Due to variations in cultures, questions have been raised regarding the financial rights of women in Islam and whether they have the same rights as their male counterpart. The Islamic position toward women’s financial rights are more advanced than that of our current society. Regarding handling one’s earnings, Islam has made it clear that they share the exact same rights as men. The Quran says: “And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn;” (4:32).
Islam ensures that women are financially cared for. For instance, at the time of the wedding, it is mandatory that a man give his wife a financial gift. The Quran says, “And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously” (4:4).
The Islamic position states that it is mandatory for a man to provide financially for his wife and allows the wife flexibility with spending even in the case of giving charity from her husband’s wealth. In an authentic narration the Prophet said:
“When a woman gives in charity some of the food in her house, without causing any damage, there is reward for her for whatever she has given, and a reward for her husband for what he earned. The same applies to the trustee. In no respect does the one diminish the reward of the other.”
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "If a woman gives something (i.e. in charity) from her husband's earnings without his permission, she will get half his reward."
If a woman is working, her financial earnings belong to her. If she chooses to assist her husband financially in providing for the family, she will be rewarded according to the following narration:
When the Prophet was asked in the Hadith of Zainab, “Is it permissible for me to spend (the alms) on my husband and the orphans under my protection.' The Prophet said, "Yes, (it is sufficient for her) and she will receive a double rewards (for that): One for helping relatives, and the other for giving alms."
In the case of divorce, the religion asks that the man provide a woman with mutah which is equivalent to alimony. Unlike the western concept of alimony, mutah is a benefit that can only be received by women and not men. God said: “For divorced women maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous” (2:241). The financial maintenance of children always lays on the man regardless of where the children reside, unlike the western concept where the woman may be responsible in some cases.
When discussing a woman’s financial rights in Islam, it is important to note that the Prophet Muhammad was proudly employed by his wife and that women held executive positions.