The Islamic Inheritance Implications for One Who Dies Without an Islamic Will in Australia

The Islamic Inheritance Implications for One Who Dies Without an Islamic Will in Australia

To die without a Will is to die intestate. If one is intestate it means that the laws of the State or territory in which the deceased lives will decide how their estate is administered.

For the Muslim having local laws decide the distribution of one’s estate is problematic given that asset distribution is specified in the Quran.

Inheritance in Islam is distributed on a formula of primary and contingent beneficiaries. The primary beneficiaries are the spouse, children and parents (assuming they are Muslim). Contingent beneficiaries are those people who only get a share of the inheritance depending on which primary beneficiaries are alive (eg, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.)

The shares that a beneficiary is entitled to are stipulated primarily in the Quran, specifically Surah Nisa, Verses 11, 12 and 176. The laws of intestacy vary between each of the States and Territories. However what is clear is that they are not the same as the Islamic distribution.

Muslim’s should always strive to obey Allah and His Messenger in all affairs, not least when it concerns the time in which they are departing this world and going to meet their Lord. Allah also emphaises the importance of obeying His inheritance laws for He says directly after stipulating shares in Verses 11 – 12 of Surah Nisa:

These are the limits [set by] Allah, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted by Him to gardens [in Paradise] under which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein; and that is the great attainment.

And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment.

Surah Nisa, Verses 13 – 14

An Islamic Will prepared by Wasiyyah allows one to stipulate the Islamic distribution of their estate in a way that is compliant with Australian legal requirements.