Writing an Islamic will

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A large proportion of people in the UK ignore the importance of inheritance planning, but Shariah law indicates that one of the most important duties a Muslim can do during their life is make an Islamic will.

Here at Wills.Services, we understand how important inheritance planning is to Islam and therefore strive to provide you with the best online will-writing service possible, tailored to suit your needs and religious beliefs, while also remaining legally accurate.

Sharia will writing in the UK

A will is a legal document that enables a person to outline and plan exactly how they want their estate (including properties, bank accounts, businesses and all other assets) to be distributed when they pass away.

It is also an opportunity to express your final wishes regarding your children’s future guardianship, nominating an executor to handle the probate process, and planning your own funeral.

Drawing up a will brings with it many benefits, including the peace of mind that it gives you in knowing that your assets and your loved ones will be protected in the event of your death. 

Islamic wills vary somewhat from standard wills, with the main difference being that Muslims are required to follow pre-determined Islamic rules in terms of how their assets should be shared between loved ones and those related to them.

These rules are set out within the Qur’an and the primary beneficiaries are the children, parents and spouse of the deceased. The distribution of the estate is worked out by using specific calculations, which you can figure out yourself by using an Islamic will calculator online, or our team can do it for you here at Wills.Services. 

Get in touch with our professional Sharia will-writing experts today by completing our simple contact form.

The importance of an Islamic will

A will is important to everyone, as it provides an opportunity to make your final wishes known, thus avoiding potential family disputes and ensuring that your assets are inherited by the right people. Making a will is, however, particularly important to British Muslims, as they live in a non-Islamic country and their assets will not be distributed in-line with Islamic jurisprudence if they die without a will (also known as dying intestate).

The importance of inheritance planning in Islam is clear, as outlined by the following four duties that must be carried out when a Muslim dies: 

  • Payment of their funeral costs
  • Payment of their debts
  • Execution of their will (including probate)
  • Distribution of their belongings in accordance with Shariah law

The Qur’an specifically details how shares of an estate must be distributed to each family member. For example, the husband of the deceased inherits 1/2 of the estate if they have no children. 

Dying without a Sharia will 

Domestic British law is, of course, different from Shariah law, which means that if you die without an accurate and legally-valid Islamic will in the UK, it will be handled without your religious beliefs in mind.

If you die without a will (or without one that is compliant to UK law), your legacy will automatically be divided amongst family members in accordance with the rules of intestacy, which could lead to family disputes and a lengthy, stressful probate process. 

Under intestacy rules, the legacy belonging to those without any surviving relatives that qualify for inheritance will be handed over to the Crown. 

In order to avoid the rules of intestacy, your will must be legally valid in the UK. For this reason, it is imperative that you seek the help and advice of a professional service to ensure that your will adheres to Islamic laws and domestic laws under British jurisprudence. 

Writing an Islamic will in the UK

The differences between UK domestic law and Islamic law mean that a Muslim should always ensure that they write a precise will that clearly states their wishes and preferences relating to how their estate should be shared out.  

Due to the importance of inheritance in Islam, Muslims should seek legal help to write their Islamic will in a way that conforms to Shariah law, yet remains legally binding in the UK. 

Here at Wills.Services,  our online service makes Islamic will-writing simple whilst ensuring your estate will be distributed amongst family members in-line with the specific rules set out in the Qur’an. 

Islamic will rules – Who is entitled to what?

While people who aren’t Muslims are free to plan their inheritance and write their wills as they please, those who are devoted to Islam are required to follow detailed guidelines regarding who should get what percentage of the estate they leave behind.

H3. The Islamic inheritance under Shariah law 

Some of the key inheritance rules of Islam under Shariah law include the following: 

  • Husband – Entitled to 50% (1/2) of the estate if the deceased has no surviving children or 25% (1/4) if they do have children.
  • Wife – Entitled to 25% (1/4) of the inheritance if the deceased has no children or 12.5% (1/8) if they do have children.
  • Daughters – Entitled to 50% (1/2) if the deceased has no sons and only one daughter, or 66.6% (2/3) if they have multiple daughters and no sons (shared equally between them). 
  • Son and daughter – Siblings share a percentage of the estate with a 2:1 ratio in favour of the sons. 
  • Father – Entitled to 16.6% (1/6) if the deceased has children.
  • Mother – Entitled to 33.3% (1/3) if the deceased has no siblings or children, or 16.6% (1/6) if they do. 

