Wife leaving the husband to visit her parents in Pakistan

Fatwa ID: 02090

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

I am married and have the following issues with my wife:
she wants to travel regularly to Pakistan to see her family 2/3 times a year.  Even though I have said no she has taken the kids and gone for Ramadan returning after eid.  I am alone and will struggle for Ramadan.  How should I deal with this & what are my rights? 

Answer:

Bismillah

Your answer will be looked at in two parts. Firstly, I will discuss the issue of the rights your wife has in terms of visiting her parents and secondly, your wife travelling to Pakistan.

The basic principle is that a woman should not leave her husband’s home without his permission, and if she leaves without his permission, then she will be considered to be disobedient, hence, sinful for her actions. (Hidayah p.438 v.2)

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: ‘There are three people whose prayers will not be accepted, neither their good works: a disobedient slave until he returns to his masters and puts his hand in theirs; a woman whose husband is angry with her until he is pleased with her again; and the drunkard, until he becomes sober.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban p.178 v.12)

However, there are some instances where the wife is excused from this obligation. One of them is the situation where the wife has a right that her parents visit her once a week, and if they are not able to do so, she can visit them once a week. In terms of staying overnight or for a few days then the husband’s consent must be required.

Allamah Ibn Abidin Shami raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) states:

“The husband should not prevent his wife from leaving to visit her parents once a week if they are not able to visit her…It is related from Imam Abu Yusuf that her leaving to visit her parents is pre-conditional to them being unable to visit her.” (Raddul Muhtar p.323 –p.324 v.5)

The upshot of the aforementioned information is that your wife has an Islamic right to visit her parents once a week, but she is not allowed to spend the night with them without consent from the husband.

Regarding your question, we can derive that the wife would not be termed disobedient forgoing to visit her parents once every week, but will be for spending the night with them without your consent. Furthermore, she is leaving you behind in a difficulty situation which goes against the Islamic teaching of the wife respecting and being considerate to the husbands needs.

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:  “No human being is permitted to prostrate to another, but if this were permitted I would have ordered wives to prostrate to their husbands, because of the greatness of the rights they have over them.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Saaidah Aaisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) asked the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Who has the greatest rights over a woman?” He said, “Her husband.” She asked, ‘And who has the greatest rights over a man?” He said, “His mother.” (Musnad Bazzar)

Saaidah Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Any woman who dies, and her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah p.133 v.1)

The second issue which is very important is the issue of travelling without a mahram.

They are many clear narrations regarding this:

1)      “A woman must not travel except with a mahram and a man must not enter upon her except if she has a mahram.”  (Bukhari p.250 v.1)

2)      “A woman must not travel for three days except with a mahram.” (Muslim p.432 v.1)

3)      “It is unlawful for a woman who believes in Allah and the last day that she travels the distance of three nights without a mahram accompanying her.” (Muslim p.433 v.1)

Allahmah Ibn Aabedeen Shami raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) writes that it will be impermissible for a woman to travel the distance of three days and three nights without a mahram. However, it will be permissible for her to travel a distance, which is less than that without a mahram because of need. (Raddul Muhtar p.465 v.3)

Finally, it should be borne in mind that what I mentioned above is the Islamic right. However, these matters should be solved with mutual discussion, tolerance, and keeping the interests of one’s spouse ahead of one’s own.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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