Female section

Is it allowed for Muslim women to work?

Question: What is the verdict of the Islamic scholars on this matter where Zayd’s wife works in a reliable place due to scarcity? Moreover, Zayd and his wife come from a noble family, for she does not wear clothing which reveals the satr [body parts]. Some people say it is not allowed to read the prayer behind Zayd because his wife is still being unveiled amongst marriageable men [ghayr-mahram]. If Zayd’s wife is not working, the livelihood from Zayd’s salary alone will not be enough.

Questioner: Nanhey Miyan Saheb, Bareilly Sharif in India

There are five conditions:
  1. There should be no transparent clothing showing the hair of the head, wrist or any part of the body.
  2. The clothing should not be shaped and tight making the shape of the body evident.
  3. None of the parts of the hair, neck, stomach, wrist or shin must be visible.
  4. There must never be a little alone time with a marriageable man.
  5. Being present there and coming in and out of it should not be a suspicion of schism [fitna].
These are the five conditions if they are combined then there is no harm, and if there is even one less it is haram [forbidden], and if Zayd disdains them or does not adjust on the basis of his ability, then there is certainly blame upon him,1 otherwise not. Allah stated,
أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌۭ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ
No burdened soul bears another soul’s burden [53:38]

And Allah knows best.

al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
24-Dhu al-Qida-1331 || ≈ 25-Oct-1913
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 22, p. 247, #116
Click for more fatawa’s of Ala Hazrat
  1. Meaning, that he is content with his wife working whilst not abiding the above conditions
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