The importance of Will writing in Islam
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, however, Islam as a comprehensive religion has the answers to all our worries.
Allah says in Qur’an:
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا ٱلْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ
It has been prescribed that when death approaches any of you, make a will about all your wealth and possessions in favour of your parents and relatives according to what is acceptable. This is an obligation upon the God-conscious ones. (Surah Baqarah, ayah 180).
Furthermore, we read in the narrations:
ترک الوصیه عار فی الدنیا و نار و شنار فی الآخره ( نهج الفصاحه، ص ۳۸۴)
The one who abandons the will would face disgrace in this world as well as fire and torment in the hereafter (NahjulFashahah, page 384)
و الذنوب التی تورث الندم …. و ترک الوصیه حتییحضره الموت ( بحار الانوار، ج ۹۵، ص۱۳۷)
Amongst the sins that beget remorse…leaving the will until death approaches. (BiharulAnwaar, Vol 95, page 138)
ماینبغی لامری مسلم ان یبیت لیله الا و وصیته تحت راسه (بحار الانوار، ج۱۰۰، ص۱۹۴
A Muslims should not spend (even a single) night without his will underneath his pillow. (BiharulAnwaar, vol. 100, page 194).
As we can see from these narrations, this is not a light matter. Its importance increases because 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 while maintaining compliance with the law of the land. Doing this can help avoid family disputes occurring after your death.
If you do not have an Islamic will, all your savings, assets and possessions will be distributed according to UK law. This way may not be in accordance with your wishes or 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.
The primary ruling is that the Islamic will is “Mustahab Muakkad “, and emphasised commendable deed, however in certain circumstances it becomes wajib as below:
- If an obligatory deed such as lapsed prayers and fasts, payment of debt and Nadhr, belongings of others that need to be returned etc. remain on one shoulder and he/she can’t perform them before his/her death and there is no way to ensure that it will be undertaken by others on his behalf, he/she is obligated to prepare a will.
- If a person fears that upon his death his estate will not be divided as per Islamic law and the law of the land will act as an executor and divide his estate as they please, he/she would be duty-bound to write a will.
Unlike other wills, an Islamic will predetermines who is eligible to inherit assets as stated in 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 can 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.
How to Arrange an Islamic Will
The best way to arrange a will that is consistent with both Islamic principles, as well as the law of the land, is to hire a trained specialist who can help guide you through Islamic requirements, making the process more understandable.
If you choose this option, Majlis e Ulama Shia Europe can support you. MUS has teamed up with Al Samad Wills to help and guide you through the process, making sure that your will is both in line with Islamic principles as well as legally enforceable. 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.
Book an appointment today and receive expert guidance on making an Islamic will.