosque/Imam can do about it...This is particular applicable to Reverts

b) If you did miss prayers or fasts TOUGH as compensation won't be or can't be paid so you are left to deal with it for the day of judgement in front of Allah (SWT)

c) NO SADAQA can be legally paid from your wealth so you are deprived of the great blessings of Allah (SWT) to protect you from the punishment of the grave and the fire of hell.

d) If you are married and your spouse also passes away then your children at the mercy of the state as you didn't appoint any guardians

e) If you have a 2nd wife or simply had your Nikah done in your local Mosque (without civil marriage) she won't be entitled to anything

f) If you did legally marry but eventually Islamically divorced your wife (but not legally), she gets the money which isn't entitled to

g) ENDLESS BICKERING between your inheritors and family members over who gets what since no will was left behind

In simpler terms, if you don't will GOVERNMENT WILLS for you!

What are the key components of an Islamic will in the West?

There are some key components which your will should contain:

a) Executor(s): This is a person or person(s) which legally appoint to effectively represent you after your death so it's obviously important that you appoint trustworthy individuals. An executor (s) will ensure that your funeral/burial takes place according to your wishes, your estate is properly evaluated, your debts are ascertained correctly and your assets are distributed according to Shariah etc.

b) Guardian(s): This is a person or person(s) which will be legally responsible for your children after the death of both parents, so again it's obviously important that you appoint trustworthy individuals.

c) Sadaqa: Islamic Shariah permits you to donate upto 1/3rd of your wealth to a cause/charity of your choice

d) Funeral/Burial Instructions: Although not legally required but its best to leave specific instructions about your Funeral/Burial to avoid endless bickering

Isn't leaving a will sort of predicting the future?

It isn't because you are not calculating your assets and debts YET and you are not predicting who will outlive you etc, your executor (s) will do that at the time of your death, you are simply ensuring that they have the legal capacity to do their job and to ensure that the laws of Islamic Shariah as well are state laws are satisfied.
OK! What should be done now?

Once you have understood all of the above, the rest is pretty simple-pimple.
You can:

a) Contact your attorney/solicitor and seek legal advice. If in the UK your Assets are more than £312,000, then YOU SHOULD take this route

b) Contact your local governmental offices and help them write one

c) Google and obtain a will-writing DIY pack and follow instructions, like this one for UK:

www.lawpack.co.uk/WillsAndPow...product702.asp

i. If you make an error, your will be void and unenforceable in UK or partly enforceable in US (most states) so although you will save money, chances of error are greater and consequences disastrous

d) Obtain an Islamic will pack and follow it up

a. For US:

www.zawaj.com/articles/islamic_will.pdf

Contact your Islamic body as others may also have similar provisions.

b. For UK:

www.1stethical.com/financial-...nheritance.asp (Free Islamic will template)

www.islamicwillwriters.com/index.php

www.iwillsolicitors.com/

Also look up in the Muslim Yellow pages

P.S: If you are a 2nd wife then under British law you may receive compensation by claiming to be a "Mistress" but in US (most states) you be out of luck while the first (legal) wife is still around UNLESS an Islamic will is let by the deceased husband.

Source: Hadhrat Muadh_Khan (AKA Colonel_Hardstone)
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 16th April 2014 19:37
I will, soon insha'Allah, post some masaa'il and rulings surrounding the matter of bequests (wasiyyat) from the book Kitaabul Meerath by Majlisul Ulama of South Africa.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 16th April 2014 19:57
Wasiyyat


A bequest made by a person for part of his wealth to be contributed after his death to a person or institution is termed Wasiyyat.

The Shariah permits a Wasiyyat of one third or less of a man's estate. It is not permissible to make a Wasiyyat of more than one third. The amount excess of a third of the value of the estate is not valid.

The following acts of a person come within the classification of Wasiyyat:

1. Contributions made during Maradhul Maut, e.g. gifts, waiving debt, charity.

2. Relating any disbursement or contribution of wealth to his maut (death), e.g. a sum should be contributed to a Musjid, Madrasah, etc. or a certain amount should be given to a non-heir or a specific sum should be spent on feeding the poor, etc.

3. Payment of fidyah (compensation) for Salat, Saum, and Hajj whcih were not executed during the lifetime of the deceased.

4. Payment of Kaffarah (penalty) for violated oaths, fasts, etc.

[Kitaabul Meerath, page 40]
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 19th April 2014 02:25
Masaa'il


[Note: I'll only be posting those masaa'il related directly to making a will. All masaa'il other than those will be skipped]

1. When a person has neither heirs nor creditors and he makes a Wasiyyat for all his wealth to be contributed as he directs, then such a Wasiyyat will be valid.

