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Seeking the husband's permission before going out

Monday 09-08-2010

Islam enjoins order in everything: in one's habits and transactions as well as while traveling or taking up a place of residence. When three people travel together, Islam commands that...

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Islam enjoins order in everything: in one's habits and transactions as well as while traveling or taking up a place of residence. When three people travel together, Islam commands that one of them should be the leader. Given that reason, as well as the keenness to organize the Muslim community, Islam gave the man the authority to lead the family as he is more capable than the woman to fulfill this duty. On the other hand, Islam entrusted the woman with a role which befits her psychological nature and physical formation, which is providing the Muslim community with the believing generations which are ready to bear the message of Islam.

 
In Al-Fataawa by Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, he said, "When a woman gets married, her husband has authority over her more than her parents and she is required to obey him more than anyone else." In a Hadeeth (narration), the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "This worldly life is an enjoyment, and the best of its enjoyment is a righteous woman who pleases you when you look at her, obeys you when you command her and safeguards your honor and wealth when you are absent."[Sahih Muslim]
It was narrated on the authority of Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Any woman who dies while her husband is satisfied with her, she will enter Paradise." [At-Tirmithi: Hasan]
 
It was narrated on the authority of Ibn Abi Awfa, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said,
Mu‘aath came from Ash-Shaam and he prostrated before the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “O Mu‘aath, what is this?”He replied, “I went to Ash-Shaam (greater Syria) and found them prostrating before their archbishops and their emperors. I liked it in my heart that we should do so for you”' Upon this, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, remarked:“Do not do so. If I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone besides Allaah, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband. By Him in whose hand is Muhammad's soul, a woman does not fulfill the right of her Lord unless she fulfills the right of her husband, and if he wants to have sexual intercourse with her even if she is on a camel's saddle, she should not refuse.”[Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and Ibn Hibbaan]
 
When the husband wants his wife to live with him in another place while he fulfills her rights and observes the commands of Allaah The Almighty regarding her, and her parents disagree, she is required to obey her husband, not her parents.
 
Nevertheless, when the husband forbids her to fulfill the commands of Allaah The Almighty or orders her to commit the forbiddances of Allaah, she is not required to obey him in this. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "A creature must not be obeyed at the expense of disobeying The Creator." [Ahmad]
 
It should be made clear that obeying the husband is not a form of hegemony, violation or disdain of the woman's character; rather, it is an aspect of obedience to Allaah The Almighty and one of the virtuous acts that bring the wife closer to Allaah The Almighty and of which she should be proud. This distinguishes the observant Muslim woman from the non-observant one who has neither a father to discipline her nor a husband to stop her. Rather, she goes out whenever she wants and goes to whichever place she wants. Referring judgment to the Sharee'ah (Islamic legislation) of Allaah in such matters is the only resort for salvation. Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them.} [Quran 2: 228] This degree is the man's authority and responsibility for the family.
 
A wife is not permitted to leave her home without her husband's permission, whether she is a wet-nurse, midwife or belongs to any other profession. When she leaves her husband's home without his permission, she is considered as being defiant to him, disobedient to Allaah The Almighty and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and deserving of punishment.
 When she goes out to work without her husband's permission, this is considered defiance to the husband and disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If this is the case for going out to work, then what about going out for visits, regardless of the reasons, even if it is to visit her sick parents?
 
The husband is entitled to prevent his wife from going out even for necessary things, such as visiting her parents, nursing them or attending the funeral of anyone of them – if he has a sound reason for doing so. Regarding a woman who has a husband and a sick mother, Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him, judged that obedience to the husband takes precedence over visiting her mother unless he allows her.
 
Going out for worship also needs the husband's permission. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "When your wives ask for your permission to go out to the Masjid at night, you should allow them."  [Ahmad, Abu Daawood] 
 
It was narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Khaalid, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Do not prevent the female slaves of Allaah from going to the Masjids (Mosques) of Allaah." [Ibn Hibbaan]
 
Commenting on this Hadeeth, Al-Qastallaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, "When there is no expected temptation to come from them or afflict them." Unlike our current era where corruption and corrupters are many, safety and security were common during that time. It is mentioned in some Hadeeths that it is better for the woman to perform the prayer at home than in the Masjid. According to the narration of Habeeb ibn Abi Thaabit, may Allaah have mercy on him, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Do not prevent the female slaves of Allaah from going to the Masjids and their homes are better for them."
 
‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, also narrated a Hadeeth in which she said that if the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, were alive to see how the conduct of women has changed, he would have prevented them from going out for prayer and building on this, she was of the opinion that women should not go out to pray in Masjids
 
According to another narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "When one's wife asks permission (to go out to the Masjid or for any other reason such as attending the ‘Eed or visiting a sick person), he should not prevent her." [Al-Bukhaari]
 
Commenting on the Hadeeth, Al-Qastallaani, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, "The Hadeeth does not restrict going out to the Masjid only. Rather, it is general and includes both the places of worship and others as well."
 
Thus, the Hadeeths indicate that the woman is not permitted to go out without her husband's permission.

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