As part of their lives, individuals are engaged in generating wealth and using this for their own prosperity.The management of this created wealth is an important issue, as individuals are expected to also manage their lives with this wealth. It is the concern of this study to investigate how wealth is perceived by wassiyah method and how it is distributed by individuals in the form of inheritance. Islamic theory of wealth provides useful guidelines in relation to wealth ownership, wealth management and financial planning. The notions of wealth in Islam are based on philosophic foundations derived from two primary sources namely Al-Quran, and Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet of Islam. The whole conceptualization of wealth and its use must therefore be consistent with Shariah or the Islamic Jurisprudence. In a simple description, there is no restriction for Muslims to transfer their property while they are alive, but upon the death, the estate transfer is automatically subject to faraid and bequest mandatory rules. Faraid has pre-determined the number of shares which eligible heirs should get after deducting burial expenses, debts to Allah and other people, the rights of spouse to mutually acquired property, incomplete life-time transfers and bequest. Due to this, for Malaysian Muslims, leaving a wasiyyah (will) is a crucial part of the Islamic estate planning, as the problem of estate in Malaysia is the most common problem cited in the literature as a result of not leaving a wasiyyah. These unclaimed assets are wastage as they cannot be utilized for economic purposes. Other relevant problems are those such as family disputes, information regarding assets and liabilities not being easily accessible, fraud, and problems related to the nominees. (Alma’Amun,2010)
Islamic estate planning is almost totally neglected by Muslims in general and in Malaysia particularly. Today, in a modern and complex world, leaving a written will is crucial, and it implies that Islamic estate planning for Muslims demands a proper planning beyond the provision of faraid and bequest. Most Muslims in Malaysia do not view estate planning seriously and some of them are sceptical about making a wasiyyah, which is evidenced by having large number of Malaysian Muslims not having wasiyyah. Findings imply that the awareness level of wasiyyah was low reflecting their inadequate exposure of the wasiyyah ruling, professional means of wasiyyah writing and the importance of wasiyyah in estate planning. Thus, wasiyyah practice was a minority activity. Other findings reflect making a wasiyyah by means of traditional methods either handwritten by themselves or verbal wasiyyah were common. Several factors were identified to be significant to the wasiyyah practice namely amount of inheritance received previously, health status, having children, having adopted children, having grandchildren, knowledge, institutional factor and inheritance law. Other findings show that mass media were the main sources of their knowledge and to increase their awareness. The study also found that there was a conflict of interest in wasiyyah writing providers in terms of increasing awareness, educating people and profit maximization. They also differed in their perception on the ability of wasiyyah alone solving the estate problem comprehensively and showing their concerns over the manipulation of several estate planning instruments to avoid faraid. (Alma’Amun,2010)
I. What is the level of awareness of wasiyyah among Malaysian Muslims? II. What is the level of understanding about Islamic estate planning among Malaysian Muslims?
III. What are the factors that influence the wasiyyah practice among Malaysian Muslims?
IV. What are the roles of Islamic estate planning and wasiyyah for Muslims and how are they affected by Malaysian Muslims...