Divorce and Community of Property

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Q: My wife and I are divorced according to Shar’ee rites. However, at the start we had registered our marriage in community of property. Now, based on this law, my wife is demanding half a share of the house where she stayed before the divorce. Is this permissible in Islam, and am I obliged according to Shariah law to give her a half share of the house?

A:
To register a marriage in community of property is un-Islamic and incorrect, since this leads to the abandonment and neglect of several Islamic injunctions, not the least being correct distribution of property. We always advise married couples who resorted to this un-Islamic practice to annul such registration or change it to the ante nuptial contract. Even though you were married in community of property, since this is not recognized and accepted by Shariah, it will be haraam (forbidden) for your wife to claim and/or accept any money in lieu of so-called joint ownership of property. This is a western law which militates against Islamic teaching, hence haraam. When a legal claim or western law conflicts with The Law of Shariah, the former must be rejected in its entirety. According to Shariah your wife has no valid claim to any share of the property.