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Al-Azhar’s Fatwa on Women’s Freedom to Leave the House

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, considered that a wife is not free to leave her house whenever she wants and it is not necessary to discuss about husband’s permission for the wife to leave the house because she is ordered to.

Ahmad al-Tayyeb said in his television program through the Egyptian Middle East News Agency that the wife is not free to leave her home because she is trampling the rights of the husband and children.
Al Tayyeb said, due to fallacy and ignorance of the concepts of Islamic law, this permission is reckoned as taking her freedom away and trampling over her rights, while it is a necessity for the integrity of the house.
Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar, said that if the wife’s request for permission to leave her husband’s house is a necessity for the stability of the family and its interrelationship, when she is been granting this permission, she accepts her husband have the right to know where she wants to go and whether it is appropriate to leave or not and it obligatory for wife to accept this right for her husband. Obviously, there are some exceptions that the first one is visiting her parents which is a legitimate right for the wife, and in the case one of the parents is sick, it is not only her right but it is obligatory due to affection and duty on them.

In the fifth episode of his Ramadan program on Egyptian television, Sheikh Al-Azhar added that “Working out is excluded among the cases which the wife should have her husband’s permission for leaving the house. If the husband has known this right and has accepted, so it is wife’s right to go out without his permission and he is not allowed to trample this right. Provided the emergency situation, the right is restored to the husband to order the wife to stay at home like for the sake of feeding the children in need of care in which her leaving may cause harm to them and family. Therefore, due to caring children, it is husband’s legitimate right to order his wife not to go out unless he permits because leaving home resulted in bigger harm comparing with staying at home, so it is necessary to do the less harmful case. This is an issue on which the great jurists have not agreed.

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