What Are the Rights of a Wife If Husband Goes Abroad for a Long Period without Consultation?
Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
If a husband books holidays from work for two months without consultation and then books his flight. He informs the wife a few days before leaving. She would also like to go, but her husband does not allow this. She cannot stay home without him and is very scared all night. This causes anxiety and stress. She is having days and days without proper sleep. What are her rights, and what can she do?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I pray you are in good faith and health. I am sorry to hear about this. This is totally unfair.
It is wrong for a husband to travel alone without consulting his wife and ensuring her physical, financial, and emotional needs.
‘Abdullah Ibn Dinar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates from ‘Abdullah Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him), he said, ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) during a night round of his overheard a woman reading a poem in which she was grieving about her husband’s departure. “Were it not that I fear disobeying a command of Allah, I would have approached someone.”
When Umar (Allah be pleased with her) enquired about the woman’s situation and learned that her husband had gone for a very long time for jihad, the woman could not bear staying anymore away from her husband. Upon this, ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) enquired from his daughter Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her), “How long could a wife stay without her husband?” Thereupon, Hafsa (Allah be pleased with her) replied to him: “Four months.”
‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), therefore, dispatched letters to all military camps to announce that all married soldiers do not have the right to stay away from home for more than four months. [Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra; Ibn Abdur Razzaq, Musannaf Ibn Abdur Razzaq]
Jurists have deduced two explanations from the above narration,
a) ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) forbade any soldier to be forced to stay encamped for more than four months unless he has permission from his wife. Therefore, a husband may stay away from his wife for up to four months with the permission of his wife. If his wife allows, then he may also stay more than that. The second explanation is b) the follow-up recommendation of 4 months to the story is based on caution. Couples should consult each other and come to a mutual compromise. Circumstances of travel can differ from family to family, place to place, and country to country.
You should sit down with your husband, with wisdom and timing, ideally with a reliable local scholar, and discuss your situation and needs with him.
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.