Your Will

Wills for Muslims

It is essential for Muslims to write Wills, writes Adelaide Muslim lawyer Belal Moraby.

It is essential for Muslims to write Wills, writes Adelaide Muslim lawyer Belal Moraby.


There is Bukhari Hadith, which provides that it is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a Will about it.

As a Muslim living in Australia you can distribute your assets in accordance with Islamic Inheritance Laws found in Surat-an-Nisa of the Quran.

Fortunately, the laws in Australia about Inheritance are flexible enough to allow you to make provisions which are consistent with Islamic teachings.

You can provide for Islamic Distributions just as stipulated in the Quran.  You can also make directions about your burial.  You can even appoint a guardian to care for your children.

It is important to understand that by not making a will it can be a very difficult and often a painful experience for your loved ones to deal with your estate after you are gone.

If you die intestate (ie. without a valid Will) your assets will be distributed according to Intestacy Rules which are not consistent with Islamic Inheritance principles.

It is likely that your bank account(s) will be frozen, there can be no transfer or dealings with your property or assets until an Executor is appointed.  This can be a very complicated process.

What is contained in an Islamic Will?

A Muslim testator is allowed to bequeath a maximum of 1/3 of their total assets.  This protects those lawful heirs (such as spouse and children which are specified in Chapter four of the Quran) to ensure they receive their proper entitlement.

In the Quran, heirs are classified as ‘fixed’ and those who are entitled to the balance of the deceased estate but whose shares are not specifically stated.

The calculation of the entitlement of specified heirs to a share of the net estate can be complex and it is best to let your lawyer or local Imam explain it to you.

However, as a guide, examples of distributions can be as follows:

Husband – ½ or ¼ if there is a surviving child or grandchild of the deceased.

Wife – ¼ or 1/8 if there is a surviving child or grandchild of the deceased.

Son – is a residuary beneficiary and his entitlement will depend on the configuration of specified Heirs surviving the deceased.

Daughter – ½ if a sole daughter, 2/3 if 2 or more daughters (portioned equally), and if there is a son, she is a residuary beneficiary and her entitlement will depend on the configuration of specified Heirs.

Father – 1/6 if there is a child or grandchild surviving the deceased, he will be a residuary beneficiary if there is no child.

Mother – 1/6 regardless of the configuration

Brother – Nil if there is a surviving father, son or grandson, otherwise he will be a residual beneficiary.

Sister – Nil if there is a surviving father, son or grandfather, otherwise ½ as a sole sister, 2/3 if two or more sisters (in equal portions) or she will be a residuary beneficiary if a brother survives (and she will share 2:1 with the brother).

Given the importance of Wills – arranging for a Lawyer to draft your Will is a small price to pay to avoid a lot of grief down the track.  And, you are fulfilling your religious obligations.

For further information or assistance from Muslim Lawyer Belal Moraby contact us.

More information on our Islamic Wills and Estates service