Please check out my article on “Counseling Sharia” published this month at the Wealthcounsel Quarterly in print. This is an organization I joined a decade ago and it has been tremendously helpful to me in learning the legal-technical as well as practice development aspects of what I do, both with regard to Islamic Inheritance as well as Estate Planning in general.
My practice has been about helping people live and organize their affairs based on their values. This allows for the sacred to be included in Estate Planning. Many Attorneys are unfamiliar with the notion of an Islamic Estate Planning Attorney or Islamic Inheritance. Familiarizing the Estate Planning bar is an important service since so many Muslims do not have the opportunity to go to a Muslim Attorney, or even if it is a Muslim community, the attorney may not be familiar with Islamic rules.
In general, we want to point to the following:
- They should have a level of respect and understanding for Islam, and for their client that practices Islam. Unfortunately, many non-Muslim lawyers, like teachers and politicians and others in society, have internalized Islamophobia. Education about Islamic Inheritance will help.
- Islamic Inheritance is not optional for Muslims. Of course, non-Muslim lawyers are not bound by the Sharia to help a Muslim client who wants to “fudge” on the rules. Muslim lawyers cannot help anyone do something prohibited in the Sharia.
- Estate Planning Attorneys are used to doing things a certain way. They need to understand that they need to change their own conception of what they are doing and change their planning substantially. Some lawyers are just not equipped for doing that. This may include some Muslim lawyers, who may be uncomfortable with the rules and advising clients on them. Eventually, this will change in the United States.
Check out the article and let me know what you think.