Reasons for Preparing an Islamic Will
In the Quran, the Islamic will (Wasiyah) is discussed soon after addressing the law of Qisas. It shows the wisdom of the non-chronological order of the Quran. Can you infer why the will was discussed right after Qisas?
What happens when someone passes away? In the midst of mourning and distress, the issues of inheritance come up. As sordid as the thought is, it is something that many families witness. The burial might yet be awaited, but arguments over wealth and property have already started.
In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 180 Allah (swt) says: “It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon Al-Muttaqun.”
Allah (swt) abhors Fasad (mischief). He wants us to live in mutual agreement, where no one’s rights are usurped and matters are dealt fairly. Therefore, in the verse, Allah (swt) says: “It is prescribed for you.” He stresses the prescription by calling it a ‘duty’ upon the Muslims.
While this verse was later abrogated and replaced with the verses of inheritance, the duty to leave a will for non-heirs still remains. Two-thirds of our inheritance will be distributed as per the terms stated in Surah An-Nisa; we have absolutely no control over who gets what. But for the remaining one-third, we have a choice. This is a favour of Allah (swt) that we must acknowledge.
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The lives of the Prophet (sa) and his companions are practical guides for us. We can study their lives and draw lessons for ourselves.
Reading about the Islamic will, one would like to see some examples. What better examples than the ones with whom Allah (swt) is pleased? Let us look at what instructions the companions left.
The companions were strict adherents to the Prophet’s (sa) advice. Therefore, in their last moments, almost every one of them instructed that there should be no wailing.
When death approached Amr ibn Al-Aas (rtam), he said: “If I die, do not let any wailing woman or fire accompany me.” Likewise, Qais ibn Asim (rtam) said: “If I die, do not wail over me, for there was no wailing over the Messenger of Allah (sa).”
The companions feared fame and attention in their lives and left this world being concerned about the same.
Hudaifah ibn Al-Yaman (rtam) instructed: “If I die, do not inform anyone of it, for I am afraid that that would be a public announcement. I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) forbidding making public death announcements.”
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Hazrat Ali (ra) was well-known for his brilliance in mathematics. In the following stories, he provided immediate yet accurate answers to complex mathematical problems that were brought to him:
Problem # 1:
Two men travelling together sat down to have lunch. One had five loaves of bread, the other three. Another traveler joined them, and they all decided to share the eight loaves by dividing each loaf into three parts. Each man then ate eight pieces.
When the third man got up to leave, he left the two men a total of eight Dirhams to pay for their loaves of bread.
The man who had five loaves gave the one with three loaves three Dirhams and kept five for himself. The man with the three loaves didn’t agree – he wanted a 50% share, i.e., four Dirhams. The man with the five loaves refused and the dispute was brought before Ameer-ul-Mumineen, Ali (ra) bin Abi Talib. Upon hearing their story, Ali (ra) told the man with three loaves that the man with five loaves had already given him more than his fair share and requested him to accept the three Dirhams. The man with the three loaves refused.
Ali (ra) said that in fact the man with the three loaves was entitled to only one dirham out of the eight! He then offered the following explanation: the men had eight loaves of bread divided into three equal parts each, which was equal to twenty-four pieces. Each traveler ate 8 pieces. The man, who had three loaves, had a total of nine pieces from his loaves, out of which he ate eight, leaving only one piece for the third traveler. The man with the five loaves had contributed fifteen pieces, out of which he ate eight, leaving seven pieces for the third man. Hence, the man with the five loaves was entitled to seven Dirhams, whereas the man with the three loaves was entitled to only one Dirham! Subhan’Allah!
Problem # 2:
In another case, a dying man made a will stating that out of his seventeen camels, half were to be given to his eldest son, one-third to his second son and one-ninth to his youngest son. After his death, his relatives could not figure out how to divide the seventeen camels according to the man’s will. So they took their problem to the Caliph Ali (ra) bin Abi Talib, knowing that he would have the answer. Ali (ra) listened to the problem then said, “I will lend one of my camels so that there are eighteen camels and then divide them according to the man’s will. So the eldest son gets half of the eighteen camels, which is nine. The second son gets one-third of the eighteen camels, which is six. The youngest son gets one-ninth of the eighteen camels, which is two.” “That’s seventeen camels,” he said. “And now I will take my camel back!”
In the life of this world, we have countless matters and desires to deal with. When we believe in one God, we have this faith that whatever good or bad happens to me (us) is from Allah (swt). No human being or any other creature on this earth has the right or power to benefit me or harm me. This is the crystal clear Islamic belief, find and accept it straight.
When most of us start practicing, we focus more on ‘apparently bright sides’ and forget the ‘apparently dark sides’ of believing and surrendering to the will of Allah (swt).
