Deoband fatwa: It’s illegal for women to work, support family

…as if your fatwa is gonna gulp all muslims out here…..

I guess it is time to have a look at my post Fatwa Drama-Behind the curtain..

Some people claim that the Quran explicitly prohibits Muslim women from going out of their homes. To support this claim, they often refer to the following verses in the Surah Al-Ahzab of the Quran:
033.032 O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.
033.033 And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.
What they ignore or forget is that the above-quoted commandment ordering the wives of the Prophet to stay in their houses was applicable precisely to them, and not to all Muslim women. According to some scholars of the Quran, Umar Faruq advised the Prophet to ask his wives to adopt seclusion within their homes because all sorts of people, good as well as bad, used to come to the Prophet’s house to meet him. It was on this occasion, they say, that these verses were revealed.

There is even early Islamic precedent for Muslim women working outside their homes. For instance, the Caliph Umar appointed a woman, Shifa Bint Abdullah, as the administrator of the market in Madinah. Obviously, for her work she had to regularly visit the market, inspect how people were conducting their businesses and interact and talk with the businessmen, most of who must have been men. Today, in contrast, many ulema might balk at a woman taking up such a job. They might argue that a market is a centre of materialism, the very opposite of spiritualism, and that a woman working out of her house, and, that too in a market, would cause strife, and that she might even lose her morals. Yet, the Caliph Umar appointed Shifa Bint Abdullah to this post although he could well have chosen a man for this purpose had he wanted to.

They say :

There are several obvious guidelines that should be followed if a woman must work:

First, she must obtain consent from her guardian or husband (if married), who may offer a broader perspective on how her work may influence the family and its functioning.

Secondly, a woman must ensure that her home and children are properly cared for. Her husband may be of assistance in this area, or outside help may be employed.

Thirdly, care must be taken to choose employment that is appropriate and fits with her skills. Obviously, any work that deals with forbidden activities, services, or products would not be allowed but there is a world of possibilities available.

Forthly, any job that prevents her from fulfilling any of her Islamic obligations, like Hijaab or Prayer for example, is not an option to be considered.

Fifthly, while at the job, a woman must maintain her inwardly and outwardly modesty and chastity.

Which woman on earth,irrespective of her religion,goes to work,without fulfilling these requirements? Maybe there are a few who don’t care for husband or kids,and yes,there are more number of men who don’t bring home any money and care for wife and kids. I don’t see any fatwa against them..

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Edited to add :

No ‘fatwa’ against working women, says Deoband

Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s foremost Islamic seminary, on Wednesday denied it had asked Muslim women not to work along with men and said it only suggested that working women should dress “properly.”

“We had only given an opinion based on Sharia that women need to be properly covered in government and private offices,” said Maulana Adnan Munshi, spokesman for the seminary in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

He denied a media report that the seminary was opposed to men and women working together.

“No new fatwa was issued,” Maulana Munshi told IANS on telephone, adding that even the opinion on dress code was given when a Muslim woman desired to know if women could go to work without a ‘purdah’ or veil.

“That too is one-and-a-half months old,” he said.

The Deoband institution also denied having issued a ‘fatwa’ whereby a husband’s dependence on his wife’s earnings was declared illegal.

“We have not issued any such ‘fatwa’ declaring a woman’s financial support to the family as illegal. I fail to understand how such a news was flashed across a section of the media,” Mufti Mohammad Shakeel of the ‘Fatwa’ department told IANS over telephone from Deoband.

According to him, the only case where the income of the lady of the house could be treated as ‘haram’ or illegal was when the means of her earnings were unlawful.

He stressed that neither had such a fatwa been issued in the past, nor was there any scope for such a ‘fatwa’ to be issued in future as it was against the basic spirit of Islam, which believed in equality between man and wife.

“I would not be surprised if someone was misusing the name of this esteemed Deoband institution to paint a distorted picture of the Shariat by projecting such a view,” Mufti Shakeel said.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed, Naib Imam of Lucknow’s Idgah who also heads the city’s oldest seminary Firangi Mahal, said Islam did not discriminate between men and women.

“There was no question of the tenets of Islam dismissing a women’s earnings through legitimate means as illegal. A woman has as much right to contribute financially towards running a family household as her husband,” he said.

But the media report claiming that the Deoband seminary had issued a “fatwa” against working women has led to sharp reactions from leaders and scholars from the Muslim community.

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  1. Brilliant point u brought out .. y is there never a fatwa against men who dnt care for the family? Just today mrng, I ws discussing with the husband on why few rules read that ‘Girls shud nt talk to boys’ The rule is ridiculous, but what amazes me more is the way it reads. Why does everything hv to start and end with females?

    Its so sad that one portion of a holy book is taken and quoted wrongly. What precedes and follows it is so important. And if people have not seen that, they go on wondering and blaming the religion and the text for what is written!!

  2. The Prophet’s daughter can go to war, but she cant go to work 🙂

  3. Madam,

    What is your intention to keep this news item here? Who is the culprit here? Media or Deoband?

