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Correspondence of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahimahullah)

Letter:

Respected Maulana, I have a question regarding Facebook and chat sites in general. What is the sharee‘ah perspective on a wife using Facebook to chat with friends from school and work, including non-Muslim male friends from her work-place?

The wife's initial intention to get Facebook was to catch up with female friends from her school days.

The husband disapproved the use of Facebook due to the fear that non mahram males would want to be her friend on Facebook. The husband trusts his wife, and the male friends from the workplace also know she is married. Whilst the husband feels that this is wrong in Islam, the wife feels there is no harm as they are just friends from the work-place. The husband does not have Facebook for the same reason: the harms of chatting with non-mahrams.

Is the Husband being unjust? What should the husband say to the wife to make her understand?

Jazakallah for your assistance.

Reply:

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

As Salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

1. It may sound unreasonable and unjust to the wife that her husband is unhappy and does not permit her to make use of Facebook to communicate with male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim “friends”. However, there is no injustice in it. In fact there is protection from mischief and fitnas.

Without exaggeration, I have dealt with a large number of cases of married men and women innocently starting off on Facebook and other social networks, and ending up with major marital problems. Many marriages have ended and some are on the verge of ending.

2. The laws of Islam take into consideration all aspects of a Muslim’s well-being and protection. Many laws are applicable in order to maintain a harmonious and successful marriage, because once trust is lost between husband and wife, then even though she may be innocent, it may lead to arguments, suspicion and problems.

3. Whilst it appears that the husband is Islamically conscious and God-fearing in that he does not want his wife to communicate on Facebook, it is, however, at odds with the fact that he sends her to work, where she interacts and communicates with all kinds of people, including non-mahrams (strange men).

He does not seem to have a problem with his wife being in such an environment, yet that environment is worse and more dangerous than any social network. It is a fact that many, many illicit and adulterous relationships stem from interaction with colleagues at the work-place.

4. A woman should be fully supported by her husband and if she has to work to supplement the salary, then she should look towards working from home. Home Industry is a thriving business.

If that is not workable, she should be given employment in her husband’s business, whereby she is not exposed to, and not interacting with strange men. Otherwise, a family business where there are these same measures of protection for her.

5. The husband’s complaint does not carry much weight because there is no consistency. However, it is necessary that the wife restrict communication to business only, at the work place, and not interact in an informal, friendly way with any non-mahrams. She should certainly not be communicating with so called male “friends” outside of business hours.

It should clearly be understood that this is the lesser of the two evils. The risks though are very high. A woman is very vulnerable in a situation where she is in contact with strange men. Many men will not care whether a woman is married or unmarried, if there is an inclination or an interest in her. Thus, the husband should be even more concerned in regards to this.

6. Allah Ta‘ala guide us all to being practical on the beautiful teachings of Islam.

Was Salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

Yunus Patel (Maulana)