Islamic Wills

The Islamic Will, commonly known as a Sharia-compliant Will, is a Will that is governed by Sharia law and is legally enforceable in Ontario. An Islamic Will can help ensure the smooth transition of a Muslim’s assets and belongings to their designated beneficiaries. Since Ontario’s intestate succession law differs from Islamic law, an Islamic Will is strongly recommended in order to fulfill your Islamic obligations. 

While this process may seem overwhelming and complex, having the right lawyer who understands both Islamic law and Ontario law can make all the difference.

What is an Islamic Will?

An Islamic Will can be an important estate planning tool for Muslims living in Ontario, as it allows them to ensure their assets and property are distributed according to their religious beliefs and values. For many Muslims, this is of paramount importance, as it ensures their loved ones are taken care of in accordance with Islamic law.

The religion of Islam specifies that, if you have anything to bequest, you should have a last Will and testament.

“It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves any goods that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the God-fearing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:180 of the Holy Quran)

It is important to note that an Islamic will is not technically a “Will” in the Western sense of the word, but rather a contract known as a “wasiyyah” in Arabic (the statement of a Muslim in which he or she details the manner his or her wealth is disposed of after his or her death). To be valid, an Islamic Will must be in writing, witnessed by two adults who are not related to the testator (the individual making the will), and signed by the testator.

What are the Benefits of Creating an Islamic Will?

  1. Your assets are distributed according to your religious beliefs. 
  2. You can appoint a guardian for your minor children. 
  3. You can choose to donate to charity or give zakat (almsgiving) from your estate. 
  4. You can include provisions about unperformed religious obligations for your loved  ones to carry out on your behalf, such as:
    1. Qadha of prayers and fasting (compensation for missed prayers and fasts that were not performed during their proper time) 
    2. Kaffarah (obligatory expiations for certain actions such as the breaking of a  fast)
    3. Specifying your wishes about Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are  required to make at least once during their lifetime) 
  5. You can choose to include detailed provisions on funeral and burial rights. 
  6. You can allocate from your estate the payment of Khums (1/5 of one’s acquired  wealth given to poor Muslims or orphans and to religious clerics). 
  7. Peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes. 

Traveling to Perform Hajj, Umrah, Arba'een, etc.?

Before embarking on your sacred journey to Mecca, or any other destination, an unexpected accident may occur, and thus it is important to have a valid Will to ensure your assets and possessions are handled appropriately.

Without a Will, your belongings will be subject to the laws of the Province of Ontario, which often does not coincide with the practices of Islam.

Summer Real Estate Lawyer

This was written by Summer Harb, Wills & Estate Lawyer. Summer specializes in helping Muslim clients create Sharia-compliant estate plans designed to protect your loved ones in the event of death, and ensure that your assets are distributed according to the Islamic law of inheritance (mawarith) as laid out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. 

Summer provides services in both English and Arabic and works alongside her clients to ensure their religious and legal obligations are addressed, simultaneously.