Permissibility of revoking the gift of a house he made to his wife

Q 2: A person gave his wife his whole furnished house. Can he revoke this gift? How can he do this?

A: If the wife has not received the gift of her husband in the conventional sense of receipt, he is permitted to revoke it. However, this would not be an honorable deed because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The one who takes back a gift is like a dog which swallows its vomit. If the wife has actually received the gift in the conventional sense of possessing the likeness of which, then it is considered a property of her own and he cannot revoke it according to the Shari`ah (Islamic law) except with her consent. However, revoking his gift even if she is willing to give it back to him would not be an honorable deed on his part. If a dispute arises about the gift or about what is considered an actual receipt of it, the matter is to be settled before the Shari`ah courts. (Part No. 16; Page No. 248) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.