Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
There is nothing wrong in a woman’s going out as long as she abides by the Islamic code of dress, obtains her husband’s permission before going out, and the place she wants to go to is not of a suspicious nature, and this would not affect her family duties, otherwise, it is not allowed.
Responding to the question, Sheikh Hamid Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, states:
What matters here is not the act of going out itself, rather it’s how a woman goes out. It is not allowed for a woman to leave her house except with the permission of her husband.
Her husband can either give her a general permission or she can act according to the custom or `urf of people.
For example, if it is the custom of people that women can go for meeting necessary needs, visiting her neighbor, going for work (actually if she is doing a legal work), or visiting her relatives, then there is nothing wrong in her going out.
Another important condition for women going out is that they have to abide by the Islamic dress code.
Moreover, if a woman goes out, she has to avoid places of temptations or any place that might cause people to think evil of her if she goes without accompanying her husband.
A woman, furthermore, has to strike a balance between her responsibility towards her kids and husband, and her rights to go out and visit people.
If the things contradict each other, a woman is not allowed to go outside and neglect her family duties.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.