Charity via a
Q89 :It is my intention to give my wife, by a will,
a plot of land which I have bought so that she would give it away as a
donation to pay the expenses of a small school for the children of our
village. Is it appropriate?
A89 : What I find strange is that you wish to give
the land to your wife by will and she will give it as a donation for
the commendable purpose you have mentioned. Why should all this be in
two steps, first your giving it to your wife, then she giving it away?
Why do you not do it straight-away, mentioning in your will that this
land goes to that particular purpose? This seems more logical and more
acceptable. There are complications with the way you have chosen. To
start with, your wife is one of your heirs. As such, you may not give
her by will anything over and above what Allah has apportioned to her.
Even though your intention is that what she receives by will shall end
up in other people's hands and for a different purpose than making it
her property, taking this step is wrong because it places the
possession of that land in her hands. This you cannot do. Other heirs
may contest this will and the court of law will rule in their favor.
Secondly, from what you have said, it may be that the plot of land
constitutes more than one third of your property. If the case is such,
then you should not make a will involving whole of the land as it
exceeds the maximum limit the Prophet has set for a will, namely, one
third of what you own. If it is less than one third, then you can give
it away for a charitable purpose such as a school in your village. You
should, however, make a direct will to that effect, appointing a
trustee to supervise the transfer and/or management of the land for
that particular purpose.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )