Can a Husband Work for his Wife?

A sister is a manager of a firm. Is it permissible for her to employ her husband? In other words, is it permissible for a husband to work for his wife?

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is permissible for a husband to work for his wife, provided two conditions are met:

1) The work should not be disrespectful and disgraceful to the husband, such as cleaning the wife’s footwear, cleaning her office, etc, for that is contrary to the Islamic understanding of a husband-wife relationship.

The husband is considered to be an Amir of the family. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) called the husband a Sheppard in respect of his family, and that he will be responsible for his flock. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

2) The work should not be such that the husband is required to carry it out even without being paid for it, such as looking after the wife, providing her with food and shelter, etc.

Imam al-Kasani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his renowned Bada’i al-Sana’i:

“If the wife hires her husband to help her in the household affairs with a fixed amount of salary, it would be permitted, because taking care of the household affairs is not (m: strictly speaking) an obligation on the husband, hence she would be hiring her husband for doing something that is not necessary upon him.” (Bada’i al-Sana’i, 4/192)

In conclusion, the husband may work for his wife provided the job is not outrageously disgraceful and provided it is not something that is an obligation upon him.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Source