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Islamic estate planning, also known as Islamic inheritance planning or Shariah-compliant estate planning, is a process that involves arranging and distributing a person’s assets according to Islamic principles and guidelines. It aims to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of wealth among family members and beneficiaries, in accordance with Islamic law (Shariah).
In Islamic estate planning, the primary objective is to adhere to the principles outlined in the Quran and the Hadith, the two primary sources of Islamic law. These principles emphasize justice, fairness, and the protection of individual rights, including the rights of heirs.
One of the fundamental principles in Islamic inheritance is that a person’s assets are not entirely at their discretion to distribute through a will. A significant portion of the estate is typically allocated to specific relatives, known as “faraid heirs,” who are entitled to a predetermined share of the estate. The shares prescribed by Islamic law are based on the degree of kinship and the specific relationship between the deceased and the heirs.
Islamic estate planning involves taking into account these predetermined shares and structuring the remaining assets in a manner that aligns with the individual’s wishes and meets their financial goals. This can include setting up trusts, creating endowments (waqf), designating beneficiaries for financial accounts, and making charitable contributions.
When engaging in Islamic estate planning, individuals may seek the guidance of Islamic scholars or legal experts who are well-versed in Islamic law and its application to modern estate planning. These professionals can help ensure that the estate plan complies with Shariah requirements while also meeting the specific needs and goals of the individual.
It is worth noting that Islamic estate planning is not limited to Muslims residing in Islamic countries. Muslims living in any part of the world, including countries with different legal systems, can engage in Islamic estate planning to ensure their assets are distributed in accordance with their religious beliefs.
By undertaking Islamic estate planning, individuals aim to maintain harmony within their families, promote social justice, and fulfill their religious obligations. It allows them to protect their assets, provide for their loved ones, and support charitable causes, all while upholding the principles of Islamic law.