Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 13 Rabi' al-Awwal 1440

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The obligation for a woman to obtain her husband’s permission to travel for hajj

Is it obligatory for a woman to obtain her husband’s permission to travel for hajj?


Mutual understanding, agreement, love, and mercy should be the foundations of a Muslim household. A husband and wife should always be pleased with each other. All Muslim households should adhere to this ideal.

Women are responsible just like men. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no obedience to a created being that involves disobedience to the Creator.” Neglecting to perform hajj when one is able to means neglecting one of the pillars of religion. It is not permissible for a husband to prevent his wife from performing hajj and it is sinful for him to do so. If he does, she should not obey him and if she goes despite his refusal, she would not be committing a sin.

To begin with, a woman does not need her husband’s permission to worship her Lord. If she is going to fast in Ramadan, she does so without her husband’s permission. The same applies to praying, making hajj and paying zakat. Her husband is not an overseer over her relationship with her Lord.

Even if a woman wishes to make the lesser pilgrimage, which is mandatory according to the Shafi’is and the Hanbalis, her husband’s refusal should not prevent her. However, we advise her to perform her religious obligations by means of mutual understanding and agreement or else marital conflict may ensue. Ibn Qudamah confirmed this ruling when he said, “If a woman enters ihram for an obligatory hajj or ‘umrah or one in fulfillment of an oath, her husband cannot prevent her from performing it. According to the majority of scholars including Ahmad, Al-Nakha’i, Is-haq, the people of reason, and Al-Shafi’i in the most correct of his two opinions, he cannot release her from ihram.”

Based on this, a husband’s discontent and his refusal to permit his wife to perform hajj is of no consequence and does not impose anything upon her. It is better for a couple to base their marriage on mutual contentment and agreement, as mentioned earlier.

And God Almighty knows best.


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