Al-Albānī: If a Husband and Wife Differ on a Fiqh Issue


Shaikh Al-Albānī, may Allāh have mercy on him, [said]:

Here’s a question: when a woman and her husband differ about a fiqh opinion like traveling without a maḥram [a male guardian under Islāmic law], such that he holds the view that [going to] Makkah [from Jeddah] does not constitute a journey [that would require a maḥram escort for her], while she holds that it is a journey [requiring such], then is it his right, in general, to make her follow a [particular] fiqh opinion?

The answer is:

ٱلرِّجَالُ قَوَّ ٰ⁠مُونَ عَلَى ٱلنِّسَاۤءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بَعۡضَهُمۡ عَلَىٰ بَعۡضࣲ

Men are in charge of [taking care of and directing the affairs of] women because Allāh has made some better than others. (Al-Nisāʾ 34, extract)

So with the like of this issue, there is no way out other than to put one of the two spouses’ opinions into practice, either the husband’s or the wife’s. And there is no doubt and no uncertainty that a man, as long as Allāh, Mighty and Majestic, has made it binding upon a woman to obey him, then her opinion is not to be taken into account in this situation [where their fiqh opinions differ], and it is upon her to obey him.

However, before that, it is upon them both to try to come to terms with one another and to reach some common understanding. Then if the situation gets to the point that the question has arisen from, the answer is that it is binding upon her to obey him and not oppose him.


Fatāwá Jeddah 25, no. 17 (00:42:25). As quoted in the transcript at