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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Women as Earning Hands

Some Deliberations in the Light of Islamic Tenets

According to the Islamic principles of life, a woman should lead a kind of life in which the earning aspect of domestic obligation should principally remain the responsibility of the man in the family.The code of Islamic principles known as Shari’ah does not compel the woman to earn sustenance in any case and the entire responsibility of sustaining the economic aspect of family life rests with the man.

Before their marriages, all the responsibility of food, shelter, clothing and the fulfillment of other needs of girls rests with the fathers and after they reach their new homes after marriage, this responsibility shifts to their husbands. In Sahih Bukhari the women have been declared the queens of the household! In Surah Al Ahzab Verse 33 Allah says, “And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to do in the days of pagan ignorance”.

The Prophet (PBUH) had divided the household between his daughter Fatima (R.A) and his son in law Ali (R.A) in a way that, the former was responsible for the affairs inside the house and the latter had the charge of errands outside the house. Similarly, the responsibility of security and the protection of life and property rest on bodies comprising men and the congregational prayers which are Wajib (necessary) and Sunnate Mu’akkada(emphasized Sunnah) are to be performed by the men whereas the women are repeatedly advised to say their prayers at home.

This division of labour between men and womendoes not only reflect the Islamic character but it is also in accordance with the general human nature which assures peace and comfort of both. At the same time we must remember that goingout of the house and opting for a profession or doing a business is not in any way prohibited in Islam. All those professional commitments that men can take up, are allowed for women as well but with certain limitations and conditionality. Sometimes, the women who follow professions like medicine and teaching can address the collective needs of the womenfolk in the society and hence it rather becomes desirable. The four cares that should be observed in this regard are as follows:

  1. Proper dress and veil
  2. No free mixing of opposite genders
  3. Safe means of commutation to and from the place of work
  4. Appropriate permission by the parent or the guardian
  5. Financial independence tends to give women a more assertive ego and that sometimes clash with the ego of the husband and the mutual sense of interdependence suffers sometimes amounting to severance of relationship.
  6. Sometimes for staying away from home for longer hours, the men in the family become jealous and full of doubts and this adversely affects the trust inherent in the married relationship.
  7. The children suffer the most as they need the presence of their mother almost incessantly.
  8. The kitchen, a very important aspect of the household, suffers and this tells upon the health of the entire family.
  9. Sometimes the women undergo sexual harassment and this leaves deep scars upon their psyche.

The two major benefits that the women’s professional outlook entails include financial support for the family and a relative sense of independence for the women who are unduly suppressed in chauvinistic households but the overall harm that the growing trend of women’s professional outlook is causing to the society generally and to themselves particularly include the following:

In the light of the above discussion, women are allowed to do a job but it should be managed under utmost need and with utmost care keeping with the integrity of the household at the topmost priority.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)