Are you a Muslim living in Britain?
In the UK, if you die without a will, the government decides who gets what from your possessions.
As a Muslim, you can avoid this. More about that later.
According to Royal London (2018), 54% of the adult population in the UK don’t have a will.
That’s over 30 million people!
As a devout Muslim, it is your obligation to know what a will is. We know how the ancient saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
In under 1 minute, you will discover what a will is according to both Islamic and English Law.
What is a will?
According to English Law, a will is:
“A declaration of intent by the testator (the one making the Will) which takes effect after their death in the form of a legally binding document.”
Here’s a much simpler way to understand it:
“A will is the expression by a living person of their wishes which they intend to take effect immediately after death.”
Is this making sense?
For Muslims though, things are different.
As a Muslim, you have a Wassiyyah. A Wassiyyah is translated in English as the Bequest.
A Bequest is defined as “the act of giving or leaving something by will.”
The Wassiyyah sounds very similar to the will under English law, but it’s certainly not the same.
Under English law, there’s a concept called the “Freedom of Testamentary Disposition.”
This means that upon death, you can leave whatever you own to whoever you want. So basically, there’s nothing stopping you from leaving a million pounds to the Donkey Sanctuary (if that’s your thing).
Also, in English Law, you can cut your children out of your will (although this can be challenged in court).
As a Muslim, Islamic Law won’t let you leave all your money to charity nor let you cut your children out of your will. We learn this from the famous verses of the Qur’an that deal with inheritance in Surah an-Nisaa.
We also learn from the Hadith of our prophet Muhammad (saw):
“Give the Faraid (prescribed shares in the Quran) to those who are entitled to receive it…”
After your die, the English legal system lets you give your wealth to whoever you like. The Islamic legal system however (and the one you’re are obliged to follow), defines the amount each person will get after you die.
In summary, who gets what from your wealth has already been decided by Allah SWT.
And every Muslim wants to please the Almighty.
This is the fundamental difference between the two legal systems.
By now, you have a good understanding of what a will is.
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