What is ruling about the obedience of the husband in things that are general or recommended or permitted (mubah)? Do all these actions come under one rule?

In the case of when doing something halal, the wife can do it or not is upon the husband's will. And she has to obey every halal order of him of which she is capable. And does she need to seek permission to do something(halal) of her own at home? Can he prevent that? Please provide your answer with references.

1 Answer 1


Obeying a husband is obligatory for a wife.

الرجال قوامون على النساء ... فالصالحات قانتات ... فإن أطعنكم فلا تبغوا عليهن سبيلا

Men are in charge of women ... So righteous women are devoutly obedient ... But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them.

Quran 4:34

لو كنت آمرا أحدا أن يسجد لأحد لأمرت النساء أن يسجدن لأزواجهن لما جعل الله لهم عليهن من الحق

If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah.

والذي نفس محمد بيده لا تؤدي المرأة حق ربها حتى تؤدي حق زوجها ولو سألها نفسها وهي على قتب لم تمنعه

No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.

Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah

The limits of this obedience are as follows:

  • It is agreed upon that she must not obey her if he commands her to do something haram:

    لا طاعة في معصية الله

    There is no obedience in matters involving disobedience to Allah.

    Abu Dawud

  • It is agreed upon that she must obey her if he commands her to do something which is obligatory on her, from the rights of Allah and the rights of the people - including the rights of the husband himself:

    وأمر أهلك بالصلاة

    And enjoin prayer upon your family

    Quran 20:132

    يا أيها الذين آمنوا قوا أنفسكم وأهليكم نارا وقودها الناس والحجارة

    O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones

    Quran 66:6

    كلكم راع فمسئول عن رعيته ... والرجل راع على أهل بيته وهو مسئول عنهم

    Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges ... a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them


  • It is agreed upon that she must obey him at least when he calls her to have sexual intimacy.

    إذا دعا الرجل امرأته إلى فراشه فأبت أن تجيء لعنتها الملائكة حتى تصبح

    If a man Invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.


  • It is agreed upon that she must obey him in matters related to the above. Such as on obeying the husband when he commands her to not go out of their house, or to not let someone visit her in their house, or to do ghusl from menses and janabah, or to make herself attractive to him such as by trimming nails, tidying hair, shaving pubic\armpit hair, or when he commands her to adorn herself, or to be respectful to him in her tone and manners, or to refrain from optional fasting and other non-obligatory acts which might hinder the husband from having intimacy with her, or to refrain from eating or using something with a foul smell which repulses him such as onion or garlic etc.

    لا يحل للمرأة أن تصوم وزوجها شاهد إلا بإذنه، ولا تأذن في بيته إلا بإذنه

    It is not lawful for a woman to fast (optional fasts) without the permission of her husband when he is at home; and she should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission


    مسائل الإجماع والاتفاق في باب ... وعلى أنه يجب على الزوجة طاعة زوجها وملازمة المسكن، وعلى أن له منعها من الخروج

    The matters of consensus and agreement in this topic are ...

    It is obligatory on the wife to obey her husband and to remain in her house, and it is the right of the husband to forbid her from going out

    Mizan al-Kubra

  • There is disagreement on whether it is also obligatory to obey him in everything else (as long as it is not haram, nor violates her own rights). Some scholars have stated that it applies categorically because of the unconditional wording of the Quranic verse and Ahadith which command obedience:

    وحقه عليها أن تطيعه في كل مباح يأمرها به

    His right over her is obedience to every permissible thing which he commands her to do

    Durr al-Mukhtaar

    While others consider it limited:

    المرأة لا يجب عليها طاعة الزوج في كل ما يأمر به، إنما ذلك فيما يرجع إلى النكاح وتوابعه

    A woman is not obligated to obey her husband in everything he commands, rather it is regarding Nikah and its related matters

    Al-Bahr ar-Raiq

  • One question, both Bahr ar raiq and durral mukhtar are Hanafite Fiqh. so, is it normal to see a clash in the same school? and which one should someone follow of his madhab when there are 2 different opinions.
    – Litten
    Jan 2 at 11:49
  • 1
    Jajakallah khairun. The last reference is the one I have been searching for years. You should highlight it. But, in the link, the context and topic is something else. That chapter isn't about these types of texts. Is there any straightforward text/chapter in the book about it?
    – Fahim Khan
    Jan 2 at 11:53

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