I have met this sister, and adore her very much. May Allah make it easy for me to marry her, inshaAllah. May Allah also protect us from any form of sin before marriage, and guide us in the proper way for marriage. The sister is studying psychology, and wants to become a professional psychologist. She looks forward to help others with mental and emotional afflictions. As you may know, a psychologist, like a doctor, may have her own office, in which she would be seeing her patients. Is this scenario islamically permissible? She wears the Hijab, and often wears the burka as well (otherwise loose clothing). If she continues maintaining her Hijab, and becomes a professional psychologist, is it going to be alright for her to work? I know this profession is very noble, as she would be helping others out, but what about the issue of dealing with non-mahram male patients? Does that make the job impermissible, or is this an exception for doctors and psychologists? Please let me know what should be done. If necessary, I may request her to become a housewife, however, she is looking forward to become a psychologist too. Kindly advice what my suggestions/requests to her should be, before I commit in marriage to her.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
At the outset, we commend you on seeking the advice of Shari’ah in taking such an important decision in your life. We also encourage you to seek the opinion of Shari’ah in every aspect of your life.
Islam has made it compulsory on the husband to provide the wife with food, clothing and shelter. The duty of the wife is to see to the domestic work of the house and the upbringing of the children.
Bahishti Zewar (English Translation) Vol.1 Pg.413-416 (ZamZam Publishers)
If a woman is faced with a situation where she has no one to support her financial needs and she is left with no option but to go to work, then it will be permissible for her to take up a job that does not require the intermingling of sexes, and in which the Shari’ purdah is not violated. It will still not be permissible for her to work in such a place where she has to interact with men and the
Aapke Masaail aur Unka Hal Vol.8 Pgs.69 & 91 (Maktabah Ludhyanwi)
Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah Vol.17 Pg.305 (Kutub Khana Mazhari)
In the light of the abovementioned, it will not be permissible for the sister to take up the profession, as there seems no dire need to take up a job and it requires direct interaction with non-mahram males.
However, if she still wants to take up this profession and her intention is to serve the community and help others out, then you could advise her to designate her services (does not necessarily have to be free) to females only. This will be a great service to the Islamic community as it will solve the problem of those Muslim females who are left with no option but to consult male psychologists. She will definitely be rewarded for this, as long as her intention is to serve the community, and at the same time can maintain her career.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Abu Yahya,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah