A Muslim may acknowledge a debt during his death-illness either in favour of a stranger i.e., non-heir or, in favour of a person who is one of his heirs.
(a) Acknowledgement in favour of stranger:
Where a Muslim makes any statement during Marz-ul-maut those he ewes certain debts to a person (who is not his heir) the acknowledgement is binding on the legatees and also on the legal heirs of the deceased. That is to say, an acknowledgement during death- illness is a conclusive proof of the debts. But, such acknowledgement is subject to the following two conditions:
(i) The acknowledgement of a debt in normal health prevails over an acknowledgement during death-illness, and
(ii) If any debt has been proved otherwise than acknowledgement in death- illness then, the debt proved otherwise would prevail over a debt acknowledged during death-illness.
(b) Acknowledgement in favour of heir:
Acknowledgement of debt during death-illness, in favour of an heir, is not a conclusive proof of that debt. Where a Muslim makes a statement during his death-illness that he owes certain debt to an heir, the heir cannot rely solely upon that acknowledgement.
Such an heir will have to prove the debt by some other evidence. In other words, unless corroborated by some other evidence, the heir of a deceased Muslim cannot get the payment of debt only on the basis of an acknowledgement made during death-illness.