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- Islam does grant woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and to possess independently.
2- Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man.
In his response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:
In Islam, men and women both have the right of ownership. Allah says in the Qur’an, “To men belong what they earn, and to women what they earn.” (An-Nisa’ 4:32)
After marriage, the property of a man or woman does not become automatically the property of his/her spouse, unless they both want and decide to have joint ownership.
Just as a man is allowed to handle his property according to his judgment, so also a woman is allowed to handle her property according to her judgment.
However, after marriage it is appropriate that the husband and wife handle all their affairs with mutual consultation and agreement. The husband should consult his wife and the wife should consult her husband.
Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that the Believers conduct their affairs with mutual consultation (Ash-Shura 42:38)
After death, the property of any Muslim should be distributed according to the Islamic law of inheritance. However, every person, male or female, is allowed to make a special will within one third of his/her assets.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.