BEQUESTS. Arabic وصية
wasiyah, p1. wasaya. A bequest or will can be made verbally, although it is held to be, better to execute it in writing. Two lawful witnesses are necessary to establish either a verbal bequest or a written will. A bequest in favour of a stranger to the amount of one-third of the whole property, is valid, but a bequest to any amount beyond that is invalid, unless the heirs give their consent. If a person make a bequest in favour of another from whom he has received a mortal wound it is not valid, and if a legatee slay his testator the bequest in his favour is void. A bequest made to part of the heirs is not valid unless the other heirs give their consent. The bequest of a Muslim in favour of an unbeliever, or of an unbeliever in favour of a Muslim, is valid. If a person be involved in debt, legacies bequeathed by him are not lawful. A bequest in favour of a child yet unborn is valid, provided the foetus happen to be less than six months old at the time of the making of the will.
If a testator deny his bequest, and the legatee produce witnesses to prove it, it is generally held not to be a retractation of it. If a person on his death-bed emancipate a slave, it takes effect after his death.
If a person will that “the pilgrimage incumbent on him be performed on his behalf after his death,” his heirs must depute a person [or the purpose, and supply him with the necessary expenses. (Hamilton’s Hidayah, vol. iv. 468.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam