WHY DO YOU NEED ISLAMIC WILLS?
There are several strong reasons why every Muslim in the United States should have an Islamic Will.
FIRST REASON: PERFORM A REQUIRED ISLAMIC DUTY.
- Qur'an: Muslims must write a will:
It is decreed for you: when death approaches any of you and he is leaving wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the closer relatives, fairly and correctly a duty upon the righteous ones. (Qur'an 2: 180)
There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest relatives, whether the property be small or large - a legal share. (Qur'an 4:7)
O you who have believed, testimony [should be taken] among you when death approaches one of you at the time of bequest-[that of] two men from among you or two others from outside if you ae traveling through the land and the disaster of death should strike you. Detain them after the prayer and let them both swear by Allah if you doubt [their testimony ,saying],"We will not exchange our oath for a price, even if he should be a near relative, and we will not withhold the testimony of Allah. Indeed, we would then be of the sinful." [Surah:5, Ayat:106]
Therefore, it is mandatory for every Muslim that the will contains the shares as specified in these verses.
- Hadith: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also advised us to make a will. Abdullah bin 'Umar states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will, to sleep two consecutive nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.
(sahih Al-Bukhari Book 55: Book of Wills and Testaments, 2738)
REASON NO. 2: THE RESULT OF A WRONG WILL
The Prophet (peace be upon him) Said:
A man May do good deeds for seventy years but if he acts unjustly when he leaves his last testament, the wickedness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the fire. If, (on the other hand), a man acts wickedly for seventy years but is just in his last will and testament, the goodness of his deed will be sealed upon him, and he will enter the garden." (Abu Dawud, 17 Book of Wills, Chapter 3,2867)
REASON NO.3: IT MAKES FINANCIAL SENSE
With an Islamic Will, you can prevent needless family disagreements, and writing a will is significantly less expensive and can save your family from financial problems. Settling an estate with a valid Islamic will typically take less time and incurs fewer legal fees.
REASON NO.4: PREVENT THE LAW OF INTEREST
Your legitimate Islamic will forbids the law of intestate succession and the court from appointing an executor and guardian for your young children and determining the allocation of your estate. A legitimate Islamic will is required to exercise the right to dispose of one's estate in accordance with one's own religious preferences.
REASON NO.5: LEGAL METHOD TO BIND YOUR WILL AND PROVIDE CERTAIN PROTECTIONS
Your Islamic will ensures that your money is divided in line with the Islamic inheritance law. For this reason, your executor, a trusted friend or family, can deal with and complete your final commitments.
SECURE YOUR FAMILY
Your Islamic will ensures that your family receives their "legal Islamic share" in accordance with Islamic inheritance law, without the burden or expense of a probate court deciding for you.
PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN
Your Islamic will permit you to name a guardian for your children under 18. No one loves their children more than their parents, and in the absence of a legitimate will and testament, the state's probate court will determine who will care for minor children (it may be a non-Muslim guardian). You can name a guardian for your children in your will to ensure they are cared for by a trustworthy individual.
PROTECT YOUR BODY
Your Islamic will stipulates that your body should not be embalmed, exposed to an unnecessary postmortem examination, or sent to a foreign country. You will express your desire for a Muslim funeral and burial.
PROTECT YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
Your Islamic wills include provisions for the payment of debts and outstanding religious requirements, such as unpaid Mahr (obligatory gift to wife), unpaid Zakat (obligatory charity), unperformed Hajj, Fidya (compensation for missing Ramadan fasts), and Kuffarah (compensation for omitted acts of worship)
SECURE YOUR FUTURE
Your Islamic will permit you to bequeath up to one-third of your fortune to Sadaqah Jariya, a charity that continues to be rewarded after death. One-third of the inheritance is distributed to people who are not entitled to any share, such as distant relatives, non-relatives, non-Muslims, and charity individuals and organizations.
REASON N0.6: KEEPING UP-TO-DATE FINANCIAL RECORDS
Writing a will also benefit you and your family: an updated record of your assets and liabilities is maintained for the annual calculation of your Zakat. It will be of great use to your executor in the future, who will require a list of your assets and liabilities.
Explicit rules govern both legacies and bequests in Islam's testamentary law. Wills can be verbal or written, and the testator's intentions regarding his possessions are obvious. According to Islamic law, a will is intended to perform a task after the testator's death and transmit property ownership to the legatees.