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How to deal with woman that wants to work.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I would like to know how to deal with the woman who wants to do a job. She thinks that, if she doesn’t work she doesn’t have economic independency despite the fact that I am giving her enough pocket money from which she is being able save after her personal expenses like buying gifts for her friends and other. She keeps telling me that she wants to work. I told her that it’s not good and if I am able to find a job where there is no male intervention I will let you go for that. She ususally doesn’t speak to other males and she did it since her school. So, she said, she will not speak to them at all. I told her you have to talk to other males in the office as you will work under them. So, she told either I don’t believe her or may be I am having a crooked mentality that is too outdated to accept the women emancipation. Even she asked me how was that I work while there are females in the office. I told her that I never talk to them and most of them are working in lower rank than that of mine. I also told her that if I have to talk them, then I always keep my eyes lower and I don’t go on chatting with them. For that she got angry. She said “What do you think, I will go and chat with the male colleagues in the office. You don’t believe me at all…….” . She refers to her college teacher who advised her not to be dependent on somebody. Moreover, she feels that I am overtaken by possesiveness for her where she is too open to let me go to the office with women.


According to the Shari?ah, the Qur’aan and Ahaadith, the woman’s place is at home. It is the responsibility of the husband to support his wife and fulfil all her needs. If a woman does not have any financial support, then only she may seek employment. In such a situation, she must adhere to the laws of Hijaab.

The concept of females working merely for economic independency has no basis in the Shari?ah. In fact, it is a root of many evils. It is this economic independency in a woman that gives her the courage to break her marital home. Consider the marital breakdown in the US (4-5) due to woman independency. If she was dependant, or her husband, she would exercise restraint and maintain her marriage. That is best in the interest of her family, husband and children. It does not mean that a woman should be dependant on men merely to maintain her marriage.

We have merely expressed the wisdom of a female being dependant. This also does not mean a female cannot be rich. She may earn an income but without violating the laws of the Shari?ah. Firstly, a wife must get the consent of her husband to work. If the husband refuses, she cannot work.

She must adhere to the laws of Hijaab. Any violation of the laws of Hijaab even with the consent of the husband is not permissible. that includes working in an environment of males, females mixing. Not talking to the opposite gender is not sufficient grounds for permissibility. The form and shape of a female must be concealed from a male. Segregation of sexes is an integral part of Deen. That maintains a healthy and pure mind. A mind contaminated with the different forms and shapes of woman is death to spirituality. It leads to funtasising of the opposite gender which is a strong and motivating cause for every form of illicit relationship.

If your wife wants to work, you may consider any form of home industry or alternatively she may have some skills to offer to woman. There are many woman who require services in the form of guidance and counseling. Your wife should consider undertaking a course of studying about a Muslim woman’s role and assist other woman. There is a great need for such counseling and guidance, especially in the US. That will be a great contribution from her side. She may also charge a fee for her time.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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