Wa `alaykum as-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Accommodation is one of the wife’s rights in Islam, which means that her husband should prepare accommodation for her according to his means and ability.
2- However, this does not mean that the house must be put in the wife’s name. After the husband’s death, the wife will have a specific share of the husband’s entire wealth.
In his response to your question, Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Member of the Executive Committee of the Fiqh Council of North America and the Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, states:
It is unbecoming for the wife to demand full and sole rights to the husband’s entire wealth and real estate. Allah the Almighty has specified our shares of inheritance in the Qur’an; therefore, demanding full control and exclusive rights over the husband’s property will not be proper.
A wife may, however, demand rights of honorable residence as long as she is alive and is Islamically married to the person. Allah the Almighty says, “Lodge them where you dwell, according to your wealth.” (At-Talaq 65:6)
Islam does allow the wife to enjoy financial security by having exclusive control over the house.
She can sign a contract with the husband that her interest in the house will not be jeopardized or that she will not be forced out without any genuine reason.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.