In Islam, a woman has the full right to private ownership away from that of her husband. No one is permitted to prevent her this right. However, she can help her husband of her own free will if he is poor. But no one can force her to do that.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research stated that: “The fact is that Islam rescued women from the injustice of all eras of ignorance. Islam gave the woman her full rights without her even demanding them. Among these rights were financial rights, and in particular, the right to ownership and private properties of all kinds. Islam gave the woman the right to own in total independence of her father or husband. Therefore, a woman may own and may act freely in regards with what she owns, similar to a man. A woman may sell, buy, donate and give as any person of reasonable character and sound mind may do, without any restrictions being placed upon her. Almighty Allah says: “for men there is reward for what they have earned and for women there is reward for what they have earned.” (An-Nisa’: 32)
Therefore, we say that a woman has complete rights to opening a personal account in which she deposits her income, whether it be her salary, inheritance or any form of gift given to by her father or otherwise. The husband has no right to force his wife to place her income in a joint pot or account along with his so that he may provide for the household. This is because it is well known that the provision for the household is the husband’s duty alone. Allah Almighty states in the Holy Qur’an: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.” (An-Nisa’: 34).
A woman may assist her husband in providing for the household as a gift from herself and not as an obligation or duty, even if she has the financial means to support the household. Indeed, none of the Imams of Islam put any obligation upon the wealthy woman to support her poor husband, apart from Ibn Hazm, who was famous for his fiqh school that abided by the apparent letter of the text.
However, we feel that it is preferable for a working woman to participate in providing for the household, particularly if her working outside the house brings the need for a maid or a caretaker for the children, or if extra costs are incurred such as transportation and extra clothing for the woman. However, the woman’s contribution must not exceed one third of living costs, while the husband is obliged to pay for two thirds at least.
We also support the notion that each of the couple have his or her own bank account, so that the man does not transgress upon what is for his wife. The woman must also save for the possibility of difficult times and her husband’s behaviour swings. Furthermore, we do not favour that a woman places all her wealth in the possession of her husband so that everything is officially owned by him alone.
Indeed, it is unlawful for the husband to request his wife to do so, as each person has the right over what he or she possesses.”