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The effect of the received English law on the recognized native laws and customs, on any country that has adopted English law as a source of law, is never a matter that could be swept behind a closed doors of secrecy. Hence, there is the need to juxtapose the received English law and the recognized laws of the land, and as well dichotomies between the duo/dual where necessary,

It is in this aspect that conflict may likely arise between the English law and native laws and customs.

Following the introductory chapter, is chapter two, which deals with will under Islamic law, whereby both pre-Islamic and post-Islamic testamentary disposition of property has been examined, proper definition of will in pretty given in this chapter. Subsequently, the basic essentials of a will under Islamic law are equally discussed.

A separate chapter in allotted for will under English law, i.e. chapter three. In this chapter, will at English law, as well as the position maintained under the English statutes are dully examined.

Definition of will is given in accordance with provisions of English law. Along side, the essentials of will under the English law are also discussed.

Will is an aspect where English law contradicts Islamic law1 which has been recognized as one of the legal cultures and therefore needs a comparative study. This, as reflected in the principle established in the case of AGBEBU V. BAWA2

2. (1992)6 NMLR pt. 245 @ 80 – 87   


Where it was held that “- - - Islamic law is recognized as one of the three legal cultures co-existing in Nigeria”.

In Islamic law, will have been sanctioned by both primary and secondary sources of Islamic law, i.e. the Quran and Sunnah, and the Ijma and Qiyas.

Similarly, in English law, will in recognized and has been described as a means of disposing of property, taking effect at the testator’s death, on the property which falls into his estate after his death, but meantime having no legal effect and remaining secret and revocable3. It is a mere expression of intention of the testator at the time it is made 4. Hence, in both Islamic and English laws, certain essentials are considered necessary for the validity of will.


Basically, this project work tends to provide answers to questions that may likely arise on the creation of a valid will under both Islamic and English laws, through a comparative basis. Thus, this project proffers solutions in both Islamic and English laws to issues relating to: the position of law relating to will before  and after the advent of Islam, the position of law relating to will at common law and the English statutes, definitions of will, essential elements of a valid will, the nature of will, similarities and disparities between Islamic and English laws on will etc. All are being resolved in this work, by comparative analysis.


The aims and objectives of this project work is to examine the creation of a valid will in both Islamic and English laws through a comparative study. It also aimed at getting people acquainted with the nature of will through a comparative analysis of various provisions in Islamic and English laws. Similarly, this research is an attempt to create knowledge on the effect of will not in compliance with Islamic and English laws. Furthermore, it aims at getting people, especially the Westoxicated Muslims, to know the limitations set by Islamic law on will. And to see the perfection, justice and equity in Islamic will creation, compared to series injustices entertained by English will.

1.3.0     FOCUS OF STUDY

This work is necessary because of the conflict of law usually generated by the effect of received laws on recognized laws of the land and vice-versa.

The consequential effect of ignorance of the law or the inability to have a true idea of the law relating to will comparatively, fortifies and justifies the attempt to embark on a voyage of discovery on the nature and creation of a valid will under Islamic and common laws. This, it is worthy enough to expend some Ink on the relevance of will, and therefore a comparative study of provisions on the essentials of valid will in both Islamic and English laws, will automatically clear the dust (doubt) on the position and the nature of application of the two laws.

Furthermore, the attitude of most modern days Muslims (Westoxicated) who tend to prefer the common law to Islamic law i.e. their impression in favour of English law on will. This may either due to ignorance of the dictates of Islamic law on Will, or weakness in Iman (faith).

It is therefore deemed necessary as a matter of expediency to enlighten these Muslims in a comparatives manner, the injustices manifested by common as related to Will and the unalloyed equality equity and justice embedded in Islamic law in respect to Will.


1.4.0     SCOPE OF STUDY

This work is centered much on the nature or form a will takes, through a comparative approach of Islamic and English laws. The work is restricted to this area, for the convenience of the research and to have an intense and proper study in each particular area relating to law of Will, so as to produce a qualitative work and actual grasp of each particular concept.


The method adopted in this work, is basically comparative. Materials are sourced from both primary and secondary sources of law, in both Islamic and common laws. The creation of Will under both laws are discussed separately and thereafter, comparatively analyzed.


Series of works by legal writers and academicians are resorted in this work, judicial opinions and statutory provisions are also consulted and reviewed.

On Islamic Law, literatures like; Fiqhu-s-Sunnah; by Sheikh Sayyid S.5, Al-Fiqihu-l-Wadi’h; by Dr. Muhammad Bakr I.6, The Practice of Muslim Family Law in Nigeria; by Ambali M.A.7, Shariah The Islamic Law; by Abdul-Rahman Doi8, The Islamic Law of Bequest; by Zaid A.M9 and Muhammadan Law: by Ali A.S.10. These series of work have discussed extensively in will, succeeded in establishing definition, nature, essentials and formalities of wil under Islamic law. But they have never attempted in their various work, a comparative study of will.

Similarly under common Law, literatures like; Will Act 1873, The Law of Succession; by David H.P.11, Principles of Family Law; by Cretney S.M.12, The Conflict of Law: by Dicey and Morris13, The Machinery of Succession; by Miller J.G.14 and Execution of Will and Procedure for Obtaining Letters of Administration in High Court; by Garba T.15, as he then was, Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice, Ilorin, among others, have also been examined.

These works on the other hand, have succeeded in discussing definitions, nature, essentials and formalities of will under the common law. Although they have never made any attempt on comparative work yet. This comparative work on will, under both laws, is therefore chosen as scope of this project work.

1.7.0      CONCLUSION

As the introductory aspect has given full details about what each chapter would entail, it also describes a vital position that Will is maintaining in both Islamic and English law. The aim makes clear, what constitute a valid Will, nature of Will and effect of Will not in compliance with the essential requirements of Will under both laws. It has as background, definition of Will, the position of both laws on Will, essential elements, similarities, disparities and the rest of them. However in essence, our major focus is to enlighten Muslims in a comparative manner, the injustices manifested by English law, and the unalloyed equity and justice in Islamic law.

The scope centers much on the creation of a valid will. The methodology adopted in basically comparative. And literature review enumerates series of material consulted.

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