For example, if a Muslim dies leaving behind a surviving wife, one son, two daughters and both parents, their estate would be distributed as follows: 

  • Wife: 12.5%
  • Son: 27.08%
  • Daughter 1: 13.54%
  • Daughter 2: 13.54%
  • Father: 16.67%
  • Mother: 16.67%

It is understandable that some people may want their spouse to receive more of their estate than they’re entitled to under Islamic inheritance rules, but is it possible to change how much inheritors receive? 

Can you change the inheritors in an Islamic will? 

We have established that Sharia law has particular rules in terms of how your assets should be divided amongst family members, but it is also possible to amend who inherits what portion of your estate if the aforementioned guidelines don’t suit you.

While there is the misconception that a Muslim cannot change how their assets are distributed, it is entirely possible to do so. In order to make an amendment, the testator simply needs written consent. 

What are bequests? 

Another unique factor to keep in mind when it comes to writing an Islamic will is bequests. 

Islamic wills provide a flexibility that allows the testator to distribute up to one-third of their estate as they please, without restriction – they have total control and do not have to follow the rules set out by the Qur’an or Sharia law. This leniency towards one-third of the person’s estate is called a bequest. 

You aren’t required to use a bequest, and you can apply the Islamic will rules to your entire estate if you wish, but bear in mind that a bequest lets you do what you want with one-third of it if you choose to. 

Some people decide to use bequests to give money to charity or to leave a certain item to a special loved one, while others use them to leave a kaffarah – a payment to cover the fasts and prayers they missed during their lifetime. 

There are two simple rules that must be followed as far as bequests are concerned:

  1. Anything you leave in a bequest (and the person it’s being left to) must be specified clearly in your will, such as a certain piece of jewellery or a specific sum of money. 
  2. The assets left in a bequest must not be worth more than one-third of your entire legacy.

Getting an Islamic will online vs. making an Islamic will with solicitors

You have a few options regarding how you go about writing your Islamic will; you can do so online through a professional, legal will-writing service or you can use solicitors to help you. 

The option that best suits you depends on your preferences and the situation surrounding your inheritance, but here’s a comparison table to help you get a clearer understanding of which one you may prefer:

Islamic will online 

Islamic will through a solicitor 

Write your Islamic will on any device  You may need to attend lengthy face-to-face appointments or meetings
A time-efficient and straightforward process A time-consuming process 
Usually cheaper than using a Solicitor Often more expensive than writing a will online
You're offered fixed prices and rates You could be charged variable fees
You can keep your will in a secure will-storage facility  You may not be offered will-storage and could lose or damage your will at home

There are advantages and potential disadvantages to both methods, so if you need more information about the online services we offer, be sure to read our guides. 

How to write a will under Islamic law in the UK

The benefits of writing your Islamic will online with us here at Wills.Services include the following: 

  • Our professional online service allows you to create a will efficiently. 
  • You will receive peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones (and assets) will be protected when you’re no longer around.
  • You can guarantee that your will adheres to English and Welsh law. 
  • Our team can handle the process of probate on behalf of you and your family. 
  • Your estate will be distributed in line with Islamic/Sharia law. 
  • We work with experts who can check your will thoroughly to ensure that it is accurate and there is no chance of it becoming void when the time comes and it needs to be executed. 
  • You can contact us with any queries you may have – we’re more than happy to give you advice or help with any problems.

With our help and advice at Wills.Services, you will be able to write an Islamic will that adheres to both Sharia and UK law. Our online service is efficient both in terms of cost and the time it takes to write a will, but you can rest easy knowing that our experts will have checked your will thoroughly to ensure that all goes to plan when you’re no longer around. 

Knowing what to include in a will is difficult at the best of times, but it is especially challenging for those who have to comply with religious and domestic laws. Writing a will is not a task that should be undertaken without a plan – especially if you have religious and domestic laws to adhere to – so we strongly recommend contacting our team if you have any questions before you start.

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