NAT 191017 WILLS-1571311431281

Writing a will

I have three sons, a daughter, father, mother and two sisters. I have money, assets and wealth in cash, property and shares. How should I write my last will according to Islamic law? If I want to make a will for some of my sons and my sister but deprive the others, is it possible as per sharia law to make a will valid as per UAE law, and can they inherit?

You can write a will but not for heirs and it should not exceed one-third of the net estate in agreement with the legal heirs. According to Federal Personal Affairs Law Number 28, 2005, when a Muslim dies and leaves behind money and property, there are obligations which are needed to be undertaken before distributing the inheritance money.

Article No. 321, states certain heirs referred to as primary heirs, are always entitled to a share of the inheritance, they are the spouse, both parents, the son and the daughter.

The brother inherits twice as much as a sister; a son’s son inherits twice as much as a son’s daughter. The descendants of the mother, brother and sister inherit equally as do their descendants.

There is a difference between a will and a gift. Property that is willingly given away while one is alive is considered to be a gift, which does not come under the same rulings as a will. But it should be noted that it is not permissible for a person to give a gift to some of his children and not others, or to prefer some of them over others in gift-giving. Rather they must be treated fairly, because of the hadeeth of al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer, who said that his father brought him to the Prophet (PBUH), when he gave him a gift, to ask the Prophet (PBUH) to bear witness to it. The Prophet (PBUH) asked, “Have you given something similar to all your children?” He said, “No.” He said, “Then take it back.” Then he said: “Fear Allah and treat your children fairly.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Hibbah, 2398)

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah was being generous to you when He allowed you to give one-third of your wealth (in charity) when you die, to increase your good deeds.”

(Narrated by Ibn Maajah, al-Wasaayaa, 2700; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah, no. 2190)

The scholars agreed that this is permissible.

It is permitted to write a will concerning one third or less. Some of the scholars said it is preferable for it to be less than one-third, and the will does not apply to any of the heirs, because the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There is no will for the heirs.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Wasaayaa, 2047; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh.

Gratuity payment

I’ve been working in a company for five years on an unlimited contract. My visa expires in December. My basic salary mentioned in the contract is Dh4,000 but two years ago my basic was increased to Dh10,000. I currently have a better job offer and want to submit my resignation. When I discussed my end of service however, they said it would be based off my original basic and not the one I currently earn. My employer won’t pay end of service unless I collect debts from clients, but all my clients were given credit under company responsibility. Where do I stand?

The labour law entitles the employee to calculate end-of-service gratuity on the basis of the last salary they received regardless of the salary mentioned in the employment contract. As per the UAE labour law, the employer has no right to hold the employee end of service right for the reason that the employee must collect the company debts from the clients, as per the UAE labour law the employee is not responsible for that unless he holds personal guarantee for such debts.