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Claiming Ownership On The Property Of The Spouse

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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Question: Assalamu Alaikum,

I Have Often Heard The Phrase That In Islam “What Is Hers , Is Hers N What Is His Is Also Hers” Can You Elaborate As To What Exactly This Refers To And If It Is From The Quran Or Hadith. The Part About What Is His Is Hers, What Does That Specifically Mean?

Answer: Wa Alikum As Salaam,

There is no established teaching like that in Islam, and this phrase is not really known and used by Muslims in general.

Regardless of what meaning one may have and understand in using this phrase, the teaching given in Islam is that when a man and a woman become married, then it is not permissible for a man to lay claim over the wealth/property/possessions of his wife, and in a similar manner, it is not permissible for a woman to lay claim over the wealth/property/possessions of her husband. When a man marries a woman, he is required to provide food, clothing and a shelter for her. He becomes the breadwinner of the family and must look after fulfilling the needs and necessities of his wife. In this respect, there is no issue of ‘his and hers’, rather, it is about fulfilling the rights of one another. The husband will be required to fulfil the rights that his wife has over him, and the wife will be required to fulfil the rights that the husband has over her.

During the course of the marital relation, whatever he owns as his personal belongings including wealth and property, will continue to be owned by him, and will be termed as ‘His belongings’. Similarly, whatever the wife owns as her belongings including wealth and property and that which she comes into the marriage with, will be owned by her and will be termed as ‘Her belongings’.

Whatever the husband has given to the wife from what he owns, will be the property of the wife, and whatever the wife gives to the husband from what she owns, will be the property of the husband.
Thus, although they continue to live together as husband and wife, there will be items etc. that will be known as the ‘belongings’ of the wife and the ‘belongings’ of the husband.

If a divorce takes place between the spouses, then whatever belongs to the wife will remain as her property, and the husband will have no claim over it. Likewise, whatever belongs to the husband will remain as his property, and the wife will have no claim over it. It will not be permissible for one to seize, usurp or make a claim over the belongings of another. It is about this situation, the phrase may be used which says, ‘What is hers, is hers, and what is his is his.’ As for the statement, ‘what is his is also hers’, this is wrong, and it does not represent the teachings of Islam.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

5/11/2014

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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