What is the General Rule Governing the Construction of Wills under Muslim Law?
It is also a general rule of construction of wills that unless a different intention appears, a will speaks from the death of the testator, and the bequests, contained in it take effect accordingly.
It is a universal rule of construction of wills that the courts try to give effect, as far as possible, to the intention of the testator. Where a testator used such ambiguous language that its construction is not possible by giving usual meaning to the words used, then it is left to the heirs to give it whatever interpretation they want.
Thus, where a testator lays down in his will that “something, or some trifle, should be given to P” or “I leave a garment or a book to Q”, then heirs may give to P and Q whatever they like, or any garment, such as a new coat or an old one or any book, a copy of the Koran or a book of songs.
Where a testator bequeaths an article by description without appropriating any specific article, and if the testator does not own any such article at the time of his death, the bequest fails, unless the intention is to bequeath the value of the article indicated. In such a case the article as described by the testator will be purchased out of the assets and handed over to the legatee.