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Wife working, husband staying at home

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulihsan.com
My current situation is that her wage is sufficient for us to survive on but my job isn’t. So we made Mashwara and decided that rather then we both go to work and put the child in childcare, she would go to work and I would stay at home and look after our child. I have been ridiculed by many brothers in the Masjid where I perform Salah, saying that this is incorrect and that this is the reason why so many of the youngster are going astray, as they miss out on the mother’s love. I was wondering if I had done the correct thing or should I reconsider the situation where I work more hours to compensate but then that would mean I would see my child less. I hope your words of wisdom will enlighten me to act upon what is best for my Deen and family.

A: Haamidaw wa Musalliyaa

After analyzing your situation as mentioned in the question, whereas what you have initially decided amongst yourselves that your wife will work whilst you would look after the child, cannot be deemed Haraam and prohibited provided that your wife is able to adopt the strict laws of Hijaab when going to work, it is nevertheless against the general responsibilities allocated to the husband and wife. The responsibility of the husband is to provide for his family, whereas the wife is ordered to stay at home and bring up her children according to the Sharia. This allocation of responsibilities has many benefits and wisdoms within it and creates the balance that societies are looking for. Hence, if there is indeed a way for you to earn as much as your family requires whilst allowing your wife to remain at home, it is better that you adopt this method even though you may initially not be able to spend long hours with your child.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Shafiq Jakhura (Mufti)
Fatwa Dept.

This answer was collected from DarulIhsan.com. It’s the official website of Darul Ihsan, which is an Islamic organisation (PBO) based in Durban, South Africa.

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