Praise be to Allah.
We must believe that Allaah alone has ownership and that no one owns created beings except their Creator, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And to Allaah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:189]
“Say: “In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything”
With regard to verses which speak of ownership belonging to someone other than Allaah, such as the verses (interpretation of the meaning):
“Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame”
“or (from that) whereof you hold keys”
this differs from the ownership that is attributed to Allaah in several ways, such as:
1-The ownership of a created being is limited and only includes a few of these created things. A man may own that which is under his control, but he does not own that which is under the control of others.
2-It is limited, not absolute. A man does not own that which he has in the fullest sense of the word. Hence he can only dispose of it in ways that are permitted in sharee’ah. For example, if he wants to burn his wealth or torture his animal, we say that this is not permitted. But Allaah owns things in a complete and comprehensive sense.
With regard to saying that Allaah is the only disposer of affairs, this means that a person believes that Allaah is the Only One Who is in control, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs?’ They will say: ‘Allaah.’ Say: ‘Will you not then be afraid of Allaah’s punishment (for setting up rivals in worship with Allaah)?’
Such is Allaah, your Lord in truth. So after the truth, what else can there be, save error? How then are you turned away?”
With regard to a man’s disposal of affairs, it is limited to that which is under his control and that which is permitted to him by sharee’ah.
Based on this, there is nothing wrong with attributing ownership and disposal of affairs to a person, but this sovereignty and disposal of affairs is limited. There is no one who owns and controls all things in a comprehensive sense except Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. And Allaah knows best.
See al-Qawl al-Mufeed, 1/13.