Fatwa: # 14883
Category: Financial Transactions
Country: South Africa
Date: 10th February 2007

Title

A friend of mine told me that it is harram for him to let me pay the debt around the house..

Question

My husband is self employed,The business is doing okay,not excellent,but good enough to provide for our family.I earn a good salary and pays some of the monthly debt of the house example school creche and some other small things and also contribute towards the payment of the house.With the result my salary does not last the whole month and I ahve to ask for pertol money and money for odds during the month,cos I run short.He does buy food and what ever should we come short during the month.I want to know is it haraam for him to let me pay for some of the debt if he is in a position to pay everything.And also if he  insist that I stay at home and not work,do I have to honour this request.At least my help makes our lives easier and I enjoy my work very much.I do not want to stop working.

A friend of mine told me that it is harram for him to let me pay the debt around the house.I need to know the truth around this issue.

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Your zeal to know the truth is worthy of praise. It is only when one knows the truth that one will be able to follow the truth. The fountainhead of truth is the Quran and Ahadith of Rasulullah (S.A.W.). A true believer is motivated by the guidance of the Quran and Ahadith.

The role of women is expressly mentioned in the Quran and Ahadith of Rasulullah (S.A.W.). Allah says, “Wa Qarna Fi Buyootikunna” which means “And remain in your homes.” Rasulullah (S.A.W.) said when a woman emerges from her home, the Shaitaan peeps at her. A woman is the net of Shaitaan. In it, it traps men through the form, shape and beauty of women. This is clearly understood and witnessed in all mixed gatherings. Shamelessness and immoralities stem from such gatherings. If there is a need for a woman to leave her home, then she may do so, provided she covers herself. If a woman is poor and needy and there is no source of income, for example she is a widow, the Shariah excuses her for leaving her home to earn an income to support herself and her dependants.

In your case, you have a husband. He is earning and his income is sufficient to fulfill the basic needs of the family. Your income serves to live more comfortably. Accordingly, it is not permissible for you to leave the home to merely earn an income. The Islamic factors in the working environment will not be overlooked by Shariah in your case. If you feel like working, you may do so but without violating the laws of Shariah, for example, working from home. In that instance you may use your income as you wish including paying your husband’s debts.

Sister, you state you enjoy working and your income is a source of luxury for your family. That may be true but did you consider the negative side of your working? Firstly, you are violating the law and order of Allah by unnecessarily exiting the house. Secondly, you are faced with un-Islamic environment of the workplace. Thirdly, your children suffer from the absent parent syndrome and its consequences. Fourthly, the stress level at work is a health hazard for you. What is the point in bearing such a huge loss just for some material gain and comfort?

A Muslim sacrifices to obey Allah and his Rasul (S.A.W.). You may not have more money and means of comfort, but obeying Allah brings peace and contentment in one’s life.

Sister, you requested to know the truth in the matter and the above explanation is to satisfy your zeal.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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