Assalamu alaykoum wa rahatullahi wa barakatuh
Is it permissable for a muslim woman, living in the western world, to work in a non-segregated office? This is a woman who truly wants to earn her own money, and who enjoys to work and be productive. She is working in an office, where her colleagues respects her religion, hence she is able to pray at the salat times, and to wear complete/proper hijab. Also, it is nearly impossible to find any kind of job that is segregated in this part of the world, and to live in this part of the world with only one salary.
I’ve asked several islamic scholars, during different lectures/seminars, and the majority answered that it was permissable due to the circumstances here in the west. What are your opinions on this?
Also, I’ve learned that a woman should remain at home, and not go out except for necessary purposes. What counts as necessary purposes? Could a necessary purpose be that a woman seeks to get some fresh air and/or wants to go for a walk (for mentally and physically purposes)?
Jazaka allahu khayran
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
Firstly, if you have already asked a ruling from reliable scholars who you trust, that it is best that you do not continue inquiring from others. If another scholar gives a contradictory ruling, it will just lead to more confusion.
As for your query, it is permissible for a female to work and earn her own income, if the following conditions are met:
- Her husband does not prohibit her,
- She is fully clad when leaving the home and adheres to all the laws of Hijaab from the time of leaving the home until she returns back.
- She is not going in a taxi or lift club with any non Mahram males,
- There is no unnecessary interaction with males at the work place.
The same rulings apply when going out to for fresh air. As long as no laws of Hijab are violated, and your husband gives you permission, there is no problem with it. The best is to go with your husband or Mahram, and if there are no other males around, you may also unveil your face.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .