Zaid’s first wife is no more. She was a Muslim. They have an unmarried daughter. He took another wife who is also no more, she was Christian. Christian wife left some property which stands transferred in Zaid’s name. Other than his daughter, Zaid has one half brother (from same father), has two real sisters’ children (real sisters are no more). Now Zaid wants to write a will, through which he wants to donate major portion of the property to Christian and Muslim charitable and educational organizations. He also wants to leave small but more than sufficient amount for his only daughter. He does not want to give anything to his half brother who himself is quite well-off. He wants to leave some small amount for the children of his real sisters. Please let me know if it is right as per Islamic laws? If not then what is right for him.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.org

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 846/654/D=1434)

If the property was solely owned by Zaid’s deceased Christian wife and the name of Zaid was entered only as formality then it is not lawful for Zaid to make any kind of will for this property. Now the property became the inheritance of the legal heirs of Zaid’s Christian wife. But if the property is owned by Zaid then he has the right to give it to anyone whom he wishes in his lifetime. He may make a will of one third of his property for a person who is not heir (also to an organization provided it is run by Muslims), while the will made towards heirs such as daughter, step brothers etc shall not be valid and executable as per the Shariah. He also can make a will for the children of his real sisters. But the overall will whether it is for organization or for bhanja only it shall be valid and executable in only one third of his property. The rest two third shall be divided among his legal heirs such as daughter and step brother etc. The daughter shall get ½ and the step brother shall get ½ whatsoever is left after the will. Yes, if he gives as gift to his daughter in her complete possession in his lifetime then he may give her more than the said share but it is not good to do so in order to deprive his heirs like step brother etc.

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

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