The fast development of countries all around the world lead to the increasing standard of leaving for individual as well as those who have families. It is difficult to support a family when only one of the spouses working. For those who live in urban area like Kuala Lumpur the need for both spouses to work is very crucial in giving maintenance for their kids. The cost of living in big city is much higher than living in suburban area.
This issue has led to a debatable discussion among professionals and Ulama’. Islam permitted Muslim women to work as stated in surah An Nisa: 32
Which mean that for men are the part that he work on it and for women are the part which their work on it. On one hadith Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said “there is no one can better eat from his own initiative (work)”(Riwayah Al Bukhari) . On 9-14 April 2005 the World Fiqh Council has made a ruling for the condition and criteria for Muslim women who are married and wanted to work . These criteria are there should be separate property between husband and wife. According to Islam wife has full right over her property, she can spend it without first get permission from her husband. Secondly, a wife has a right to get maintenance from her husband according to the urf of the place. Thirdly, wife has a right to go to work and the work that she choose must be in accordance with syara’ nevertheless bare in mind the basic responsibility of a wife is to take care of the family and educate the children. This criterion does not exclude or exempt the duty of a husband to give maintenance to the wife and children.
Fourthly, the wife can contribute to the maintenance of the family and it is allowed according to hukm syara’. However it is not an obligation for the wife to contribute in giving maintenance. Both husband and wife must discuss first whether there is a need for the wife to work so that she can ease the burden of her husband. This is very important for the husband and wife has mutual understanding. Fifthly, the wife can put a condition in an aqad before she is marry to the husband and if the husband agrees with it he should allowed his wife to work but the husband can disallowed his wife to work if the priorities of the children come first. Sixthly, there should be common right over the property of husband and wife. Seventhly, there should be exercises of justice among husband and wife so that the husband does not abuse the right to disallowed the wife to work if it can create problem to the wife and family, same goes to wife she cannot abuse the permission given by the husband when she is working it only worsen the situation between she and her husband and children.
According to Syeikh Prof. Dr Md Uqlah, the basic responsibility of women is very important which is to nurture and determine the status and work of all mankind (in accordance with law of nature. What can be derived from this opinion is that women are given opportunities to nurture and educate leaders of tomorrow and it is very important for women to bare this huge responsibility. Muslim women should weigh all of her options and prepare her for inevitable challenges. For a married women she is has an option to work and not to work depending on the condition which have been stated above. Different scenario for the unmarried women, she must choose work that does not discriminate her as a Muslim and her faith for example company that does not allowed women to wear hijab should not be taken by the women. They must also be a moderate person, never use excessive makeup and improper dress. It is better for married and unmarried Muslim women to work in a Muslim company unless there is an extreme compelling need for her to work at non Muslim company for example journalist, doctor, lawyers, midwives, teacher and et cetera. If Muslim women get an opportunity to work at this place which needed a very skillful person she can take it whereas another woman who does not know about Islamic teaching will take it and thus will create more problems in the future like what has been done by Sister in Islam. There is one example in America a woman name Layla , when she entered Islam she does not wanted to wear hijab during work interview because she’s afraid she will not get the job but after strong consideration she realized that Allah would be the only one who could assist her in finding a job and is she did not wear it, she would not receive Allah’s help. She wore the hijab and found a job. Since that time Allah the Almighty has strengthened her faith.
Collectively married Muslim women can help each other by taking care of one another if for an example in a housing area our neighbor who did not work can help to look after the children. The sense of sisterhood among women must be encourages so that there will be no problem in a Muslim family. I would like to quote words from Barack Hussein Obama who eventually a non Muslim in his speech at Cairo where he said women who were headscarves was not necessarily unequal to men. This view is very different from the view of political party in America where they look Islam discriminate Muslim women when Allah commands Muslim women to wear hijab. Even a non Muslim can look at the positive side of hijab why won’t we as Muslim particularly Sister in Islam cannot look at the positive side. What they want is women should be freely decided their own profession and life. This is totally wrong every free thing must have limits.