My writing partner Yaser Ali and I have been working on a treatise on Islamic Estate Planning for three years. I am pleased to announce “ Estate Planning for the Muslim Client ” is available from the American Bar Association.
We felt the ABA was the best legal publisher to work with for this kind of project. The ABA has a stellar reputation. In introducing an Islamic Estate planning treatise to the legal world, we wanted to do it right.
Who this treatise is for
Estate Planning for the Muslim Client is not a book for ordinary consumers. The audience is primarily lawyers who want to help their Muslim clients develop estate plans. Say, for example, a Muslim family in South Dakota wanted to hire an attorney, and there were no local Islamic Estate Planning Attorneys are available to help. This is an opportunity to help. Or perhaps there is a young Muslim lawyer in a big city that wants a starting point to learn about Islamic Estate Planning. Perhaps he wants to find out what traditional estate planning techniques work, which ones to avoid, which ones to modify and how.
They can even get some forms and drafting ideas, which is typical in practice guides. This treatise is intended to spread ideas and help people implement them. It is to make something once deemed foreign and unapproachable something they can confidently offer to their clients.
From Scarcity to Ubiquity
I want to make Islamic Inheritance among American Muslims as ubiquitous as fasting in Ramadan. Islamic Inheritance is fundamental to Islamic society. It is how we avoid lots of fitna, form a bulwark against familial oppression and develop harmony. We can have families where there is mutual respect for rights based on fear of Allah.
Muhammad (SWS) predicted that his ummah would have widespread ignorance of the Islamic Rules of Inheritance one day. In my experience, I found there was little knowledge not just among lawyers and ordinary Muslims, but also among some of the most learned. We need to fix this.
I started my law practice focusing on Islamic Estate Planning in 2006, while just beginning to learn about both Estate Planning (I practiced in another area of law previously) and Islamic Rules and was blessed to have resources to learn both of them as I was practicing, including Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, the most knowledgable person I could find at the time was in my local area. I also reached out to many lawyers locally and nationally who served as mentors as I developed a system. It was not perfect then of course, and it is not perfect now. But the practice of law is, in addition to providing clients with service, about learning and growing.
I collaborated with Yaser Ali of Arizona, who had ijaza in the leading Hanafi school text on inheritance. Having him on board helped with the quality of the final product. Sheikh Shadman Ahmed did classical Islamic text research for us. The ABA provided extensive peer reviewing, editorial guidance and some great editing.
We Need to Learn More
We expect to develop this treatise further insha Allah as we keep learning and laws change. My goal with “Estate Planning for the Muslim Client” is for more lawyers to confidently develop Islamic Estate Plans for their clients. Ordinary Muslims should feel comfortable going to a lawyer to get their planning done.
I have been involved with organizing Attorney continuing education for years in my local bar association. Individual lawyers get better when we collectively commit to developing and sharing knowledge. With Islamic Estate Planning, that community won’t be around if there is little interest among Muslims Islamic Inheritance in the first place. If there is little interest in the subject by Imams and Shuyukh in the subject, don’t expect ordinary Muslims to care much either. So I do hope that Muslims will start encouraging everyone to do right by their own families based on their values.
Here is a link to the ABA treatise, Estate Planning for the Muslim Client. You can also review my comprehensive article on Islamic Inheritance (that you don’t have to pay for) if you want to learn more.