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"As with other legal systems, under Islamic law, the deceased’s estate must first be used to pay funeral expenses, debts, and other obligations. What remains is then divided amongst heirs. The Quran says: “…of what they leave, after any bequest they may have made, or debt” (4:12). "

Mohammed Saleem


Islamic Wills & Probate


The importance of a Muslim making a will which disposes of his estate according to the injunctions of the Holy Quran cannot be over-emphasised. The Holy Quran in Sura An-Nisa, Ch IV, verses 11, says,


“ Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah . Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.”


It is incumbent, therefore, upon every Muslim to make a will that disposes of his property on death according to the principles of inheritance applicable under the Muslim religion.


The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said that a person who dies having made a ‘good will’ dies the death of a martyr and one who dies without having made such a will dies the death of a pagan.


The reference to the making of a ‘good’ will by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) must, for Muslims living in England and Wales, be a will that makes provision:
  • For all the lawful ‘debts and expenses’ of the deceased that are payable under the Islamic law to be paid in full—even if they are not payable under English law
  • For the payment in full of the liability of the deceased for zakaat and any other religious dues. These are considered under Islamic principles to be debts that are lawfully due from the deceased
  • For the saying of the qadha (unfulfilled) prayers of the deceased, the performance of his unkept fasts and any other religious obligation that may be due from him, such as the failure to perform the Hajj when he should have done.


    It is open for the saying of such qadha prayers and the performance of any other obligation that may be due from the deceased to be performed after his death by a person who is engaged, for reward, for that purpose. However, it is necessary for the deceased to make it clear who should oversee this after his death.


    It suffices that he does so and (if appropriate) makes adequate provision for the payment of any sum to have such obligations carried out either from his estate or from any other lawful source. It appears that any amount payable from the estate for the fulfilment of this obligation will need to be paid from the one-third share over which the deceased has an absolute right of disposal
  • For every person who is entitled to the benefit of an interest in the estate of the deceased under the Muslim religion to obtain the distribution of his benefit in full or to have it otherwise accounted to him in full, for example, having it distributed to another person on his directions where he has waived his entitlement to the benefit in favour of that person: and
  • For as much of the estate as is possible to be used for good and worthwhile causes, such as helping the needy and impoverished Muslims. Apart from the payment of religious dues which will primarily be used for good causes and which will be payable before the distribution of the net estate is made, it will only be the one-third share over which the deceased has an absolute right of disposal that he will specifically be able to use for this purpose.
  • To ensure the lawful disposal of the body of the deceased under Islamic principles. The Islamic wills and Probate services to cater for your religious needs are delivered by the carefully selected firms who have specialist support and subsidised fees to the consumers referred by the Halal Council. Please contact our Mr M. Saleem in full confidence for an initial free consultation to assess your eligibility for a referral to the firm of solicitors. This Project is exclusively supported jointly by Masood Butt of MB Legal – Business and Law Consultants and Pambrook Solicitors, Birmingham.


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