2. The Wasiyyat will be valid only if the Musi (the one who makes the bequest) is sane and an adult.

3. The subject of Wasiyyat should be an object or a right which can be owned, e.g. a fixed property, a vehicle, garments or the right to live in a house for s specific time, e.g. 5 years. If a right (i.e. a right which is valid in the Shariah) is bequeathed, the asset (e.g. house) will remain the property of the heirs while the beneficiary of the Wasiyyat will enjoy the right of occupying the house for whatever time specified in the Wasiyyat.

4. A Wasiyyat in favor of an heir is not valid. However, if all adult heirs uphold the Wasiyyat it will be valid. But, nothing will be taken from the shares of minor heirs to fulfill the Wasiyyat in excess of one-third which the adult heirs have accepted to uphold.

5. A Wasiyyat for a non-Muslim is valid although there are no ties of inheritance between Muslims and Non-Muslims.

[Kitaabul Meerath, pages 42-43]
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 20th April 2014 20:15
The Kinds of Wasiyyat


There are four kinds of wasiyyat: Wajib, Mustahab, Jaa-iz and Haraam.

Wajib Wasiyyat (Compulsory)

1. It is obligatory for a person to make a wasiyyat if he has liabilities to discharge. He should declare his liabilities verbally to witnesses or reduce these to writing so that rights of others are not plundered or lost after his death. Such liabilities are debt, articles of trust (Amaanat) in his possession or any other right owing to others.

2. It is obligatory for a person to make a wasiyyat in regard to Fardh salaat, zakaat, Fardh saum, Kaffaarah etc. which he had not discharged.

It is a grave sin to refrain from Wajib Wasiyyat.

Mustahab Wasiyyat (Preferable)

1. It is Mustahab to make wasiyyat that the kafan (burial shrouds) and dafan (burial) be in conformity with the Sunnah and that no un-Islamic and bi'dah customs be organized.

2. If one's assets are considerable, it will then be Mustahab to bequeath any sum up to one third the value of the estate to charitable works, e.g. Musjid, Madrasah, etc. However, if one's estate is not considerable it will not be Mustahab to make a wasiyyat for charity since such a wasiyyat will prejudice the heirs. It is more meritorious to leave the entire estate to the heirs if the estate is small and the heirs are needy.

Jaa-iz Wasiyyat (Permissible)

It is permissible to make wasiyyat of all things which are permissible, e.g. a certain person should conduct the Janaazah salaat, etc.

Haraam Wasiyyat (Unlawlful)

It is haraam to make wasiyyat of anything which is not permissible in Islam, e.g. to bury one's body in another city; to bequeath wealth to such a person or institution which will utilize the funds in haraam activities; making a wasiyyat which interferes in any way whatever with the shares of the heirs.

It is also haraam to dispose of one's estate during one's lifetime if the intention is to deprive one's heirs. A man who has no sons sometimes is averse to his brothers or step-brothers inheriting. In such an attitude he shows displeasure with the decree of Allah Ta'ala. Consequently, he either disposes of his assets in his lifetime or he makes haraam bequests to deprive the rightful heirs. This type of transgression will be severely punished in the Akhirah.

[Kitaabul Meerath, pages 44-45]


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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 21st April 2014 20:40
Revoking a Wasiyyat


1. While the Musi (the one making a wasiyyat) is alive, he has the right of revoking a wasiyyat he has made. When revoking a wasiyyat it is essential that the Musi uses such terms which clearly indicate that the wasiyyat has been revoked. ex:

"I am revoking this wasiyyat"
"I am cancelling this wasiyyat"
"I have cancelled/revoked this wasiyyat"


The mere denial of the wasiyyat will not constitute a cancellation. This, if the Musi says: "I dont know anything about the wasiyyat you are talking about", it will not cancel the wasiyyat which is confirmed by the testimony of witnesses. If he has no intention of honoring the wasiyyat, he should revoke it in clear terms.

2. An operation which indicates that the Musi has revoked his wasiyyat, constitutes cancellation of the wasiyyat, e.g. After having bequeathed a plot of land to Zaid, the Musi erects a building on the plot or sells it. This action constitutes cancellation of the wasiyyat.

[Kitaabul Meerath, pages 51-52]
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 26th March 2015 17:54
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(salaam)

I was sent an article by Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat (hafizahullah) on the topic of inheritance. Below is an excerpt from the article which brings to light an extremely important point not many of us even think about.

~~~

Another very important matter to keep in mind is that of separate and identifiable ownership. Many people nowadays have joint accounts. Upon the death of a person, it becomes impossible to ascertain how much belonged to each person because each would deposit their money into one account. By keeping separate accounts it becomes easy to distribute the inheritance correctly after someones death. Similarly, every item in the house should have an identifiable owner, so upon the death of someone there are no issues. In order to do this, records should be kept clearly identifying the owner of all items in the house.

- Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat (hafizahullah)
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