February 1, 2018
In modern society, Muslims are faced with the challenge of living in accordance with Islamic Shari’a as far as they are able while realising that they may not always be able to do so.
Within the UK, all Muslims at one time or another are obligated to submit to laws which either conflict or are discordant with the laws of Shari’a.
However, it is often possible to follow the Shari’a by utilizing English law. One example of this is drafting an Islamic Will that is valid under English Law but expresses a deceased’s wishes to have his/her wealth distributed in accordance with Islamic Shari’a.
The basic principles that govern the distribution of a deceased person’s wealth under the Shari’a are simple:
- When a person dies, first of all what is taken from their capital is what is necessary to bury them
- Any debts are paid in order of merit
- The distribution of bequests up to a third of the estate
- The rest is inherited by heirs in fixed shares in accordance with the laws of Shari’a
What happens if you die without a Will?
If you die without a Will you will be known as having died intestate. This means that your estate is divided in accordance with the laws of intestacy under English law. This is a significant issue when considering the difference between the rules of intestacy under English law as opposed to those under Shari’a law.
It is therefore vital to know of the differences between English law and Shari’a law when it comes to inheritance. As Shari’a law is not recognised by the English Courts, English law will take precedence between any apparent contradictions between the two.
In practical terms, it is necessary to comply with all of the legal formalities required by English law before a Will can be regarded as valid. Provided that this is done, the English Courts will then be prepared to give effect to the intentions expressed in a Will, including having an estate distributed in accordance with the Shari’a provided that the intentions are clearly expressed and are free from ambiguity.
Get in touch with Spencers Solicitors today
We offer a free half an hour advice session. If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss making a Will that is compliant with Islamic principles please contact Imran Hussain on 01246 266793 or complete our short online enquiry form.
About the Author
Imran Hussain is a Paralegal in the Serious Injury and Wills & Probate Teams.
As well as handling fast track RTA injury claims, Imran assists the Serious Injury Team in cases of all types including employers’ liability, occupiers’ liability, CICA Claims, industrial disease and clinical negligence. In respect of Wills & Probate, Imran’s major area of involvement is in the preparation of Islamic Wills.