What does the Qur’an say about wills? Does the Sunna mention wills?

Yes, the Qur’an and the Sunna both cover wills.

In the Qur’an, Allah directed Muslims to make a will: “It has been ordained upon you, when death is near one of you, leaving wealth behind, to make a will in favor of parents and close relatives, impartially. This is incumbent upon the pious” (2:180). Allah also says: “When death draws near one of you… it is time to make a bequest” (5:106).

God also explained that you must deduct any bequests and debts from your gross estate before distribution to Islamic heirs (Qur’an 4:11).

The Sunna has many traditions about wills. The collections of Hadith, including Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim and Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri, report that the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said: “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his Last Will and Testament written and kept ready with him.”

Check our other frequently asked questions below for more information about specific Sharī‘a inheritance rules and answers to numerous real-life Sharī‘a inheritance questions.

You can also use our software to check how your estate will be distributed to your heirs or customize your own Islamic estate plan that is legally valid for your state.

I have two sons and two daughters. One of my daughters is taking care of us. I want to leave her a larger share than my other children to compensate her for helping us in our time of need. Can I do this without violating Sharī‘a?

Strictly speaking, you are not permitted to leave her more than her predetermined share.

However, there are a few options to compensate your daughter for the help she has given you. Because she provided—or continues to provide—you and your spouse with assistance, you may have a moral and religious debt to compensate or reward her for all her efforts.

You can do this in two ways: (1) You are free to gift her money and/or property during your lifetime. This is valid and sound under the Sharī‘a; or (2) You can pay this debt to your daughter as a moral/religious debt. This moral/religious debt is paid from the gross estate as a debt before distribution of the net estate to the Islamic heirs.

In other words, if you choose to pay your daughter a moral/religious debt, she will receive the payment of the debt, plus her Islamic fixed share. We do not believe this violates the Sharī‘a. Allah knows best.

Use our ISLAMIC WILL software to prepare your own customized Islamic estate plan that is legally valid for your state. This will permit you to compensate your child by acknowledging a moral/religious debt in your will.

 

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