1. When a Muslim dies without a will in America, would state intestacy laws be treated like a wasiyya, which would make it permissible for a Muslim to receive assets from a deceased non-Muslim via state law?
2. When a non-Muslim writes a will and leaves all of his assets to a Muslim, would the 1/3 Wasiyya limit on Muslims be inapplicable, and would this bequest be permissible for the Muslim receive?
Answer:Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Can A Muslim Inherit From a Non-Muslim Via State Law?
Yes, a Muslim may receive assets from non-Muslims via state law. There is no automatic, Shari’a specified inheritance between Muslims and non-Muslims, but it is permissible to be the recipient as in this case. It can be seen as the state disposing of the assets of the deceased, and therefore, permissible to accept.
The one-third limit to bequests only applies to Muslims in general, to a non-Muslim who makes a bequest in a Muslim land, or if the recipient is in a Muslim land with heirs of the deceased. In these situations, a limit will apply, unless the heirs – Muslim or otherwise – waive it. It is not a concern in non-Muslim countries. [Kasani, Bada’i al Sanai’]
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.