“Prescribed for you when death approaches any one of you if he leaves wealth is that he should make a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous”
[Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 180]
“Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “It is a duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath not to let two nights pass without including it in his will”
According to the above guidance, it is a duty of all Muslims to leave a Will to distribute their estate after their death. This is to ensure that their wealth is distributed fairly amongst family members and to avoid conflict. The precise details of who inherits and how much are set out in the Quran and hadith.
Under Islamic laws a Muslim’s estate shall be distributed as follows:
- All debts are paid, including funeral expenses as well as unpaid Zakah, Mahr and Kafarah (compensation for omitted acts of worship).
- After the debts, the full estate shall be distributed in fixed shares as prescribed in the Quran. This is usually between your parents, spouse and children.
- A Muslim may leave a gift of up to one third of his/her estate to whoever he/she pleases. Therefore, anyone not entitled to a fixed share under Islamic law, e.g. a charity or other individual (relative or non-relative), can benefit.
If you die without leaving a Will, English law states that the ‘intestacy’ rules should be applied to distribute your estate. These rules are not consistent with what is required under Islamic law and therefore writing a Will is extremely important for Muslims living in the UK.