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Sharia Wills


"It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequeath not to let two nights pass without writing a Will about it." (Sahih al-Bukhari)


It means that a Muslim with wealth is required to write a Will, not allowing three days to pass without doing so. Under the Shariah (or Shariah) law, Muslims ought to make sure they have executed a Will that complies with Sharia succession laws, not just a secular Will.

Writing a Sharia compliant Will is a specialist area of law, and other legal advisors may not be familiar with the relevant criteria and rules, which is why the service provided by PWT Advice LLP in this field is so important.

Our highly qualified Wills, trusts and estate planning team will assist you with all these issues related to your Sharia Will or estate estate planning by providing the support you need to ensure that everything is done properly.

To make a Will in compliance with Sharia law, or to address any relevant issues with our team, simply call us on 0345 833 9025 or email us to schedule a private, no-obligation meeting at info@pwtadvice.co.uk.

Writing a Sharia Will

Under a Sharia Will, at least two-thirds of the estate of a deceased Muslim must be divided in fixed shares among surviving relatives as specified by the Qur'an. This means you can only leave up to a third to someone who is not entitled to a set share, such as a charity, friend or more distant relation.

In addition, you may wish to leave a Sadaqah Jariya, a kind of eternal giving of charity in the cause of Allah, a virtuous act intended to offer rewards in the afterlife.

Under an Islamic Will, you can also:

When drafting a Sharia Will, the following considerations are important:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Sharia Wills work under English legal system?

Ideally, a properly drafted Sharia-compliant Will would adhere to the principles of Islam, but will also be tax-efficient and fully compliant with the laws of England and Wales.

Sharia Wills are often drafted by people who are not qualified legal professionals or are not specialist in Sharia law and they may fail to take your personal circumstances and all tax and legal issues into account. In some cases, the Wills which are not drafted properly can actually be invalid under English law and may also result in higher taxes and further legal problems after your death.

It is vital to plan ahead, which will also help to mitigate tax, and this is why our team will work to guide you through the tax legislation and work out the best way forward.

What happens if I don't have a Sharia Will?

When you die without a Sharia Will in place, your assets and property will be divided in accordance with the statutory laws of 'intestacy'. These rules do not provide for Muslim views, and the time and expense of working with an estate where there is no will is often far greater than where there is a valid and clear Will in place.

Since Sharia Wills are often used to lay down clear burial requests and to ensure that every service is performed in compliance with Islamic traditions, failure to have a valid Will can result in the performance of funeral rites that do not adhere to your wishes.

Why are Sharia Wills important for expats in the Middle East?

In Middle Eastern countries, assets may be passed down to family members under Sharia law.

For Muslims based in these nations, it is important to have a Sharia Will in order to guarantee that the family's interests and their religious values are honoured. Non-Muslims who live in a Sharia country but who are domiciled in the UK will also need an English Will.

How PWT Advice LLP can help

Our legal team is highly experienced in all aspects of Sharia Will-writing, and we will allocate an expert to your matter who will carefully listen and record your wishes in a Shariah compliant Will. As Sharia law provides for very strict guidance when making a Will, without a proper Will and advice, this can lead to unexpected problems after your death.

The laws relating to Inheritance Tax (IHT) and maintaining the family estate for future generations can be complicated, but with realistic, knowledgeable guidance, our expert can help you make the right decisions. We are one of only a handful of Sharia experts specialising in inheritance tax, estate planning and probate matters.

We have helped clients who are living overseas but own assets in the UK as well as those who live here but have assets abroad. We support clients to ensure their Wills are in order to guarantee that both their wishes and their religious values are respected.

PWT Advice LLP is often asked to give seminars on Wills, trusts and estate planning, IHT and other related topics. Several of our lawyers are also members of the highly-respected Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), which further underlines our experience in this field. PWT Advice LLP have been regularly recognised for their commitment to high standards in the Chambers and Legal 500 guides. Jo Summers who is a partner at PWT Advice LLP writes frequently and has had articles published in The Times & The Financial Times as well as many trade journals. She co-wrote a book on Shari'a succession laws, "Islamic Wills, Trusts and Estates: Planning for this World and the Next", in early 2011 and has written A UK Handbook for Offshore Trustees, published September 2011 by Euromoney Books. She lectures extensively both in the UK and overseas.

For a no-obligation discussion, call us on + 44(0)345 833 9025

We've listed the areas we can advise on in detail but we don't want to waste your valuable time. If you're not sure whether we can help, just email us or call on + 44(0)345 833 9025. We're happy to have a look at your issues and confirm if we can help.