Preserving Legacy: An Overview of Islamic Wills in the USA


In the tapestry of life, our legacy is the thread that weaves through generations. For Muslim Americans, ensuring this legacy is in accordance with Islamic principles is of paramount importance. Enter the Islamic Will – the tool that makes this possible. But what exactly is an Islamic Will, and how does it work in the USA? Let’s find out.

Understanding Islamic Wills

What is an Islamic Will?

Think of an Islamic Will as a bridge connecting your faith and the legal world. It’s a legal document that ensures your estate is distributed according to Islamic law (Shari’a) after your death. And while it performs the usual functions of a will, its essence lies in upholding Islamic tenets of inheritance.

Key Aspects of an Islamic Will in the USA

Compliance with Shari’a Law

Ever wondered how to keep your faith alive even after you’re gone? An Islamic Will does precisely that. It ensures your wealth is divided as per Shari’a law, which typically involves fixed shares for specific heirs.

Compliance with U.S. Law

Yet, while faith is its soul, the body of an Islamic Will is very much governed by U.S. law. It must meet all state requirements, like being in writing, having competent witnesses, and being made by a competent person, to be legally valid.

The Role of an Islamic Will in Estate Planning

In the grand orchestra of estate planning, an Islamic Will plays a crucial melody. It not only helps you distribute your wealth as per your faith but also allows you to specify your wishes regarding other important matters, like guardianship for minor children and funeral arrangements.

The Benefits of Having an Islamic Will

Having an Islamic Will is like having a trusted friend by your side. It ensures your final wishes are honored, upholds your faith, minimizes family disputes, and can even help reduce estate taxes. Moreover, it provides a sense of peace, knowing you’ve done your best to secure your loved ones’ future.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Navigating the intersection of Islamic law and U.S. law can be like walking through a maze. Challenges can arise due to differences in these legal systems. However, with sound legal advice and meticulous planning, you can ensure your Islamic Will stands firm on both legal grounds.


Islamic Will in the USA 

An Islamic Will, also known as a Wasiyyah, is a legal document that outlines how a Muslim’s assets will be distributed after their death according to Islamic laws and principles. This document is essential for all Muslims, including those living in the USA, to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and in accordance with the Islamic principle

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging times in life. During these difficult times, it is essential to have a plan in place to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled, especially when it comes to their assets. In the Muslim faith, an Islamic Will is a crucial document that outlines the distribution of a person’s assets after their passing, and it is an act of faith and devotion to Allah.

If you are a Muslim living in the USA, creating an Islamic Will is crucial to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and in line with Islamic law. It can help to ease the burden on your loved ones during this difficult time and provide them with a sense of security and peace of mind.

Why do you need an Islamic Will in the USA?

In the USA, the legal system does not automatically recognize Islamic law, which means that your assets will be distributed according to the state’s laws if you do not have an Islamic Will in place. This can lead to conflict among family members and even court battles, which can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming.

By creating an Islamic Will, you have the opportunity to fulfill your obligations to your loved ones, charities, and causes that you care about. You can choose to give a portion of your wealth to the less fortunate, which is considered a form of charity in Islam. This way, you can leave a lasting legacy that reflects your faith and values.

How to create an Islamic Will in the USA?

Creating an Islamic Will in the USA may seem overwhelming, but it can be broken down into five simple steps:

To make an Islamic Will in the USA, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Choosing an Executor: The first step in making an Islamic Will is to choose an executor. This person will be responsible for ensuring that the Will is carried out according to the wishes of the deceased. The executor should be someone trustworthy, competent, and familiar with Islamic laws and principles.
  2. Identifying Assets and Liabilities: The next step is to identify all assets and liabilities of the deceased. This includes all bank accounts, properties, investments, and debts.
  3. Determining Inheritance Shares: Once all assets and liabilities have been identified, the next step is to determine the inheritance shares of all beneficiaries. This is done according to the rules of Islamic inheritance, which are based on a complex set of rules and principles.
  4. Identifying Beneficiaries: After determining the inheritance shares, the next step is to identify all beneficiaries who will receive a share of the estate. This includes immediate family members, such as children, parents, and spouses, as well as other relatives and charitable organizations.
  5. Drafting and Signing the Will: The final step is to draft and sign the Islamic Will. The document should be prepared by a legal professional who is familiar with Islamic laws and principles. The Will should be signed in the presence of witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the estate.

It is important to note that Islamic inheritance laws are different from the laws of inheritance in the USA. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal advice from a qualified professional who is familiar with both Islamic and US laws to ensure that the Islamic Will is valid and enforceable.


An Islamic Will is more than a legal document – it’s a symbol of faith and a beacon of love for your family. As Muslim Americans, creating an Islamic Will allows us to uphold our religious principles while ensuring our legacy thrives within the confines of U.S. law. It’s the compass that ensures we navigate our final journey in line with our faith and values.

Making an Islamic Will is an important and essential task for all Muslims living in the USA. By following the steps outlined above and seeking legal advice, Muslims can ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and in accordance with Islamic principles.

We understand that preparing an Islamic Will can be a daunting task, but seeking guidance and educating yourself about the process is crucial. Remember, it is an act of faith and devotion to Allah, and it is never too early or too late to start preparing.


1. Q: Can Islamic Wills be contested in a US court?

A: Yes, as with any will, an Islamic Will can be contested. However, if it’s properly drafted and complies with all legal requirements, the likelihood of a successful contest is significantly reduced.

2. Q: Can I exclude someone from my Islamic Wills?

A: Shari’a law has specific guidelines on inheritance distribution. Excluding a Shari’a-prescribed heir may not be in compliance with Islamic principles. Legal advice should be sought to navigate such complex situations.

3. Q: What happens if I die without an Islamic Will in the USA?

A: If a Muslim dies intestate (without a will), the estate will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws, which may not align with Shari’a law.

4. Q: Can I create an Islamic Will by myself?

A: While it’s possible, it’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure your will complies with both Shari’a and U.S. law.

5. Q: Can I specify my funeral arrangements in my Islamic Will?

A: Yes, specifying your wishes for a Shari’a-compliant funeral is an important aspect of an Islamic Will.

At Islamic Wills Trust Services we have a team of experienced attorneys who can help you set up an Islamic living trust tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your assets for generations to come.

Schedule your free consultation in our offices in Maryland and Virginia or in your house or online. We’re also available to meet on weekends and after working hours. You may schedule your consultation by calling us at 855-559-4557 or by emailing us at Appointments are typically scheduled two weeks in advance.

Quran & Sunnah guidance on Islamic Inheritance