India is home to diverse cultures and religions. Therefore, when it comes to property rights, you would have several aspects to consider per se the cultures and religions of the nation. It would be pertinent to mention here that there is no uniform law, as every religion has been governed by its stipulated set of personal laws.
However, where one law governs Hindus inclusive of Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, Muslims have not codified their personal laws on marriage and property-related issues. Rest assured that the property rights of an Indian woman would be determined by the religion she belongs to, her marital status, the part of the nation she hails from, and other aspects as well.
Let us delve into a few vital aspects determining wife rights on husband’s property in Islam.
When it comes to the rights of a Muslim woman on her husband’s property upon divorce, rest assured that she could not do much if her husband has divorced her. The husband would be liable to maintain her during the iddat period. However, landmark judgments are entitling Muslim divorced women to maintenance beyond the iddat period. It would not be wrong to suggest that a Muslim woman could seek maintenance from her divorced husband until she remarries. However, the Shariat law states that offering or accepting maintenance beyond the period of iddat is illegitimate (haraam). It implies that all relationships between the man and the woman cease after the period of iddat.
However, if a divorced wife and minor child have been unable to maintain themselves, the husband would be liable to give them monthly maintenance.
When it comes to receiving the property of her husband after divorce, a Muslim woman would be entitled to dower, the money she has received from her husband at the time of marriage. In the event, the husband wishes, he could give away anything to his wife, but it is not binding on him in any way.
A Muslim woman would be entitled to maintenance from her husband upon desertion. In the event the husband fails to provide adequate maintenance to his wife, she could take the claim to the court of law. The magistrate could ask her relatives to maintain her. In case, the relatives fail to maintain her, the duty of maintaining the deserted wife falls on the Wakf board until the children become financially independent to take care of her.
Upon the death of the husband
In case, the husband of a Muslim woman had died, the widow would be entitled to 1/8th share if she has children from the wedlock. In the event, there are no children borne out of the marriage, the widow would be entitled to 1/4th share in the property of her deceased husband. However, if there were more than one wife, the share of the widows in the property of the deceased husband would reduce to 1/6th.
It would be pertinent to mention here that a Muslim woman, other than the aforementioned aspects, does not have any right on the property of her husband when he is alive.