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From the 'Discourses on Islamic Way of Life' - By Mufti Taqi Usmani (db)

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Husband's permission for going out

But here is another requirement to note in order to understand the true position. After knowing only one side of a case and being ignorant of the other side people begin to take undue advantage. It has already been explained in detail that it is not obligatory for a wife to cook food, according to the laws of the Shari'ah. In his Tradition the Holy Prophet has said that “women remain confined to your houses like captives”. It means that it is not lawful for them, to go out of the house without the permission of their husbands. Just as the jurists have explained in detail the issue of cooking food, in the same way they have also explained in detail that women cannot leave the house for meeting kinsmen, even their parents without the permission of their husbands. If the parents visit the house of their son-in-law to meet their daughter, the husband cannot prevent them from seeing her. The jurists have prescribed limits for such casual visits. The parents may visit their daughter only once a week and go back after seeing her.

This is their daughter’s right which a husband cannot deny, yet she cannot go out of the house without her husband’s permission. Thus Almighty Allah has, in His mercy, created a balance between the rights and responsibilities of husband and wife. On the one hand the wife is not legally bound to cook food and, on the other hand, she is legally bound not to go out of the house without her husband’s permission.

Mutual Co-operation is vital for smooth life

Whatever has been stated above is only the legal side of the matter; but the beauty of mutual behaviour with each other is that each should try to please the other. Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatimah [radhiallaahu anhuma] had distributed the duties of the household between them in such a way that Hazrat Ali did all the outdoor work, while Hazrat Fatimah performed the indoor work. This is exactly the Sunnah (practice) of the Holy Prophet which should be followed. Husband and wife should not always involve themselves in the implications of the law. The best way is that both should behave with each other open-heartedly. The division of work between husband and wife on outdoor and indoor basis is a natural division to enable them both to keep the vehicle of life going smoothly.

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