Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|03/17/01 at 02:42:16|
|Salaam to all!|
In your opinion can a Muslim inherit his non-Muslim relatives?
|03/17/01 at 11:51:54|
This is not something on which we can give our opinions on! The laws of the Sharee'ah tell us who we can inherit from and who we cannot inherit from.
I think one of the issues of al-Jumu'ah magazine had the answer to this exact question. I'll look for it insha Allah and post it here.
|03/17/01 at 13:01:25|
This answers the question, its a question posed to Dr. Siddiqi (ISNA president).
Q 1. Please explain how important is the writing of will for Muslims in America. Also please give us some guidelines for preparing our wills according to Islamic rules.
A 1. It is very important for Muslims who are living in America to write their wills before their death. Since one does not know when the death may come, one should have one's will ready all the time. Periodically one should also update the will to reflect any changes in the family circumstances and/or in one's financial assets.
A Muslim's wealth should be distributed among his/her heirs according to the laws of Allah. It is obligatory on every Muslim to follow the laws of inheritance (irth or wirathah) unless the heirs themselves by their own choice give up their rights in the inheritance. Allah has mentioned the rules of inheritance in several places in the Qur'an. In Surah al-Nisa' after mentioning these rules Allah says, "... an obligation (faridah) from Allah and Allah knows every thing and is most Wise. These are the limits of Allah and he who obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will enter him in heavens beneath which rivers flow, abiding there forever and that is a great success. But he who disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits, He will enter him in hell to live there for ever and for him is a humiliating punishment. "(4:11-14)) In a Hadith that is reported by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Abu Da'ud, the Prophet is reported to have said, "A man or a woman may worship Allah for sixty years, but then when their death comes they hurt someone in the will and thus entitle themselves for the punishment in hell."
Islam has special laws of inheritance. The Qur'an and Sunnah have specified the relatives who may inherit and have also specified their shares in the inheritance. A person is free to give whomsoever he/she wills during his or her life but after death every thing has to be distributed according to the laws of Allah. One can consult books on Islamic laws of inheritance to learn more details, but basic principles are as follows:
All outstanding loans or debts should be paid before the distribution of one's wealth. The will of the deceased should be followed very strictly unless it is against the laws of Allah.
A person has a right to donate up to one third of his or her wealth to someone or some institution according to his/her choice, however a person cannot give more to someone who is supposed to inherit under the laws of inheritance. The rest of the inheritance must be distributed according to the rules of the Shari'ah.
Only a Muslim can inherit a Muslim. Non-Muslim relatives cannot inherit from Muslims, nor Muslims can inherit from their non-Muslim relatives. If a Muslim has a non-Muslim spouse or some other relatives and he wants to give something to that person then he must make a special will for that person and it should not be more than one third of his/her wealth. If a non-Muslim relative writes a Muslim's name among his/her heirs and leaves something for a Muslim, a Muslim may take it as a gift, but should not claim it as a right in inheritance.
Only legitimate children can inherit from a person. Illegitimate or adopted children cannot inherit under the Islamic law of inheritance.
A murderer or a person who was accessory to the murder of a person cannot be a beneficiary of person whom he/she murdered.
Among the surviving relatives spouses, parents and children always inherit. If any of them is predeceased then other relatives receive their shares, but the rule is that the near relatives exclude those who are a step distant from them in their relation to the deceased.
All shares must be according to the designated and specified percentage.
It is very important that Muslims in America prepare their wills before their death. The reason is that in America, the Islamic laws of inheritance is not recognized. If a Muslim dies intestate, i.e. without have a will, then his/her wealth most probably will be distributed according to the state laws where he or she lived, not according to Allah's laws. A Muslim in this case may be held responsible on the Day of Judgment because of his/her negligence in a very important matter. There are other disadvantages in not writing the will. The states may impose some taxes that you may be able to avoid by writing your will. In some cases these taxes reach to almost 70-80 % of one's assets. Because the Probate courts often take a long time to make decision, the heirs may have to wait and may undergo some hardship. The court appointed executor may be a non-Muslim and the inventorying and appraisal of assets may involve a lot of unnecessary expenses. Also if the deceased leaves minor children, the court may appoint a non-Muslim as a guardian of his/her Muslim children. In case a Muslim dies without any relatives his/her wealth may not go to Islamic causes but may go to state and non-Islamic institutions. To avoid all these things it is necessary that we Muslims living in America or any other country where the Islamic laws of inheritance are not recognized, we have our wills prepared.
