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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

What You Need for an Islamic Will

Much like the American common law, Islamic laws provide a code of practice for Muslims in estate planning. This specifically includes provisions regarding the transfer of a person’s assets after his or her death as well as the creation and maintenance of an Islamic will.

Specialized documents such as these require a practiced hand, which is exactly what you will find among the skilled attorneys at M & A Law.  Our attorneys have direct personal and professional experiences when the nuances and complexities of estate planning in a manner that is compliant with both secular and religious standards, so if maintaining the standards and rituals of your religion is particularly important to you, call us today for a free consultation.

Estate planning is something we all must do at some point in time in our lives, but it is also trickier than it may seem on YouTube. This is particularly true when your estate planning needs implicate both secular and religious rules. When it comes to planning an Islamic estate, it's never a good idea to go at it alone. This is particularly true when an estate requires specialized documents like an Islamic will. Be sure to contact a qualified estate planning attorney in your area before diving into the details of an Islamic will. In the meantime, however there is no harm and learning a little more about what you need for an Islamic will.

 

What is an Islamic Will?

In general, a will is a document that describes a decedent’s intent with respect to the distribution of his or her property after death. An Islamic will is a legal document drafted in a manner that is compliant with both applicable secular laws and the essentials of Islamic estate planning. The development of Islamic well requires the assistance of an attorney who can provide effective legal advice suitable to plan for several possible contingencies with respect to the management of an estate that is compliant with the Qur’an and Sharia law.

In the absence of an Islamic will, many Muslims are forced to rely on the processes described by Faraid, the set of Islamic laws governing inheritance. While Faraid provides important guidance in Islamic estate planning, these principles may not be upheld by secular courts in the absence of a legal document directing the estate to be managed in such a way. Further, the codes and principles of Faraid may not necessarily address all of the beneficiaries and assets contemplated by an individual's estate.

Modern estates are complicated, and they often require custom-tailored guidance to ensure they are carried out according to the decedent’s intent. The development of a proper Islamic will can help ensure that a person's estate is managed in a manner that both complies with applicable laws and provides for loved ones after his or her death. Unfortunately, however, drafting an Islamic will can be more difficult than any of the more straightforward secular documents involved in planning an estate.

 

Practical Issues Associated with Drafting an Islamic Will

In the State of Illinois, a person’s will must abide by certain standards and meet set requirements in order to stand up in a probate court. Islamic wills bear the additional burden of compliance with not only state law, but Sharia as well. In the United States, drafting a Sharia-compliant will comes with the additional practical complexity of avoiding running afoul of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which prevents the official establishment of religion in legal proceedings.  

Rules regulating Islamic wills come from several sources. First and foremost, the legal document must comply with Illinois state law. Secondly, the will must comply with the Qur’an’s direct statements regarding inheritance. Third, the Islamic estate must abide by select Sunnah, ijma’, and qiayas that contain commonly-recognized principles regarding the passing of property following a person’s death. In addition to these religious laws, an Islamic will must abide by applicable secular laws to ensure the document stands up in the courts charged with executing the document.

 

Rules Affecting Islamic Wills

Like most other systems of law, Sharia law recognizes certain standard rules and practices regarding the transfer of an estate by means of a will. The Qur’an recognizes inheritance and specifies rights and restrictions on the allocation of an Islamic estate. The Sharia law derived from the Qur’an’s statements governing inheritance establish a strict set of rules regarding how property should be divided amongst errors in a manner that best maintains familial relations.

The rules regulating Islamic wills can be very specific. For example, unlike secular law, Sharia does not permit an individual to inherit or disinherit family members under circumstances that could potentially lead to conflicts within the family. The Qur’an also addresses the process of legal will formation, including the form a will must take and under what circumstances the writing is valid. Like a secular law, Islamic law also requires the individual making the will to be of sound mind and body to ensure that the legal document was executed under the person's free will.

 

Islamic Estate Planning Requires Support

Islamic estate planning is a highly specialized field of law that all Muslims should consider at some point in time in their lives. The Faraid rules provide an effective safety net in the event that a Muslim dies without an Islamic will, but there is no telling how an intestate estate may be handled in Illinois probate court. In fact, the Establishment Clause directly prohibits secular courts from considering Islamic laws in reviewing Muslim Estates, even in circumstances when these guiding principles are of the foremost importance to the decedent.  

Providing support and assistance for one’s family and community lies at the cornerstone of the Islamic faith. The M&A Law attorneys trained in Islamic estate planning take these principles seriously, and as such they have worked hard to ensure they are familiar with all of the secular and religious requirements for drafting an Islamic will that will survive the proceedings of a state probate court and meet all of the final wishes of even the most devout individuals. Call us today for a free consultation on Islamic estate planning and see whether an Islamic will should be included as part of your estate plan.



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