Islam is much more than a religion; it is a way of life. Islam is guidance from Allah that directs us through life, and Allah willing into the next life. It is for this reason that Allah also guides us through the process of death and dying. Death will come to each and every one of us; however there are things we can do to make our passing easier for those we leave behind. One of those things is to make sure we leave an Islamically sound inheritance and will. Islam has placed great emphasis on both the laws of inheritance and making a will, thus there is compelling evidence that every sane adult Muslim should have a will.
“It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath not to let two nights pass without writing a will.”
The Islamic will, in Arabic, al wasiyyah is a set of instructions that come into effect after a person’s death. The will is acted upon after the payment of funeral expenses and any outstanding debts. On the other hand inheritance is a legal terminology in which the property of the deceased inherits and shares between his heirs. However, there are some differences between will and inheritance, among of it are:
1. Inheritance is a compulsory legislated fixed share for deserving heirs whilst the property in the case of a will does not move to the devisee unless he accepted it.
2. Inheritance is a legislated fixed share proved by the evidences from the Quran and Sunnah while the will is proved by the wish of both the legator and the legatee.
3. Inheritance does not accept rejection while the will could be accepted or rejected by the devisee.
4. There are no ties of inheritance between Muslim and non-Muslim, while the will for a non-muslim is valid.
5. It is allowed islamically for someone to bequeath up to 1/3 (one third) of his or her property to whomever he or she wishes while the other two third are for deserving inheritors.
Will is an opportunity to perhaps help a poor relative who would not otherwise qualify for a share or even to leave something to a person of another faith, because they cannot inherit from the other two thirds of the estate. of another faith, because they cannot inherit from the other two thirds of the property.