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WILL / INHERITANCE

The divine justness and equitability of the Islamic laws of inheritance have been correctly appreciated by many non-Muslim scholars such as Professor Almaric Rumsey (1825-1899) of King's College, London, the author of many works on the subject of the Muslim law of inheritance and a barrister-at-law, who stated that the Muslim law of inheritance, "comprises beyond question the most refined and elaborate system of rules for the devolution of property that is known to the civilised world.

The particular importance of the Islamic laws of inheritance is obvious from the verses immediately following those verses giving specific details on inheritance shares, "These are limits (set by) Allah (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.

Allah the Almighty says, "It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any opinion in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, has indeed strayed into a plain error." [Quran 33:36]

Let us consider the following scenarios:

A man died at the age of 65. He was survived by nine wives and 36 children. He left behind an estate comprising eight fully developed properties and shares in numerous publicly quoted companies. He also left a Will. But 30 years after his death, his family are yet to benefit from the assets. Rather, they are still before a Court in where they are locked in a tussle over how the inheritance would be shared. According to a witness, the siblings are at daggers drawn and some of them are no longer on talking terms.

For the four wives and 11 children left behind by another man who died 27 years ago, the story is nearly the same. The family had filed a case, though the deceased left a large estate for his family and his youngest child is well above 40, the failure of the deceased to leave a Will, stating who should get what, has denied them the benefit of the assets 27 years after the man passed away. None of the children is less than 40 years old now. The estate is there but they have not been able to lay their hands on what their father left for them.

In an effort to combating the challenges posed by Inheritance, NAZAS has a duty to provide a platforms through which Wills and Inheritance of a deceased Muslim or Muslimah are shared amongst the beneficiaries in line with Quran and Sunnah. We also provide guidance and counseling to the family of the deceased on how best to manage inheritance.