A husband preventing his wife from ...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

A husband preventing his wife from visiting her family


My daughter, who is an engineer, got married over a year ago. Since then her
husband has prevented her from visiting both her immediate and extended families and her friends and even isolated her from the outside world to the extent that he prevents her from answering our calls. In the few instances when we communicated with her, he would be at the other end of the line, overhearing our conversations or even recording them as he maintains. He refuses to allow anyone from her family to visit or even phone her.
- Is it permissible for him to drive our daughter to being undutiful to us and severing ties of kinship?
- Is it permissible for her to obey him in this regard?


The duty of maintaining ties of kinship is established in Islamic law. Allah the Almighty says, And to parents do good and to relatives.
[Al-Baqarah, 83]

Abu Hurairah narrated that a man approached the Prophet and asked, "Who is the most deserving of my companionship?"

The Prophet replied, "Your mother."

The man then asked, "Then who?"

The Prophet replied, "Your mother."

The man asked again, "Then who?" The Prophet again replied, "Your mother."

Once again the man asked, "Then who?"

The Prophet replied, "Your father" [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and others].

Based on their chosen opinion mentioned in Al-Ikhtiyar, Hanafi scholars determined that a husband may not prevent his wife from visiting her parents once a week if they cannot visit her themselves. Furthermore, he is not to prevent them from visiting her once a week. This same opinion was mentioned in At-Tanwir and the commentary written on it. Based on this, a woman may visit her parents once a week with or without her husband's permission. The same ruling applies to visiting her grandfather if her father is absent or her grandmother if her mother is absent. However, it is impermissible for her to spend the night away from her house without her husband's permission. This is the opinion implemented by law as stated in Article 280 of the Shari'ah courts. In the absence of any text, the preponderant opinion of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence is implemented. This does not contravene a husband's guardianship.

It is impermissible for a man to prevent his wife from fulfilling her obligations to others.
Just as it impermissible for him to prevent her from praying, fasting, paying zakat, performing Hajj and the rest of the obligations prescribed by Islamic law, it is likewise impermissible for him to prevent her from maintaining ties with her parents and relatives. It is not permissible for him, under the pretext of matrimonial obedience, to isolate her from the outside world as if she were a prisoner. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said, "Treat women kindly" [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and others]. The Prophet also said, "The best of you are those who are best to their wives" [Reported by Al-Tirmidhi].
A woman is not to obey her husband if he orders her, directly or indirectly, to sever ties of kinship and be undutiful to her parents since obedience should only be in good acts. The husband, wife and in-laws must all be mindful of Allah Who says, If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things]. [Al-Nisa`, 4:35]

Allah the Almighty knows best.

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