The Islamic Will (Al Wasiyya)
The Islamic Will (Al Wasiyya) - The task of writing one's Will has become a duty to the pious and justified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed (may the peace and blessings of Almighty Allah shower on him) to have said:
"It is prescribed for you when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners (this is) a duty upon the pious ones." Quran 2: 180...
"It is not right for any Muslim who has something which is to be given as a bequest, to have for two nights without having his Will written regarding it and kept under his pillow" (Bukhari & Muslim).
Against this background, the Almighty Allah encourages a true believer to ensure he makes his intentions known about his estate after his demise.
The Islamic Will (Al Wasiyya) is similar in form and structure to the conventional Will, which comes into operation after the testator's death. The Will is executed after payment of funeral expenses and any outstanding debts.
The main objectives of having Al Wasiyya are to reduce the probate time and make distribution of wealth more seamless as heirs are expected to respect the instructions as outlined in the Al Wasiyya. It also enables:
•The Appointment of Executors (Wasi) - After the Testator must have completed his own duty, the Almighty Allah further imposes a duty of care on those that will execute (the Executors) the intensions of the Testator by adequately ensuring that they are just and fair in the handling of the sharing of the estate in line with the dictates of the Almighty Allah and the intentions of the Testator:
"And to everyone, We have appointed heirs of that (property) left by parents and relatives. To those also with whom you have made a pledge, give them their due portion (by Wassiya-Wills). Truly, Allah is Ever a Witness over all things" 4:33.
•Trustees and Guardians - in Al Wasiyya are a necessary part of the structure ensuring the protection of beneficiaries, particularly where minors are involved.