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Wills and Testaments
1)Malik related to me from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is the duty of a muslim man who has something to be given as a bequest not to spend two nights without writing a will about it."
Malik said, "The generally agreed-on way of doing things in our community is that when the testator writes something in health or illness as a bequest, and it has freeing slaves or things other than that in it, he can alter it in any way he chooses, until he is on his deathbed. If he prefers to abandon a bequest or change it, he can do so unless he has made a slave mudabbar (to be freed after his death). If he has made him mudabbar, there is no way to change what he has made mudabbar. He is allowed to change his testament because the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is the duty of a muslim man who has something to be given as a bequest not to spend two nights without writing a will about it."
Malik explained, "Had the testator not been able to change his will nor what was mentioned in it about freeing slaves, each testator might withhold making bequests from his property, whether in freeing slaves or other than it. A man gives a bequest in his health and in his travelling." (i.e. he does not wait till his death bed ) .
Malik summed up, "The way of doing things in our community about which there is no dispute is that he can change whatever he likes of that except for the mudabbar."
2)Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "The best of what I have heard about the testament of a pregnant woman and about what settlements she is permitted in her property is that the pregnant woman is like the sick person. When the illness is light, and one does not fear for the sick person, he does with his property what he likes. If the illness is such that his life is feared for, he can only dispose of a third of his estate."
He said, "It is the same with a woman who is pregnant. The beginning of pregnancy is good news and joy. It is not illness and no fear because Allah the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'We gave her good news of Ishaq and after Ishaq, Yaqub.' (Sura ll ayat 71). And He said, 'She bore a light burden and passed by with it, but when she became heavy, they called upon Allah, their Lord, "If you give us a good-doing son, we will be among the thankful." '(Sura 7 ayat 189).
"When a pregnant woman becomes heavy, she is only permitted to dispose of a third of her estate. The beginning of this restriction is after six months. Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, said in His Book, 'Mothers suckle their children for two complete years.' And He said, 'his bearing and weaning are thirty months.' (Sura 2 ayat 233).
"When six months have passed for the pregnant woman from the day she conceived, she is only permitted to dispose of a third of her property."
Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "A man who is advancing in the row for battle, can only dispose of a third of his property. He is in the same position as a pregnant woman or an ill person who is feared for, as long as he is in that situation."
3)Malik related to me from Yahya ibn Said that Abu'd-Darda wrote to Salman al-Farsi, "Come immediately to the holy land." Salman wrote back to him, "Land does not make anyone holy. Man's deeds make him holy. I have heard that you were put up as a doctor to treat and cure people. If you are innocent, then may you have delight! If you are a quack, then beware lest you kill a man and enter the Fire!" When Abu'd-Darda judged between two men, and they turned from him to go, he would look at them and say, "Come back to me, and tell me your story again. A quack! By Allah!"
Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "If someone makes use of a slave, without permission of its master, in anything important to him, whose like has a fee, he is liable for what befalls the slave if anything befalls him. If the slave is safe and his master asks for his wage for what he has done, that is the master's right. This is what is done in our community."
Yahya said that he heard Malik say about a slave who is part free and part enslaved, "His property is suspended in his hand and he cannot begin anything with it. He eats from it and clothes himself in an approved fashion. If he dies, his property belongs to the one to whom he is in slavery."
Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "The way of doing things in our community is that a parent can take his child to account for what he spends on him from the day the child has property, cash or goods, if the parent wants that."
4)Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab from Said ibn al-Musayyab that Uthman ibn Affan said, "If someone gives something to his small child who is not old enough to look after it himself, and in order that his gift might be permitted he makes the gift public and has it witnessed, the gift is permitted, even if the father keeps charge of it."
Malik said, "What is done in our community is that if a man gives his small child some gold or silver and then dies and he has it in his own keeping, the child has none of it unless the father set it aside in coin or placed it with a man to keep for the son. If he does that, it is permitted for the son."