Wife may not work without husband's permission
Fatwa No: 236842

  • Fatwa Date:26-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1435
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Question

If wife works and husband does not want her to work but the wife insists on working then is it permissible to deposit the wife's check into a joint account (husband and wife) and spend it on household expenses, while letting her know that this money will be used for bills, mortgage, and grocery? Even if the wife stays home she does not perform her duties as a wife and neglect's husband's rights. How to handle a disobeying wife in this manner?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

It is not permissible for a wife to go out to work without the permission of her husband if he provides her basic needs. Please refer to Fataawa 92407 and 104596.

However, the husband has the right to condition on his wife an amount of money in return for allowing her to work.

With regard to putting the money in a joint account (shared by both spouses), this is permissible. But this should be based on a clear basis that leaves no room for disputes or problems. It is not permissible for the husband to dispose of the money of his wife without her permission. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The money of a Muslim is sacred unless he gives it with his own proper consent.” [Ahmad]

On the other hand, the wife is obliged to fulfill her husband's rights over her and the husband is also obliged to fulfill the rights of his wife over him. For instance, he has the right over her to obey him in what is permissible and serve him in his home according to the customs, as this is an obligation on her according to the most evident opinion, as we clarified in Fatwa 86344.

If she refuses to fulfill her obligation towards her husband, then she is Naashiz (recalcitrant). Allaah clarified in the Quran how to deal with a Naashiz wife. For more benefit in this regard, please refer to Fatwa 85402.

Also, for more benefit on the rights of spouses upon each other, please refer to Fataawa 85308 and 85167.

Allah Knows best.

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