At Peace

My Lifetime Stories in blog

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Writing an islamic will


It is not rightful for a Muslim who has something to bequeath to sleep two consecutive nights without having his will written for him. (Bukhari)

The obligatory nature of writing a will only came to my attention during Global Peace & Unity Event 2008. It was further emphasized to me while preparing for hajj, I guess because there were lot of people died during the journey.

Why do we need a will?

Probably it was not that important when I was back in Malaysia, as whoever died in Malaysia as a muslim, automatically the wealth will be distributed according to the Islamic law of inheritance - or so I believe. It becomes more important while living in Ireland, as if you don't have any will when you die, the distribution of wealth will never be according to Islam.

It is clear that having a will (according to Islamic law) is a must when we are in a non-mislim country, but why must we have a will in an Islamic country?

Well, although we would like to think that the distribution of our wealth will be according to Islam, it does not happen all the time. In fact, based on my experience after my mother's death, nothing is there to secure an Islamic distribution, expecially when you are distributing the wealth manually. Alhamdulillah, my father took charge of the distribution and I am pleased with my family's willingness to expedite the process. Unless you are using somebody who know and have experience with Islamic law of inheritance, the process can be long and tiring - and easily mistakes can be done.

Moreover, the will acts as our last instruction to the living, on how to live the life. Imagine if we are going for a journey, we will live some provision for our family and we would want to say few things which we think will be important for the kids, especially when we know it is going to be a long time before we meet them again. If we are doing that for a relatively short journey in this life, why would not we want to leave pages and pages of advice when we know we are not coming back?

We have 1/3 of our wealth to be distributed to our like. We can take a passive role that the wealth will be distributed among the heir and hopefully they will spend it lawfully. Or we can take an active role by specifying which charity organization or specific person we want to give- to make sure that our deeds and charity will continue to benefit us even though we are not in this world anymore.

Knowing people will differ concerning whether to make talqin or not upon your death, or whether to organize a specific day remembering your death or not after your death, or whether to build a nice 'batu nesan' for you - easy way out. Put it in your will whatever you want, as long as it is not against the teaching, then the relatives will have to follow. Afraid to give dakwah to non-muslim that you know or giving advise to your relatives and friends - put it in your will your wishes. You will have no worries of them being offended as you are dead now. If Allah wills, they may change and you will have your part in it. But make sure that you don't do the opposite when people will just remember the bad thing you said to them till the day you meet them again.

While writing the will as well, we will be up-to-date on our wealth and debts. This will help in the calculation of our zakat every year. Writing a will as well will remind us of death that is due upon us at any time.

Legally binding

If you want to make it a legal document, then you will need to ask the knowledgeable - the lawyer. There are many books written about writing an Islamic will. In Malaysia, Amanah Raya Berhad ( can prepare a will for you for a small fee, if you don't much time to write one on your own. In the UK, has provided some guidance on how to write a proper will online.

Whichever way you are thinking, start preparing as we never know when will it be our last word in this worldly life.

Be smart (by remembering death), write your will.



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