Q. I was just curious to know what is the islamic view of a muslim woman who wants to stay at home and focus on her deen and islamic knowledge, tend to her wifely (cooking, cleaning, washing), motherly duties (homework, dropping and picking up kids from school) as opposed to working and spending most of her day tending to other people’s needs? What is the islamic view if she wants to be at home and her husband wants her to work? Does she have to be obdient to him and feel oppressed and as though she is doing it just for him to be pleased with her whereas she is hurt and frustrated? If she does work, does he have any right to her earnings? Can he demand it or is it for her and her use or for her to choose to give him out of her earnings?
A. It is commendable and encouraged for a woman to stay at home and do her motherly duties as well as fulfill the rights of the husband over her. In fact, this is in accordance to the blessed teachings of the Holy Quran and that of the prophet (SA). It is only in this way, you will be able to have a proper Islamic home with the children growing under the guidance, supervision, care and training of the mother who is the ‘first Islamic Institute’ of the child.
The right that Islam has given to a wife is to stay at home and fulfill her role as a wife and as a mother. No one can (should) take away this right from her, the husband cannot demand, request or force her to work. He must fulfill his duty of providing for her and his children. If he wants her to work, she does not have to accede to his request and be obedient to him.
If at any given time, the wife begins to work, then the husband shall have no right over her earnings. He cannot demand anything from it, and it is for her to give him out of her earnings, or help in taking care of some of the expenses at home. These are however, not essential upon her.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan