Mohammed Nazir, head of Wosskow Brown's property and immigration departments writes regularly in the publication ILM, which is popular in the Asian community. His articles are published in English and in Urdu. Here is Mohammed's article that was published in August 2011.
Q I am taking an Islamic Mortgage, how does this work?.
A Islamic mortgages are new in the UK and have recently been adopted by a few lenders. In this process the bank becomes the owner of the property and then the bank grants a lease to the borrower. Instead of paying the interest or mortgage instalments you pay monthly rent to the bank or the institution who is providing this product to you. The bank will also register a legal charge against the leasehold interest of this property.
The difference between an Islamic mortgage and a general mortgage is that on an Islamic mortgage you pay monthly rent to the company but on a general mortgage you pay the interest or repayment instalments to the bank. In the case of default the bank can take legal action against you as a Landlord and in the case of a general mortgage the bank can take action against you as a mortgagee and take possession of the property. Generally in the Islamic finance you sign various documents.
These documents are quite detailed and once you have signed them you will be bound by the heads and terms of these.
Q Could you please advise me about an Islamic Will?
A Islamic Wills are legally accepted in the United Kingdom and the property will be put into a Trust. The Executor of the Will will be given the maximum discretions and they will use these discretions according to the Discretionary Trust. They will divide the property according to the deceased’s wishes which will be given by the deceased by way of a signed letter of wishes and in the signed letter the deceased can give his wishes to his Executors. For the avoidance of doubt any solicitor or Islamic Law Specialist can be consulted for the division of shares as mentioned in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Q If a Muslim dies in England will their property be divided according to Sharia Law or the Law of England and Wales?
A If someone dies with a Will then the property will be divided amongst the beneficiaries according to the provision of the Will. If someone dies without a Will then his property will be divided according to the Administration of Estate Act 1925.
Q What are the benefits of an Islamic Will?
A There are various benefits of an Islamic Will and the following are the main ones:-
- You can appoint your children’s guardian or in the case of the death of both parents the children could go to the Local Council’s custody for their upbringing.
- You can gift the money or shares in your assets to a Charity or to the Mosque (Masjid).
- If someone has two wives then he can divide the shares according to equitable shares.
- The assets and wealth will be divided according to Shariah principles as per the Letter of Wishes left by the deceased.
- The burial of the deceased will take place according to the wishes written by the Letter of Wishes by the Executor of his Will.
Mohammed can be contacted on 0114 256 4796 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org