[Q-ID0830] Is making a Will according to UK Law permissible?

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QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: People here in the U.K. and other such countries make a will before they pass away, so is making such a will permissible according to Sharī’ah?

Questioner: Bushra from UK

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is impermissible in Islām to write a will for any inheritor [see footnotes for further clarity]*; be it for some amount of wealth or half, because the Qur’ān has already declared the shares of inheritors, thus they will be given so accordingly.

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This is the reason as to why the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated,

“إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَعْطَى كُلَّ ذِي حَقٍّ حَقَّهُ فَلَا وَصِيَّةَ لِوَارِثٍ”

“Allāh [ﷻ] has appointed for everyone who has a right what is due to him, and no bequest [will] is be made to an inheritor.”

[Sunan Abū Dāwūd, Hadīth no 2870]

Similarly, it is stated in Fatāwā Hindiyyah,

“وَلَا تَجُوزُ الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَارِثِ عِنْدَنَا إلَّا أَنْ يُجِيزَهَا الْوَرَثَةُ”

“According to us, a will for an inheritor is not permissible, unless the remaining inheritors permit it; it is thereby permissible.”

[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, vol 6, ch 1, pg 80]

In addition, any will that is intended for anyone who is not an inheritor will be enacted upon from a 1/3 of the wealth, just as it is stated in Fatāwā Hindiyyah,

“تَصِحُّ الْوَصِيَّةُ لِأَجْنَبِيٍّ مِنْ غَيْرِ إجَازَةِ الْوَرَثَةِ، كَذَا فِي التَّبْيِينِ وَلَا تَجُوزُ بِمَا زَادَ عَلَى الثُّلُثِ إلَّا أَنْ يُجِيزَهُ الْوَرَثَةُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهِ وَهُمْ كِبَارٌ”

“A will intended for a non-inheritor without the permission of the inheritors is permissible, although, making a will for more than 1/3 of the wealth is not permissible. Unless, after the person’s passing, all the inheritors permit the will of the extra wealth and they are all mature[1].”

[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, vol 6, ch 1, pg 80]

Here in Western countries, only the will from a solicitor has any precedence, in which the principles of Sharī’ah are not given any consideration, due to which the rights of many inheritors are violated, and other inheritors don’t even receive a penny. Even if one was not to write a will, the inheritors still do not receive their right, rather, it is given according to the principles of an outsider.

The method of writing a will in countries such as the likes of the U.K.

In this case, if a Muslim writes his will according to the Islamic manner of dividing, in which the shares of all the inheritors are declared, and the one passing away writes at the end that, “My advice is that after my passing, my inheritors divide this wealth accordingly”, then there is no problem in this, provided that there is nothing contrary to Sharī’ah, because this is inviting towards righteousness; it is not an actual will intended for an inheritor.

[1] i.e. having reached puberty.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali Madani

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0830] Is making a Will according to UK Law permissible?

FOOTNOTE

If a person passes away and has left behind a will, then according to the law of the land, it is enacted upon in full. However, it has been mentioned and explained in the aforementioned answer as to how one will abide by Sharī’ah and, in effect, the law of the land also.

But if someone passes away without having left behind a will, then such a person has passed away intestate, and the laws of intestacy will apply to said person. However, as mentioned in the answer above, this method is not in accordance to Sharī’ah either.

So, if an Islamic will has not been left behind, as per the above answer, and one has no other choice but to divide the assets according to intestacy, then one would do so for the sake of formality in order to abide by the law of the land. However, later on, the inheritors must split this in accordance to the Islamic method – this way, they are abiding by both Sharī’ah as well as the law of the land. Otherwise (if they do not do so), they will be sinful.

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Source: Seekers Path

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