Islam and the Quran

Asking Permission from the Husband

Question: Do women have to get permission from their husbands even when they go out to buy groceries or visit their parents?

It is a common mistake to think that women must be obedient to their husbands at all times in all matters, and therefore they need to ask permission for every move they make out of their house. This opinion originates from the misjudgment that the word “qanitaat : women who obey” in verse 4:34 means “women who obey their husbands”. In fact, “qanitat” are “women who obey God“. For a detailed explanation of this meaning please see the link below:

Keeping this in mind, let’s proceed to verse 4:34:

“Men shall carefully protect and maintain women because God has granted each (party) some superior characteristics over the other (party), and because they (men) spend out of their possessions (to maintain women). Thus righteous women are obedient (to God) and guard themselves in the absence (of witnesses) in return for God’s protection….” (an-Nisa 4:34)”

The verse mentions that “righteous women are obedient (to God) and guard themselves in the absence (of witnesses)”. Women guarding themselves means “preserving their chastity” even when their husbands or anybody else sees them. Chastity is not the concern of women only but also of men according to many verses, such as 4:24, 17:32, 24:26, 33:35. However, the case of women is different than men’s because Allah protects women by requiring four eyewitnesses against a woman accused of adultery (24:4-5,13). Such testimony is not sought against men accused of adultery. Therefore, women must preserve their chastity, and avoid the actions that may cast doubts on it. Going to the market or visiting the parents are normally not such actions. Then, depending on the people and the places they shall visit, or the duration they will stay, women should let their husbands know what they do, and where they go.

Avoiding actions that will unsettle your spouse is a natural and common practice to live a happy married life, and people must behave considering this fact. This also applies to men since God decrees to them: “Get along with your women in a goodly manner.” 

For similar Q&A see:

Add comment