    For me both are miserable. Media is reckless and they given up honesty and integrity way back.

    Deoband is extremist (for Muslims it is esteemed) and it is this ideology that has produced Taliban.

    Now regarding whether Muslim women can work or not, it depends on how you see Islam.

    There is no Koranic support (unlike in the case of viel, 33:59) for saying that Muslim women can not work or can not go out. Sharia law says that women can go out side but she should take the permission of her husband. Then again all women irrespective of faith do inform their husbands when they go out. So You can not really say any thing on this. Regarding work it depends on which school of Sunni Islam law you talk about.(Shafii, Maliki, Hanafi and Hanbali).

    In Shea Islamic govt. of Iran allows women to work, there are many women who work in Govt. offices of course, veil is compulsory.

    In Sunni Islam it depends on the school. Wahabbism (Hanbali) (Saudi Arabia) rejects the idea that women can work. Why? From where it gets the support for such law?

    It comes from this chapter (Sura 33), the one you have quoted. It comes from the verses 33:06 (It says Prophet’s wives are like Mothers to Muslims) and 33:21 (It says Mohammad is an example for Muslims to follow). Now you connect the dots. He definitely never passed a decree that women can not work or go out side (There is no ahadith for this). There is one ahadith, which I will not mention here, which greatly supports the view of conservatives.

    Since Mohammad is an example so his wives also become example in conduct to be followed by women, which all the Islamic scholars agree. Then again it is supported by the fact his wives are like Mothers. Generally it is assumed that Mothers are also examples for women irrespective of faith. So we have this kind of law by stitching all.

    Remember all laws in Islam come from primarily two sources, Koran and Sunna, not just Koran. It is because of 33:21 and many other like these. In the entire Koran the verses commanding Muslims to obey and follow Mohammad number about 91, of these 86 are seen in Medina Koran (10 years) and 5 are seen in Meccan Koran (13 years). I am mentioning this because you can ask your self why?

    I am not going to say any thing on this.

    But you should know that Hambali is winning the battle among the these Islamic schools for influence because of Saudi Petro Dollars.

      • Nimmy
      • May 14th, 2010

      Sri,I am amazed at your know-how about Islam..Yes,you are very much right. You talk sense.. You are not a basher..

      It is not that I ignore your comments..Your comments require detailed reading and replying and that needs lot of time,which I am in short of ,currently..Will incorporate all your comments and reply to my best possible..

      good day

  4. To Madam,

    Why did you so bravely put up the verses from Sura 33 (The confederates)?

    This chapter really gives a lot of insight in to Islam, mostly about Prophet. I felt real repulsion. And this is also the chapter because of which I found another version of Islam from a strange Muslim.

    I am thinking whether I should write these verses and their context.

    I do not want to disappoint you for now, though I doubt you ever get dis appointed by me (infidel).

    I will write about that strange guy. I used to participate in islam-watch.org discussions. There we had two Muslims named Shibil Zaman and Redd Wilson (Brain dead).

    When I first started reading what he used to write I felt that he is one extremist. Actually it turned out that he never read Koran, not a verse.

    So the discussion, some how, came to the verse 33:50. Reed is blindly arguing the verse does not mean what it means. Then suddenly Shibil has written abusive words towards Reed and said such a verse and its meaning is inhuman and can not be in Koran at all.

    So later he started arguing that the entire Koran is not the original one, instead it was made by Uthman (3rd Calipha). From then on he says all those verses are wrong but they are not in original Koran, which was written by Prophet.

    Muslims give funny reasons to justify Koran and what is in it. I feel like laughing some times looking at those things, esp. by Zakir Naik, but I stop it because of inhuman message it gives also.

  5. To Khalil Sawant,

    Prophet’s daughter Fathima never went to war. She died with in 6 months after the death of Mohammad. (some, like Suyuti, say she was killed)

    It was Aisha, 2nd or 3rd wife of Prophet, who led an army against Ali (Son in law of Prophet) in the Fitna war.

    Both Aisha and Ali were bitter enemies because of one famous incident.

    Aisha is an excellent character , recently (not sure about time) a book was supposed to be published on her, but it was held back because of radical Islamists.

    The picture presented by Hadiths convey that she was the only one who could taunt Mohammad, the dictator.

    I always enjoyed reading about her.

    • @Sri

      My mistake, I really meant Aayshaa(RA)
      With respect to the Fitna war, what incident are you referring to ?

  6. To Madam,

    You are mistaken about me. I am Islam basher and talk sense always. You could not have written that if you have read my mail.

    But there is a difference between your version and my version of bashing. For me bashing means ridiculing Koran and exposing its inherent hatred towards others.

    Hey, but who am I? I am nothing to you or any one. You do not have to read any of my posts and I do not force or insult those who do not read.

    I already said you are bit unique in the sense that you allow all comments, most Islamic sites simply do not allow comments and if they allow then they moderate.

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