MAKING A SHARIA COMPLIANT WILL (AL-WASIYYA)
“It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a Will about it.” Sahih al-Bukhari
It is stated in several Hadiths the importance of having a Will. It is also stated in Surah An-Nisa that ones who execute it with the Islamic Law of Inheritance carries the potential for great blessing and mercy from our Creator.
"It is prescribed for you, when death approaches one of you, if he leaves behind wealth, that he bequeaths unto parents and near relatives in goodness; (that is) a duty on those who safeguard themselves with full awareness of divine laws." 2:180 The Holy Quran.
If you do not leave a Will, then you are classed as having died ‘intestate’ and the state would step in. This means that your estate is dictated under English Law, which is different to distribution under Sharia rules. In order to prepare a Sharia compliant Will, it is necessary to understand how the estate is applied under Sharia successor rules in accordance with the Quran:
Your debts and funeral costs are paid.
A third of the estate may be given to charities or individuals as ‘Sadaqa jariya’ which is only one of three actions which continues to be rewarded even after death.
The remainder is given to a set of ‘main’ beneﬁciaries then to the residuary beneﬁciaries.
It is important you state that you wish to be buried in accordance with Islamic principles, as opposed to cremation or for scientiﬁc research.
You can appoint suitable guardians for your children in the event that both parents die before the children reach 18 years of age. You can express your wishes on how you want your children to be raised.
If you have undertaken a Nikah only ie not registered your marriage and die intestate (without a Will) your spouse could end up with nothing under English law.
As well as complying with a Sunnah by making a Will, you can also help your family after to ensure there are no fami,y disagreements and also ensure your estate is tax efficient so your family is not forced to dispose of assets you have worked so hard for in Inheritance Tax.