Before we get into this, it’s useful to remind ourselves of the function and scope of a will.
A will is a legal document that records how you wish for your responsibilities to be discharged.
With that in mind, it can cover: how your wealth is handled after your passing, arrangements for any children that survive you, and stipulate that your body is handled in line with Islamic guidelines (prioritising the burial, Muslim rites, no invasive post-mortem etc).
Maintaining an accurate will is a religious duty for every adult Muslim. The Prophet (saw) said:
“The Muslim has no right to spend two nights, if they have something for which a will should be made, without having a written will with themselves.” [Ibn Majah]
To put its significance into perspective, it is a last act of submission – to tidy up one’s affairs and, in doing so, please Allah.
“A person may do the deeds of the people of goodness for seventy years, then when they makes their will, they are unjust in it, so they end (their life) with evil deeds and enter Hell. And a person may do the deeds of the people of evil for seventy years, then they are just in their will, so they end (their life) with good deeds and enter Paradise.” [Ibn Majah]
This article is part of our Islamic Wills FAQ series.