There are some ready made Islamic will forms available through ISNA (P. O. Box 38, Plainfield, Indiana 46168. Telephone 317 839-8157 or Fax 317 839-1840). These forms can help as guidelines for preparing a will. Those who have substantial assets should consult a will attorney to make their will properly legal in the state of their residence. Now a days may people make a "Living Trust" instead of will. A Living Trust can also be developed on the model of will. In the living trust one has more flexibility of change as well as tax advantages. There are many attorneys who for a nominal fee can give you advice on living trusts.
Allah says in the Qur'an, "It is prescribed for you that when any of you approach death, if he leaves any good, let him make a will for the parents and other relatives. This is a duty for those who are God-fearing." (2:180)
|03/21/01 at 14:54:57|
so you people realy do think that for us Muslims credit card is OK if
we pay everythink on time. And what about the contract that you sign and
give your agreement to pay interest if your late with your payment?
|03/21/01 at 15:24:57|
We have a credit card and we pay our payments on time. Even if there's only 1% chance of you not being able to sign it then don't get a credit card if you don't want to pay interest.
And remember, we aren't a fatwa committee here, most of us voice our opinions on here. So if you are looking for a fatwa, please go talk to a scholar or something.
Yeah, I wonder if signing a contract saying if you don't pay on time you'll pay interest is allowable?
We make big purchases with our credit card. We don't buy groceries or clothes with them. Usually, my dad uses it for his business purposes. Wise use is the key idea here. I'm assuming that you are the same person who asked about credit cards in another place?
|03/21/01 at 15:39:04|
I forgot if I posted the answer here or not? ??? Did I? Dr. Siddiqi said it was ok, PROVIDED you pay it on time, tehrefore there is no interest involved. As for the part about paying interest, signing a contract. That part of the contract is invalid as you pay it on time. I forgot which scholar told me this as there was some huge debate about this issue on some MSA maillist, I don't know if I have the emails from that discussion?
|Japan Goes Islamic !|
|03/22/01 at 01:48:09|
|Bank of Japan's Own Brand of Islamic Banking: |
By William Pesek Jr.
Tokyo, March 20 (Bloomberg) -- It's doubtful Bank of Japan officials
consulted the Koran when returning interest rates to zero percent yesterday.
That hasn't stopped Japanese monetary policy makers from offering the local
equivalent of Islamic banking practices.
The Koran, Islam's holy book, forbids the charging of interest on loans. It
says interest -- or ``ripa,'' in Arabic -- is unjust and exploitative and
promises offenders a life of ``painful doom.'' On the face of it, this
concept bears little resemblance to Japan's policies. The BOJ didn't say it
revived the zero-interest-rate policy to foster brotherhood or
socio-economic justice, as does Islamic banking. Yet that's exactly what the
The most newsworthy part of the BOJ's action wasn't a return to zero percent
rates, but how the central bank plans to drive down borrowing costs. It will
pump money into the economy by targeting money supply instead of interest
rates. The new policy is contingent on the government's devotion to key
reforms, like corporate restructuring and tackling the banking crisis at the
heart of Japan's malaise. It's a quid pro quo: No reform, no increase in the
In a nutshell, BOJ Governor Masaru Hayami, not unlike those who practice
Islamic economics, wants to put government policies on the road toward
righteousness. His carrot-and-stick strategy is a way of giving Liberal
Democratic Party members the religion they need to succeed where politicians
have failed for 10 years. If they fail again, Hayami warns, the
punishment -- not unlike the ``painful doom'' mentioned in the Koran -- will
be a deep recession, a deflationary spiral and a voter backlash.
Brotherhood and Justice
Hayami isn't Muslim. In fact, the 75-year-old has long felt that zero
percent rates not only go against market principles but are immoral as well.
