Islamic law is very detailed when it comes to dealing with the issue of inheritance. Detailed instructions about the division of assets of a deceased Muslim are provided in the Holy Quran. Furthermore, many traditions of the Holy Prophet (SAWW) also clarify issues of inheritance.
The most popular verses that deal with assets in Islam will appear in the fourth chapter of the Holy Quran. These verses are as follows:
“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.” [4:11]
The above verse, supplemented by other verses in the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (SAWW) sayings make the division of assets according to Islam very clear. Still, Muslims must prepare a will, as per Islamic instructions. You can download the Muslim Pro application on your mobile device to get access to the entire Holy Quran with translation in multiple languages on the go.
Division Of Assets In Islam
In Islam, the division of assets among legal heirs is fixed. If a person dies, two-thirds of his total wealth is divided among the rightful successor. One-third of the wealth can be willed to any charitable cause, be it an organization or an individual in need. If there is no will regarding the remaining one-third, that amount is automatically divided among the heirs as per their shares.
An individual’s property and assets are divided among six primary heirs, namely sons, daughters, wives or husbands, fathers, and mothers. Aside from these primary inheritors, other blood relatives like paternal grandparents, paternal uncles, and half-siblings can also become heirs given the appropriate circumstances.
In the case of children, sons receive double the share of daughters. Similarly, husbands are entitled to half of the wife’s wealth if there are no children, if there are children, then the husband’s share is one-fourth.
The wife, on the other hand, the wife is entitled to one-fourth of the husband’s assets if there are no children. If the couple has children, the wife’s share becomes one-eighth.
If primary successors do not exist then grandparents and siblings become inheritors of the deceased’s assets. Half-brothers or half-sisters can only become heirs if the deceased has no siblings alive.
Finally, as adopted children are not blood-related they cannot become legal heirs. The deceased, however, can will one-third of the wealth to them. Additionally, adopted children can receive assets in the form of gifts while the parent is still alive.
The Wisdom Behind Division Of Assets As Per Islamic Will
The division of assets in Islam follows a fair and balanced approach. Before Islamic law, women were denied the right to inherit the assets of their fathers or husbands. Assets in Islamic will, on the other hand, are shared among all legal heirs regardless of gender.
Even though females receive half the share that male heirs receive, this is because males are viewed as being the breadwinner of the family. No such responsibility is implemented upon the females, be those mothers, wives, or sisters.
By defining strict laws of succession, Islam will minimize the possibility of disputes. Disputes over the division of assets can result in serious disagreements. In addition to this, the Holy Quran and Sunnah encourage individuals to draw up a will following the laws of Islam. The aim is to further reduce disagreements by leaving nothing up to interpretation.
Another great aspect of the Islamic tradition is the freedom to bequeath one-third of the wealth to any organization or individual in need. This leads to increased equity in wealth distribution as money gets redistributed amongst those in need.
The Need For An Islamic Will
There are many different reasons why Muslims must draw up a will in their lifetime. Here are a few reasons why you should consider making an Islamic will executable after you leave this world:
Some countries, even those that are Muslim majority, do not follow the Sharia law. They have their inheritance laws which may be at odds with the laws defined in Islamic jurisprudence. If no will exists, then country laws will automatically apply.
To avoid this you can make a will reflecting the Islamic rules of inheritance. You can ensure your assets are divided among the rightful heirs as per Islamic directives upon your death.
Detail All Debts And Obligations
Heirs can only inherit wealth after the funeral expenses and all the debts owed by the deceased have been cleared. This means debtors must be paid before any of the legal heirs receive their share.
This can be difficult, especially since it is not known how much money is owed and to whom. The will can be used to offer clarification. This way the deceased can rest in peace knowing that all their financial obligation have been taken care of.
Prevent Family Feuds
Islamic will can be used to settle issues that may become sources of dispute among heirs. By clearly stating what should be done with the one-third part of the wealth, should it be divided among the heirs or donated? Having everything in writing can help remove doubts.
Leaving A Legacy Behind
Wealth is not just a blessing from Allah, it is also a way in which we are tested. In Islam hoarding of wealth is frowned upon. Instead, the rich are encouraged to give and donate. This leads to a redistribution of wealth and a more equitable society.
The division of assets in Islam also encourages this redistribution. To ensure that division takes place as per Islamic principles, having a will is important. Drawing up an Islamic will is the one way a person can guarantee that their assets are divided according to Islamic directives.
It is not enough to gather wealth and assets in this world. we should all live our lives in preparation for the Hereafter. Keeping this in mind, assets should be used for the betterment of others. A Muslim has obligations to blood relatives. They, however, have obligations to Allah and all His creatures. Considering others is necessary to not just leave behind wealth but also a legacy. A legacy of a wholesome and God-fearing life.