How Should My Wealth Be Distributed After My Death

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I have some cash left aside. Is it the husband’s responsibility to pay for his wife’s funeral expenses, or does it have to come from my own? And can I leave in writing how I want my wealth to be distributed? I have two daughters. I don’t work it’s money I have in my possession.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

It is the responsibility of the husband to pay for the wife’s funeral expenses unless you want to pay for it with your own money.  You may leave a will (wasiyya) for your heirs; in that case, one-third of it can be used for funeral expenses, debts, and as a gift to non-heirs.

Generally, when making a will, one would stipulate the following:

  1. Payment of funeral and burial expenses,
  2. Payment of all debts,
  3. Payment of any Islamic will (wasiyya) from one-third of one’s wealth, including any religious liabilities, such as unpaid zakat, fidya, etc.
  4. You may leave a will stating your concerns and urge the heirs to support each other after the demise of each parent and distribute it accordingly.
  5. Distribution of the remaining assets and wealth by Sunni Islamic law among the inheritors, in consultation with a reliable scholar or Mufti.

[Sajawandi, Al-Siraji Fil Mirath]

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[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.