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I know traditionally in most Muslim societies, the majority of women have been confined to the job of housewife and domestic duties. And some conservative Muslims to this day believe that because of the importance which Islam seems to put on the modesty of women, this is still where Allah (swt) would prefer her to be.

But are there any specific text to confirm this viewpoint? Any verses of the Quran or hadith?

  • See my answer here and the references in the linked posts. – G. Bach Mar 23 '17 at 20:40
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Islam Q&A write The basic principle is that a woman should remain at home, justifying it via the ayah:

And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. ...
Qur'an 33:33

This seems to be the main text to support this view.

However, these conclusions are counterbalanced by other fatawa. E.g. AboutIslam describes how they didn't even strictly apply to the wives of the Prophet (who the ayah addresses). They go on to list numerous women's roles outside the home in Islamic history (as does IslamWeb):

History records that Muslim women accompanied the Muslim armies in battles to nurse the wounded, prepare supplies, serve the warriors, and so on. Sumayyah was among the first to be martyred in Islam. Muslim women took part in the first and second Pledges of Allegiance. Furthermore, we read in Islamic history that the female companions used to go around doing their business in the city.

The following fatwa describes staying at home as one of the rights of a woman:

The right that Islam has given to a wife is to stay at home and fulfill her role as a wife and as a mother. No one can (should) take away this right from her, the husband cannot demand, request or force her to work.
Darul Uloom Trinidad & Tobago

  • I think the second source is a bit sketchy. I mean sure everyone has the right to participate in Jihad in times of war, but that doesn't say anything about civil life in times of safety and peace. – The Z Mar 10 '18 at 1:41
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If one is looking for a specific injunction in Qura'an or Hadith; confining women to the four walls of the house, then there is none. This notion, however, seems to have deduced from various injunctions whereby the wives of the Prophet(PBUH) were ordained to be cloaked and restrained from going to the Marketplace and other populated places unless absolutely necessary. "Oh Prophet(PBUH) tell your wives, daughters, and women of the believers to draw their cloaks close around (when they get out) that will be better---so they may be recognized and not annoyed(bothered)" (33:59) shakir2.wordpress.com

  • See this and this for references regarding that women are indeed supposed to stay at home, generally. – G. Bach Mar 25 '17 at 1:31

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