Monday, August 02, 2021 / 7:22 PM / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV /
Header Image Credit: Yaqeen Institute
A Will is a document that details how assets and property should be distributed. Wills from an Islamic perspective must align with Shariah's rules and principles. Anyone should plan the arrangement of their after-life affairs.
The Law of Succession in Nigeria defines Estate Planning as an arrangement for the use, preservation, and transfer of one's property during one's lifetime and at death.
Mufti Faraz Adam, CEO, Amanah Advisors gave a presentation on the "Misconceptions on Islamic Inheritance law" at a recent webinar organized by Simply Ethical.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad emphasized the learning of rules concerning Islamic inheritance to gain understanding of its finer requirements and rules, and ensure that a younger generation of Muslims also have knowledge of Wills and Transfers. Speaking further, he said misconceptions prevail if there is a decrease in knowledge and an increase in ignorance around the transfer of assets by individuals.
Why Shariah Emphasizes Inheritance
He explained that Shariah underscores the importance of proper intergenerational transfer of assets, noting the following:
It is important to discuss Wills in a family from an Islamic perspective as our Iman will not be on earth forever.
Features of Islamic Inheritance System
Adam outlined the following broad principles of Islamic inheritance:
How is Islamic Inheritance Practice Applied
Reviewing the practice of inheritance in Medina at the time of the early years of Islam, Mufti Adam made the following observations:
Islamic inheritance has gone through several phases due to the fact that God wants the community to develop. In Mecca, for the first 13 years, there was no focus on inheritance but Iman (faith). During those years, the instruction was to bequeath something to your family and relatives. In Medina, there was a system called Muahak based on brotherhood and the social bonds that tied people together. It was another manifestation of how medina was formed and this created several relationships and a strong brotherhood/sisterhood. It was Islam that moderated the society and changed it from what it was.
Purpose of Inheritance
Speaking on if Islamic inheritance disadvantaged women, according to Faraz Adam it is absolutely no due to the fact that there are four scenarios where only female inherits half of the male inherits.
Islamic Inheritance and Women
The notion that women were not entitled to inheritance is a general misconception in secular sections of society as the Islamic scholar observed that women actually had property rights under different circumstances that may include the following:
The scholar argued that the Islamic inheritance system was balanced, and claimed that it was divinely ordained. He suggested that God was the one who set the laws.