In part, that's why he raised short-term rates by 25 basis points last
August. Yet, even though he's willing to offer zero percent rates, the BOJ
governor managed to stake out the moral high ground in his feud with
politicians. By taking steps toward the so-called quantitative easing
politicians demanded, the BOJ stepped into uncharted territory.
``The BOJ can argue that it has done everything the politicians had
requested, and the ball is now in their court on financial reform,'' says
Richard Jerram, chief economist at ING Baring Securities (Japan) Limited.
In many ways, the brotherhood and socio-economic justice at the heart of
Islamic banking are part of the BOJ's strategy. Policy makers want to foster
a sense of burden sharing - here's the brotherhood part -- in the economy.
Hayami wants politicians to once and for all stop keeping insolvent banks
afloat with public funds. He also wants banks to stop supporting deadbeat
companies who can't repay some 33 trillion yen in debts. If these steps are
taken, the BOJ will do its part and print lots of yen.
The socio-economic justice, Hayami believes, will follow from there.
Structural economic reform is as important -- if not more - - as increasing
the nation's money supply. ``Without such adjustments, neither improvement
in productivity nor economic growth can be obtained,'' the BOJ said in a
statement. Indeed, Japan's problems aren't the level of interest rates. The
banking system is malfunctioning. If banks carrying loads of non- performing
loans won't lend, the BOJ is impudent.
Only after the government does its share will Japanese growth rise. Consumer
and business confidence are taking hits by the day. Gloom is increasing
thanks to the Nikkei 225 stock index's 41 percent drop this fiscal year,
historically high unemployment and the leadership crisis that's drawing
headlines around the globe. Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's days are numbered
and the LDP hasn't suggested a viable candidate to replace him.
Worse, the ruling party seems bereft of ideas to break the economy's fall,
never mind boost it. Instead of implementing emergency measures, LDP members
seem to be establishing a new government panel each day to talk about what
could be done. To local economists, it's akin to Nero fiddling while Rome
burned. And with Upper House elections coming up in July, there's little
optimism here that elected officials will find the political will or
imagination to stop fiddling.
Hence the BOJ's embrace of a kind of monetarism to stabilize consumer
prices, which are on a deflationary path. Never mind that most of the
developed world more than 15 years ago abandoned policies of regulating
economic activity by focusing on money supply growth. The most famous
example was former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's monetarist
experiment in the early 1980s. Volcker targeted money supply so he'd have
political cover to give the economy what it needed: Double-digit short-term
Hayami will be doing the opposite. Targeting money supply allows him to pump
money into the economy without headlines about how the central bank is
creating a moral hazard. Some will no doubt argue that inflating Japan's
money supply is really a means of boosting stock prices.
Some observers wondered if the BOJ had ulterior motives in first adopting a
zero interest rate policy two years ago. Instead of reflecting Japan's
languishing economy, says Stephen Richter, president of Washington
D.C.-based think tank TheGlobalist.com, the BOJ has been on a campaign to
lessen the influence of ``Western values'' in international economic and
Japan's policy makers have resisted the economic advice of U.S. and European
policy makers. Instead of implementing tough reforms, Tokyo has relied on
free money to keep its economy afloat. Even before the BOJ pushed rates to
zero percent, much of industrial Japan had long been able to borrow money
and pay virtually no interest. In large part, this was the result of the
``keiretsu'' system in which companies owned banks that owned other
companies, which, in turn, owned other banks, and so on and so on.
``But with its central banking having succumbed to the charms of no-interest
lending, Japan is clearly throwing off the yoke of U.S. and European
influence over its economic affairs,'' notes Richter. ''By closing ranks
with fiery cultural forces of the Middle East, the Bank of Japan is forcing
the country to stand up to what is known elsewhere as the Great American
While hardly a common view, such comments do show that a zero interest rate
policy raises questions and concerns. It can't be in place forever in a
capitalist nation. Hayami seems to understand this. And by doing his part
for now, the BOJ governor is putting the onus on Japan's politicians, who've
dragged their feet on economic reforms. We'll see if they do the right
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