Can a woman’s inheritance share be adjusted if she works?
All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.
The inheritance rights of a woman will not be changed is she is working. Likewise, the duty of financial care will continue to be on the husband even if the wife is working. Allah ﷻ has assigned the husband the duty of taking care of the family. He is therefore required to pay for his family’s expenses. Allah ﷻ says in the Holy Qur’an, “Men are responsible for women, because Allah hath made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend their property (for the support of women).” (Surah al-Nisa: 34)
Just because a woman is working, she is not obligated to support her unemployed husband, rather this will be a form of sadaqa from her is she chooses to do so. Nor is it required for the expenses to be split equally between the wife and the husband. All of this is against the spirit and teachings of Islam.
Her employment won’t affect her inheritance because this has been categorically determined by the Shari’ah. Inheritance is a right of Allah ﷻ and a right of the servants. Giving the heirs complete ownership and usage is therefore necessary. Imam Shatabi رحمه الله mentions in his book al-Muwafaqaat: “People have no choice in those matters that are related to Allah’s ﷻ rights. People have a choice in their share once they have been granted it. They can dispose of it in legal ways if it does not infringe on the right of other heirs (because it is connected to Allah’s ﷻ rights). He would not even be allowed to give up his own share if doing so violated Allah ﷻrights.”
To sum up, a woman who works will not lose her right to inherit. She is permitted to provide voluntary assistance to her father or husband. All heirs must be given full ownership of their inheritance to use legally. They are free to forego their right if they so choose.
Allah ﷻ knows best
This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari