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Husband Forces Me to Work in an un-Islamic Environment



Reply Date

Jul 02, 2018


Assalaamu Alaikum,

I am a 34-year-old Muslim lady. I have been suffering from Anxiety and Depression problems from past 3 to 4 years. I work in a software firm where I have to interact with men. They respect me as I observe hijab.

But I am not happy. I always feel that I am doing something wrong. I almost cry daily that I have to work in this environment. But my husband insists that I am not doing anything wrong and that I should continue working. He wants me to support him financially. I want to do that but in an Islamic environment. Please advise me on this. Jazakallahu khair



Husband Forces Me to Work in an un-Islamic Environment

In this counseling answer:

As a middle ground, perhaps you could be looking for another more appropriate job in the meantime where the contact with men is more limited.

Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

You are in a difficult situation at the moment, torn between working in an uncomfortable environment but pleasing your husband by supporting the family financially. You are torn between abandoning your work to feel more comfortable only to potentially upset your husband due to disobeying him and not supporting him financially as he has requested. Either way feels like there will be a negative consequence for you and your relationship. This will inevitably fill you with negative feelings and will only serve to exacerbate the anxiety and depression that you have experienced for a while now.

Today’s work environments

Working in segregated environments these days is quite difficult to come by. Most jobs require some kind of interaction with members of the opposite gender at some point. The most important thing is that there are no situations where is necessary to be alone with someone of the opposite gender. You know yourself what the level of contact is with men, whether it is just in passing in brief interactions, or whether it is necessary to be alone with other men to fulfill the roles of the job. Identifying the level of interaction will help you to decide if the environment really is appropriate or not.

If you are feeling uncomfortable to the point that it is making you this sad, then it is recommended that you try and find your way out of this job.

Check out this counseling video:

Find Another Job

Islamically, it is not necessary for you to work as your husband is responsible for taking care of you. However, if you must work for the sake of maintaining financial stability, then you should really only be working in environments that are compatible with Islam and do not involve extended interactions with men.

As a middle ground, perhaps you could be looking for another more appropriate job in the meantime where the contact with men is more limited.

You have every right to refuse to work as the husband is to provide for you. You also understandably want to obey your husband, both out of respect and as a means of maintaining peace and happiness in your relationship. However, there are times when it is ok to go against your husband especially when it comes to matter of the Deen. If you are uncomfortable in your working environment, and knowing the work environment yourself and your level of contact with other men feel it is against the Deen, then you have every right to disobey him in this matter.

This doesn’t make things any easier when it comes to decision making! So, you might consider making a compromise with your husband where you continue to work to be able to support him financially but find work somewhere else more appropriate. If this is going to take a while, then your husband should be patient with this for the sake of pleasing Allah son that you can work in a more appropriate environment.

Take Care of Yourself

Aside from all this, what you are going through is very stressful and will only be making your anxiety and depression worse. It is, therefore, very important that you help yourself with this. Seeking counseling for this to tackle the ongoing issue is recommended as well as taking care of yourself. Spend time with other people and engage in hobbies that you enjoy doing. Maintain your daily worship as a means to find comfort with Allah. This will bring positivity into your life as well as making it easier for you to manage your current stressful and uneasy situation.

Praying istikhara about the situation will make it easier for you to make the best decision also as Allah will guide you. If working in your current environment is ok, He will facilitate it and if not, He will make things easy with your husband and make it easy to find a new, more appropriate job if necessary.

May Allah guide you to make the best choice that will be pleasing to Him. May He bring ease between you and your husband and the financial situation of your family.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Can Women Work With Men?

Can Muslim Women Have a Career?

Working Muslim Women: How to Reduce Stress


About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (

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