Female section

Do I need the permission of husband to do bay’ah and learn knowledge?

Question: What is the verdict of the steadfast Islamic scholars on this matter whereby a woman is very pious. She intends to pledge her spiritual allegiance [bayt] to a virtuous Islamic scholar who is aware of the spiritual way so she can clean her inner self and purify her heart. But her husband forbids her this good deed. So if this woman secretly pledges her spiritual allegiance from her husband to a virtuous saint, will that be correct or not? And if she goes to her spiritual guide [pir] to get the teachings of the spiritual way, will that be correct or not? State and be rewarded on the day of accountability.

Sender: Muhammad Ahmad Saheb, from Jalandhar in India

It is not required to have the permission of the husband to obtain the blessings of spiritual allegiance from a practising scholar [‘alim amil] and perfect knower [‘arif kamil] whilst learning from him the knowledge of religion and the spiritual way. Neither necessitates in this subject in relation to its prohibition as long as there is no suspicion of any degeneration of his rights.
In al-Bahr al-Raiq, al-Nahr al-Falaiq and al-Durr al-Mukhtar1 and so on and more other books in [the subject of] Kitab al-Jihad it is said that it is important for the woman to obey the husband in these matters preceded in al-Nikah and its appendices.
[Durr al-Mukhtar: 1/339 کتاب الجہاد]1

Indeed, going to the home of the spiritual guide [pir] to learn the individual non-necessary things [ghayr-wajib ‘ayni] cannot be done without the permission of the husband. Instead, even for necessary things [wajib], as long as it can be learned through the husband. This issue is ongoing in the books of fiqh and therefore due to the success of Allah we have discussed it in detail in our fatawa in Kitab al-Nikah.
Rather, it is not permissible to go to strange men without lawful necessity with the consent of the husband. Insofar if the husband allows the wife to go out without a lawful necessity, then in the aspect of the act both the wife and the husband will be sinful. Just as it says in al-Khulasa2, al-Ashbah, al-Durr and other major books. If you want it in detail, turn to our fatawa. And the person who is unaware of the people of his era is ignorant. And Allah knows best.
[al-Khulasa al-Fatawa: 2/53 کتاب النکاح الفصل الخامس عشر]2
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
28-Dhu al-Hijjah-1313 || ≈ 10-Jun-1896
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 22, p. 207, #63
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