What does Islam say about women’s work? Or in
other words, does Islam consider the practical role of woman a
householder or does it encourage her participation in the practical
& professional life outdoors?
Islam gave both men & women the right to work & the right to
be the only owners of what they get out of their work.
In this respect, men & women are equal, and this fact can
be traced in two phenomena: Legislative and Applicative.
the legislative phenomenon, it is represented in examining the
women’s rights before and after marriage.
Islamic code did not give the father or any other relative the right
to oblige the woman to do the different household jobs. She can decide
whether to do it or not; she can choose not to serve anyone or to ask
for payment in case she works inside or outside her house, as any
worker. She has the right
to work outdoors, without being prohibited by any one since no one has
the right to capture her freedom.
Islamic code, household is not the wife’s obligation.
It is not a duty. She
can even be paid for the feeding and the raising-up of her child, if
she asks for it, and in this case, her husband must not abstain to pay
her unless she asks for an overpayment he cannot afford.
this, we can conclude that the wife who does the household work is
treated as a paid worker as if she were working outdoors.
Since household work is not a part of the
obligatory marital rights from the legislation point of view.
emphasize that this is her right, from the legal point of view; but we
know that the spiritual & the human side in the marital life
incite women to perform these tasks willingly without being ordered by
morale of this code is to make the woman feel that she is a human
being and not a servant or a baby-sitter obliged to do the household
work. She has to feel
before and after marriage that she is the only owner of her work.
She is free to give her work free to feel & know the value
of giving and the practical participation in the marital life.
her husband should appreciate her role in giving what she is not
obliged to give.
fact, this makes both of them recognize the deep sense of spiritual
participation when each of them offers to the other an effort he is
not obliged to do, but he does it out of affection and love, and a
desire for building a life full with peace & tranquility.
other kinds of work,
women are allowed to do any free work indoors if it does not contrast
with the natural rights of the husband; she can practice sewing and
other tasks to earn money and provide a good life and future.
respect to work outdoors.
do it after she takes the permission of her husband since she can not
go out without his permission.
religious men and believers disapprove of woman’s work.
In fact, they do not disapprove of the work itself, but the
deviated atmosphere which is dominated by different factors of
conclusion, Islam does not oblige the woman to do the housework and to
feed her babies; it gives her the freedom either to do them willingly,
ask for her wages, or not to do it.
By this, Islam spiritually, incites in women the sense of human
responsibility, which in its turn, incites them to perform the work
affectionately & willingly. At the same time, Islam does not prevent women to work
outdoors, but on certain conditions that keep her marriage and her
The problems raised when women work
At the moral
level: the society still views a woman as a female that arouses
man’s sexual desire .For this reason, we see that one of the main
conditions of most stores, administration centers, and airline
companies to accept the woman’s applications for work is to be
beautiful and fascinating. Such
conditions help to attract the largest number of customers through
seducing man with her beauty.
This can be noticed in factories & establishments
where men & women work together and understand life through the
philosophy of pleasure promoted in movies, novels, and other modern
At the children
level: the working mother finds herself obliged to leave her children
under the mercy of the servant or the nurseries. In both cases, they
are deprived of their mother’s tenderness which can not be
substituted in any other way. Perhaps,
as a result, they will have psychological complexes in future life.
physiological build-up: During her menstruation, pregnancy, giving
birth and breast-feeding,
the woman is obliged to take a leave – the fact that decreases
productivity and disturbs work. For
this reason, legislation of countries which seek equality between men
& women are trying to get for man a Six-Month leave equivalent to
that given to the women. Anyhow, the disadvantages of the work of the
mother on her house are greaterhan the advantages.
If the woman’s work aims at self-fulfillment, as it is
claimed, there are many ways to achieve this aim, and is there a
greater way than motherhood to achieve her humanity.
Question: How is the woman’s dress in
women must cover all the parts of their body except the face &
palms. This is the decent
costume as ordained by Islam.
Islam wants women to appear as human beings and not as
females that arouse instincts.
It is said on the behalf of Imam Ali (p.) that
woman is evil, and the most evil in her is that she is indispensable.
Is this right?
I think that the face value meaning of this saying is impossible to be
issued by Imam Ali (a.s.), why? Because we have an Islamic standard
for all sayings, set by the members of the house (a.s.) to distinguish
between the valid & the invalid sayings.
This standard suggests that in order to
know whether a certain saying is authentic or not, we have to compare
it with what is stated in Koran, the book of Allah; if the saying
conforms , with the meanings of the Koran, we accept it, but it disaccords with it, then we reject
the Holy Koran talks about women & men, it gives them equal
responsibilities, so if the women are evil in their nature, then why
she should be given such responsibility.
According to the divine justice in Islam, women are like men;
she is neither totally good nor completely evil.
there is no harmony between the face value
meaning of Ali’s (a.s.) saying & the Islamic concept of
the divine justice.
is very possible, as suggested by the interpreters of the «Nahj
Al Balagha», that the seduction practiced by women in their
deviated relationship with men brings forth evil, or paves the way for
it. The history of human
societies clearly shows this fact.
Some try to relate this saying with the enmity between Imam Ali
(a.s.) & Aisha; they claim that enmity caused a psychological
complex in him towards woman.
the other hand, if one understands the Imam’s aspirations and the
supreme rank he reached, he knows that Imam Ali (p.) does not judge
matters according to personal measures, but he is with the truth &
truth is with him. In
talking about his experience with truth he says: «truth did not
leave me any friends ».