Now empathize with these situations:
- What if you are a Muslim who prays five times a day, who does Dawah and other virtuous activities; but Allah (swt) makes your son die, who was born after twelve years of marriage? Imagine your son was almost one year old and he just started playing with you well.
- What if you are extremely ugly in the eyes of people? You do not meet the criteria of world beauty. Your body is fat, complexion is black and height is extra-large; hence you are labeled ‘ugly’. But do you still believe in God and His love for you, is that the case?
- What if your age is perfect for marriage and everyone in your circle who is getting married makes you feel low, that you are deprived and a loser. Deep down in your heart, you are struggling to maintain chastity and wondering, ‘what is the will of Allah (swt)?’ Isn’t it the right time for the acceptance of all your Duas?
- What about the little sinless children who die in disasters like earthquakes, wars, floods etc. Hearts ache and eyes weep on all this, but a Muslim surrenders to the will of Allah (swt), right? Ya Salam!
- When everyone else is having a good time with their parents, enjoying being pampered by their parents’ love and affection, but you, just at the age of fifteen, are burying your father.
Will of God? Good for You?
What does Allah (swt) want? Your heart shrieks, eyes weep and brain questions. Do people make you feel extremely low? Do they make you feel deprived and less-privileged with zero self-respect?
Why is it so:
- that Allah (swt) loves His Prophet Muhammad (sa) but He made his parents die, when he was too young?
- That Allah (swt) gave beauty to Hazrat Yusuf (as), but he was put into problems by women because of the same beauty? Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?
Oh dear people, who are entering into Islam and who have started practicing it – make sure that you train your body and mind for both sides. Wake up from dreams and fantasies that our whims and desires will be accepted because we are the best people on earth.
Yes! You’re the best but Allah’s (swt) will is the wisest.
Hazrat Yusuf (as) was a handsome prophet, but was ruthlessly troubled by his brothers and women and had to spend time in prison? Why did Allah (swt) make him go through so much?
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer.” (Ash-Shuara 42:11)
We cannot compare Allah (swt) with any of His creations. He (swt) is beyond comparison and most of us cannot comprehend the wisdom behind matters.
In the story of Musa (as) and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf, we get to know that the child was killed, because his life would have proven to be a Fitnah for his parents.
What if your child, whom you are crying for, would have deviated you from the path of Allah (swt) and let you die as Kafir? We just surrender before the decree of Allah (swt) because we know that all this is happening for best!
Allah (swt) has not over-pressurized us. He knows we are weak, which is why we are allowed to grieve for three days and nights for those who die.
Hadeeth states: Once Hazrat Sa’d Bin Ubadah became ill, and the Prophet (sa) went to see him; he was moved to tears on seeing the pitiful situation of his companion and said: “Allah (swt) does not punish because of tears, nor because of grief, but he punishes because of this” – and he pointed to his tongue. (Bukhari)
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (Az-Zumar 39:10)
We need to believe that life lies ahead of this Dunya!
Read out loud: life lies ahead of this Dunya!
What did I say? Life lies ahead of this Dunya!
Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials. This world is but a temporary abode.
As a Muslim, we need to be mature and help our fellow Muslims to stay grateful and calm. One easy way is to not show-off the blessings you have; so that those whom Allah (swt) has not given those things, will not feel bad and stay grateful.
This world is a deception – tests and trials are a reminder for good
Moreover, have this clear in your mind that afflictions are not a sign that you are a loser or Allah (swt) wants to do bad with you! No, Allah (swt) says in the Quran, “And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and the patient ones, and We shall test your facts (i.e. the one who is a liar, and the one who is truthful).” (Muhammad 47: 31)
Ultimate success lies in surrendering your spirits and drives to the will of Allah (swt) as per basic Islamic Aqeedah. The everlasting life will come after we die where we will find reward for all our patience and result of trials.
Sheikh As-Sadi (ra) said: “That is don’t extend your eyes out of amazement and don’t keep looking out of approval at what people are enjoying of worldly gains- such as tasty food and drink and fancy clothing and adorned homes and beautified women; for all that is from the splendor of worldly life which the souls of deceived ones rejoice over, and which the eyes of the negligent are amazed, and which the wrongdoers enjoy – without thinking of the hereafter. Then it all passes by quickly and disappears and kills those who love and adore it; and they regret at a time when regret is of no benefit. Then when come forward at the time of Resurrection, they will know what they were upon and that Allah (swt) had only placed it as a trial and test, to see who would be deceived by it as opposed to who would be better in deed as the Exalted says (what means):
“Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. (i.e. those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allah’s (swt) sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet (sa))” (Al-Kahf 18:7)