Witnesses of the Bequest

Lesson # 663 From Holy Qur’aan

Witnesses of the Bequest

‘Al-Maaa-‘idah (the Table Spread) – Chapter – 5)–Stage - 2

Verse –106 of 120, Section – 14 of 16 (Part - 7)


In the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

O ye who believe! Let there be witnesses between you when death draweth nigh unto one of you, at the time of bequest – two witnesses, just men from among you, or two of the others not of you, in case ye are campaigning in the land and the calamity of death befall you. Ye shall empanel them both after the prayer, and if ye doubt, they shall be made to swear by Allaah (saying): We will not take a bribe, even though it were (on behalf of) a near kinsman nor will we hide the testimony of Allaah, for then indeed we should be of the sinful. 
Yaaa-‘ayyu-hallaziina  ‘aamanuu  shahaadatu  baynikum  ‘izaa  hazara  ‘ahada-kumul-mawtu  hiinal-wa-siyyatis-naani  zawaa  ‘adlim-minkum  ‘aw  ‘aakha-raani  min  gayrikum  ‘in  ‘antum  Zarabtum  fil-‘arzi  fa-‘asaa-batkum-musii-batul-mawt.  Tah-bisuuna-humaa  mim-  ba’-dis-Salaati  fa-yuqsi-maani  BIllaahi  ‘inir-tabtum  laa  nash-tarii  bihii  samananw-wa  law  kaana  zaa  qurbaa,  wa  laa  naktumu  shahaada-tAllaahi  ‘innaaa  ‘izalla-minal-‘aasimiin.                             


Method of appointing any person as executor to carry into effect the will of a testator, who is on the point of death, is being explained in this verse. The executor is the person whom any testator gives in charge of his/her property/wealth, so that the executor may hand over it to the heirs. Appointing two Men as executors, who should be just Muslims, is better, because nevertheless, a Muslim (Believer) can never be a faithless. However, if the persons of required standard are not available, then any two common persons from among the Muslims can be appointed as executors. But if someone is campaigning in the land and the calamity of death befall him/her, then any non-Muslim can also be appointed as the executor. 

Maximum scholars of the religion have faith that any non-Muslim can be appointed as executor if the Muslim is not available. Otherwise, only any Muslim should be appointed as executor. It has the reason that during the ancient days, only the Muslims were such people who were considered pure from dishonesty. Unfortunately, now a day, the Disbelievers and Idolaters are deemed more faithful, honest and just than the Muslims. The Muslims should take warning from it.

It has been described here that if the heirs doubt that some part of inheritance of the dead person has been misappropriated by the executors and they did not hand over the entire heritage honestly. But the witnesses are not available to prove the misappropriation. In this condition, an oath would be administered from the executors that they did not embezzle. And this oath will be taken from them after the prayer. The commentators of the Holy Word (Quran) has explained that administration of the oath after the ‘Asr prayer is more reasonable. Otherwise every oath can be administered after every prayer, because anyhow, everybody has more fear of God Almighty after the worship than other times.

It is commanded, “If you have doubt on the executors that they are dishonest and you have not any witness to prove their dishonesty, then you should stop the both executors after prayer and they should swear before all the people upon this matter that they are honest”, and they should say, “Certainly neither we desire to embezzle any part of heritage falsely, nor we have any greed of wealth and nor relationship can stir us up for dishonesty that we cause to give more part of heritage to any near kinsman”. They should also say, “We swear by Allaah Almighty that we shall neither give any false evidence on His name, nor putt off His command and nor hide the Truth. If we do so, then indeed we should be of the sinful”.

Such an incident was happened during the time of the Messenger of Allaah Almighty (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him), in which there were two Christians appointed as the executors. There was a doubt in their honesty. So an oath was administered from them.   

Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif)  .           

We all human beings (black and white, Arabian and non-Arabian, eastern and western, northern and southern) are brothers and sisters of one another because Father of our all is Adam and Mother Eve (peace be upon Them). Your pages are likewise:


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