Why making a will can be a positive emotional experience

The Sunnah of Reflecting on Death

For Muslims, there is nothing morbid about reflecting on death. In fact, doing so is a sunnah and prescribed by our Prophet (PBUH).

Abu Huraira reported: ‘The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures”, by which he meant death.’ (Al-Tirmidhi)

This makes sense. Because the only certain reality in any of our lives is that we will all die one day. For most, that’s a scary thought. But it doesn’t have to be if we are prepared for it -hence the sunnah of reflecting on death.

After all, the Holy Qur’an reminds us that this life is temporary and that death is not an end. It is a return, and a journey to our eternal home. This is why when someone passes away Muslims recite the Istiraj:

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

Verily we belong to Allah and verily to Him do we return.

(Holy Qur’an 2:156)

Preparing for your afterlife

Making a will isn’t just a way to reflect on death, it’s also one of the best ways of preparing for it.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘It is the duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without writing a will about it.’ (Al-Bukhari)

A will can help you put all of your worldly affairs in order, before your final journey. If you have dependants, it can help you make arrangements to ensure they are properly provided and cared for.

If you have debts, the last thing you’ll want is to pass away without having paid them. And yet, none of us knows when our time will come. So, it’s a good idea to make a note of all your debts in your will, with instructions that they should be paid out from your estate. After all, your family may not know about your debts, or may even forget about them while dealing with loss.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘The soul of the believer is held hostage by his debt in his grave until it is paid off.’ (Al-Tirmidhi)

Writing a will also enables you to leave a legacy, which can be a means of gaining blessings in your afterlife. This involves bequeathing a portion of your wealth to charity and is known as gifts in wills. If your gift was to fund a Sadaqah Jaariyah project, like a hospital that could benefit people for years to come, that would mean reaping the rewards and blessings of your gift even in death.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, ‘When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah [ceaseless charity]; a knowledge which [he has passed on and] is beneficial; or a virtuous descendant who prays for him.’ (Muslim)

Need help preparing your will?

Writing your will allows you to have control over how your estate is distributed and can save your family time and money during this process. It may even save you money on inheritance tax.

We can give you guidance on preparing your will. If you need help finding legal guidance to write your will, we can put you in touch with the right people.

Request our free Gifts in Wills Guide. Our guide provides information about the process and benefits of writing your will.

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