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Kids raised by maids as wife seeks employment

A husband is in a good position and can provide his family with a decent living. His wife is a doctor. Is it permissible for her to seek employment which will ensure a better standard of living for the family? If she does, her children will stay with the servants for much of the day?

Answer : English Mufti

There can be no simple answer to this question. Each married couple needs to decide what they should do according to their own circumstances. They have to consider their obligations and commitments and the pros and cons of each alternative. One of their top responsibilities is to bring up their children and give them the best care and education. Another is to use their skills to benefit themselves, their families and community. It is up to them on how to balance these responsibilities. To reach a decision, they may consult some reliable and trustworthy friends and relatives, and also pray to God the Almighty to enable them to make the right choice. They can do this by performing the istikharah prayer [prayer for guidance and seeking a choice].

We cannot issue a ruling requiring every professional woman to stay at home when she has young children. There are situations when such a woman may be called upon to work. The reader mentions that the wife is a doctor. Suppose she lives in a village or a small town where there is no other female doctor. If she works, she will be of great service to her community. If she does not, she will deny her community something that is not easy to compensate. In this case, the woman should try to balance between her work and caring for her children and adjust her time to ensure she does not neglect either responsibility. Having said that, I would like to add that earning a better living is not something to be despised. God the Almighty says in the Quran:

"Say, 'Who is there to forbid the beauty which God has produced for His servants, and the wholesome means of sustenance?' Say, 'They are (lawful) in the life of this world, to all who believe - to be theirs alone on the Day of Resurrection.' Thus do We make Our revelations clear to people of knowledge" [7: 32].

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