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Concept of Will under Muslim Law in India

Introduction:

Like Hindu law, Islamic law also has different ways of transferring property. In Islamic law, a Muslim person can give his property as a gift or by means of a Will to his preferred person. After the death of a Muslim person, his or her whole property has to be divided equally to his successors and this is considered as a heavenly act, and no intervention with it is acceptable. On the other hand, it is the moral responsibility of every Muslim person to make proper arrangements for the deceased Muslim person’s property.  There is a difference between the Muslim wills law and the Indian Succession Act, 1925. The Indian Succession Act,1925 does not control the Muslim Will Law. The Muslim Shariat Law contains certain rules which help a Muslim to transfer his property. 

Nature of Will under Muslim law:

According to Islamic law, a Will is known as ‘Wasiyat’. In this matter, “Legator” is the person who executes the Will and “Legatee” is the one in whose favour the Will is made. A well-known Muslim student Ameer Ali describes a Will is controlled by the Holy Quran in Islam. There is a firm stand about rules and regulations in Islam regarding the validity of the Will. According to this law, a Muslim person can make a one-third share of his or her assets in any one’s favour. If the will is more than one- third portion, then he must obtain the legal heir’s consent.    

Who can make a Will under Muslim law:

A genuine Will under Muslim law is considered when a Will made by a Muslim person. The Muslim Personal Law will govern a Will if a Muslim legator will be present at the time of execution of the Will. If a Muslim person married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and any Will made by that person will be governed by the Indian Succession Act,1925.  So, a legator must be a Muslim and his or her age should be above eighteen who can make a Will under Muslim Law.

Who can take property under Muslim Will:

A legatee has to be live at the time of the legator’s death because, after the expiring of the litigator, the Will become effective and legatee will get the property according to the Will. A Will can be made in favour of a person having another religious background, a minority person or an insane person. In this context, it is most important that the beneficiary must be in existence to take the property. According to Muslim law legatee’s age, sex, caste, religion, gender all are less-important to become a lawful legatee. According to Islamic law, the baby in the mother’s womb is also considered as a living person and is regarded as a legatee.

The subject matter of a Will:

Any type of property can be the content of a Will, but a professional lawyer can file the Will through two legal terms. The two are:

  • One must own the property before he or she dies.
  • All property must be legally transferable.

Conclusion:

A Will is a legal document that assures the right to property after the death of a legator. It gives a chance to the legator to rectify the law of succession to some extent. Because it allows some relatives to acquire a certain percentage of share in the property who are legally kept out from patrimony under Islamic law. The Islamic law of Will allows a legator to give his property to a person of his own choice. At the same time, it maintains a stability between the provisions of the succession law and the transfer of property under a Will. 

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