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