Hajj Ahmad Thomson
The release of the Law Society Practice Note on drafting Shari’a compliant wills has somewhat predictably received the ‘Archbishop of Canterbury treatment’ from the ‘liberal’ secular media. How dare Muslims, both men and women, be allowed, indeed be assisted, in leaving a last will and testament in accordance with their wishes, when only secular fundamentalists should be granted such a precious freedom!
Bias in media coverage usually illustrates an underlying agenda – Islam and Muslims are regularly regarded as fair game who can all be tarred with the same brush, however inaccurately and vindictively, with virtual impunity – which means that even the reasonable accommodation of minority faiths is likely to be attacked, almost as a matter of principle.
What surprised me was that whoever drafted the Law Society Practice Note on drafting Shari’a compliant wills at times made it unnecessarily complicated – and did not appear to have consulted with the leading English practitioners in this field, including, for example, I Will Solicitors Ltd, which as well as catering for simple Islamic wills has also developed tax efficient Islamic will precedents for high net worth individuals.