I’m married with 3 children aged 2, 5 and 8. My wife is a government officer who is entitled to several secured privileges such as a pension scheme. When our third house maid ran off 3 months ago we decided that we wanted to take child care personally meaning one of us needed to quit job. We then agreed that my wife had a more secure job and she should keep it. Therefore I quit my job as an engineer and became a full time house husband. My routine includes cleaning house, preparing food, washing clothes and dishes, driving kids to school etc.
What is the Islamic view and ruling on my situation? Vis I’m not providing money for my family and let my wife do that.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
The innate qualities, characteristics and capabilities of a woman differ vastly from that of a man. These differences are featured in both their physiology as well as their psychology. As a result, each gender has been assigned with such roles in society which are applicable to their intrinsic competence. If these functions are properly adhered to, they will prove to be complimentary and a means of mutual fulfillment.
In Islam, women are liberated from all civil, social and commercial obligations. Female activities consist of the fulfillment of household chores and upbringing children. At a young age, the child itself turns instinctively to the mother for comfort and security. This necessitates that a woman spends her time at home.
The need for women remaining indoors is further exemplified by the great vulnerability they are exposed to in the modern world. This essentially is the reason why our Fuqaha forbid a woman from attending the prayers. Allah the most high, very emphatically commanded the noble consorts of Nabi ((sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ
((And remain attached to your homes)) (Al Ahzaab 33)
If this was the command for those women who spent their lives in the noble company of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), you can well fathom how much more precaution should be exercised in this age when evil and immorality has become so widespread. This injunction is additionally corroborated by the following hadith
– حدثنا محمد بن بشار حدثنا عمرو بن عاصم حدثنا همام عن قتادة عن مورق عن أبى الأحوص عن عبد الله عن النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- قال « المرأة عورة فإذا خرجت استشرفها الشيطان ». قال أبو عيسى هذا حديث غريب.(الترمذي 3-478 دار الكتب العلمية)
((A woman is a concealed (being); when she emerges (from her home) the devil raises his glance toward her)) (Tirmidhi 3/478 Dar al Kutub al Ilmiyyah)
As for men, they inherently possess an advantage in those areas of life which demands physical power and agility. Thus, the male has been tasked with the responsibility of earning an income and sustaining the family. Allah Ta’ala says
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ
((Men are protectors and maintainers of women)) (An Nisa 34)
In conclusion, we advise that your wife forsakes her occupation. Even if there apparently seems to be some worldly harm, there will be more blessings in the wealth earned by you. Allah Ta’ala says
وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
((…And he who fears Allah, Allah will make a way out for him, and will bless him with sustenance from such avenues which he can least perceive, and whosoever places his trust in Allah, Allah will be sufficient for him)) (At Talaaq 2/3)
Sustenance is ultimately in the hands of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, let not Shaitaan deceive you with the material gains of this world.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah