By Dr. Aneesah Nadir –
Did you know that more than half of Americans don’t have an up-to-date will? In my experience, the number seems to be staggering among Muslim Americans as well. The lack of a will can lead to family conflict, children being placed in foster care, and loved ones not being cared for. Not only do families wind up fighting over items of financial value but also items of sentimental value, everything from a beloved hijab collection to an old television that hasn’t worked for years.
Most people don’t have a will simply because they procrastinate. Even though most of us know that a will is one of the most important documents we will need, we still put it off because we don’t expect to need it until we get old, real old. Other people are concerned about the cost of having an attorney prepare their will. They are discouraged by a potential cost of $500 or more to prepare the last document they’ll ever need. As a result, many of us put it off. For some, it’s not a matter of procrastination or even cost, but simply that death seems far off in the future. This is not always the case. Only Allah knows the hour.
In Surah Baqara, Chapter 2 verse 180, Allah prescribes the preparation of the will as a duty on Muslims who have property. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, “It is not right for a Muslim who has property to bequeath, that he should pass two nights without having a written will with him.” Even if we don’t have much, we have a religious duty to prepare our will. Still, we put it off and many of us die without fulfilling this religious responsibility.
Sometimes, determining who gets what is confusing. For many Muslim Americans things can get a little complex when dealing with questions regarding the religious aspects of inheritance alongside the legal design of a will. More discussion and access to scholars of inheritance is needed to help everyday Muslim Americans fulfill this very important responsibility.
It is a good time for Muslim Americans, who are preparing for Ramadan, to get these important documents in place. Those preparing to go to Hajj certainly don’t want to leave without one. Hajj is only another few months away.
Get your will prepared or updated today! Encourage your friends and children over 18 years old to get their wills prepared as well. Participate in the “Muslims Got Wills Campaign.” Become one of the 100 Muslims who gets their will prepared before the end of Ramadan this year!
Aneesah Nadir, MSW, PhD, is an independent agent with LegalShield providing access to top-quality attorneys and a variety of legal services for individuals, families, small business owners and their employees.
Join Dr. Nadir and Zarinah Nadir, attorney, for an upcoming will seminar near you.
For more information contact Dr. Nadir at 480-233-6547 or email@example.com