Q. If I have an estate but have no one to inherit, i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, niece/nephew, children, husband/wife, is it islamically legal to will it to some deserving muslim? I mentioned immediate family, but if I have cousins and cousins' children, will it go to them? I know we have specific guidelines regarding inheritance, so there is nothing like a will, that is to say, it must be divided according to the shareeah, however I would like to know if a distant relative is included in inheriting your estate.
A. In this case, your estate will be distributed among the poor relatives that are alive.
This distribution is not by way of inheritance, hence, they cannot claim the estate although they enjoy a prior right (before other poor Muslims).
You should therefore make a will, identifying how much you wish to give to each of these poor relatives. (Kitabul Meerath)
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan