Can a husband stop his wife from working so that she can stay at home and take care of her children?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Your question will be looked at in two parts. Firstly, whether it is permissible for women in general to work and secondly can a husband prevent his wife from working.
Regarding the first part, if there is no one supporting the Muslim woman, it will be permissible for her to work as long as she maintains and adheres to the teachings of Islam. For example she does not have to shake hands with the opposite gender or wear clothes, which reveals her body and nakedness.
Regarding the second issue, it will be permissible for the husband to stop his wife from working to look after the children. This ruling can be inferred from the following saying of Imam Kasani (RA) who mentions that one of the effects of marriage is that the husband owns the right of his wife being confined to him, and that she cannot leave the house without his permission. (Badaius Sanai p.331 v.2)
It is because of this particular right that is that if a wife leaves the house without the husband’s permission, then she will be considered as being disobedient and will lose her right to maintenance. (Raddul Muhtar p.286 v.5)
Based on the aforementioned information, the husband Islamically does have a right to prevent his wife from working.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham