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My Wife and her Shaykh!

My wife has recently got bayat to a certain sheikh. Her timetable is suddenly changing. She goes to many programmes and neglects the duties at home. Most of the time I have to eat cold food. When the shaikh comes to town she goes berserk. She prepares amazing food that she doesn’t even prepare for me. She also goes infront of the shaikh in the same room with other women in hijab and pour out their griviences and what they are willing to sacrice themselves for the sake of ‘deen’. Please help me and guide.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The purpose of bay’ah is spiritual reformation. That can be achieved only by adhering to Shariah. If one deviates from Shariah, one can never attain spiritual reformation.(1)

Shariah clearly states that the place for a woman is the home.(2)

Allah says,

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا[الأحزاب: 33]
And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.

Shariah also prohibits free interaction with the opposite gender if they are not close family members (Ghair Mahram). In fact Shariah orders that a male and female should lower their gazes in front of each other if faced in a situation where there is no veil in between.(3)

Consider the following verses,

قُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ
[النور: 30]

Tell the believing men to lower their gazes.

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ
[النور: 31]

Tell the believing women to lower their gazes.

Shariah has emphasised on the rights of the husband just as Shariah has emphasised on the rights of the wife.(4) No other man, irrespective of his status can ever be equal to a woman other than her husband.

Consider the following Hadith,

لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لأَحَدٍ لأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا 

(سنن الترمذي ت شاكر)

“If I were to order anyone to prostrate to anyone, then I would order the wife to prostrate to her husband.”

It should also be understood that every man has a nafs with him irrespective of his apparent position and title. An Aalim, Mufti and Shaikh are all equal in dealing with the opposite gender. The laws of hijab will have to be observed. No person besides Rasulullah صلي الله عليه وسلم   is immune from his nafs and tricks and traps of Shaytan.

It was the habit of our pious predecessors to give ba’yah and spiritual reformation while strictly adhering to the laws of hijab. This is called Bay’ah Uthmani. Women may communicate with the sheikh in writing. This attitudes safeguards the Shaikh and the female mureed from fitnah.(5)

The attitude of your wife as explained by you is incorrect. The attitude of the Sheikh in reference is also incorrect. It is not permissible for him to be in seclusion with women.

Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

قَالَ ” لاَ يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ… “

صحيح البخاري (4/ 59)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “No man should stay with a woman in seclusion except in the presence of a Mahram…” 

قَالَ: لَا يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلَّا كَانَ ثَالِثَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ

سنن الترمذي ت شاكر (3/ 466)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Shaytan.

If your wife wants to really sacrifice herself for Deen, she should:

* Remain in the confines of her home and serve her husband and children,
* Respect the husband and hold him in high reverence,
* Exit the home if there is a need that is justified in Shariah(6),
* Adhere to the laws of Hijab,
* Avoid intermingling with the opposite gender even though it may be her Sheikh. (7)
If she violates any one of the above, then she is in fact sacrificing Deen for her nafsand desires. She cannot achieve any spirituality through that. Her emotions and feelings are infatuations and gratification of her nafs and desires.

Shariah advises us to follow the laws of Shariah and not feelings and emotions. It is the responsibility of the Sheikh to advise his female mureeds to adhere to the above mentioned laws of Shariah. If he fails to do so, he is guilty of violating the laws of Shariah and cannot expect gaining closeness to Allah Taala with this attitude.

You may discuss your predicament with the Sheikh in reference and also present to him this fatwa. Request him with the utmost respect and dignity to advise your wife in writing to,

* Avoid meeting him in person,
* Communicate with him only through writing,
* Adjust her attitude towards you,
* If the Sheikh does not advise your wife accordingly, then you have a justifiable right to instruct your wife to terminate her relationship with the Sheikh as a relationship violating the laws of Shariah is fitna which has implications in your life. 
PS: The Darul Iftaa has received many similar queries in which the laws of Hijab between the Shaykh and the Mureeda are violated. We have consulted with many senior Masha’ikh and all have advised that a Fatwa should go out in this regard to stem the Fitnah. Some senior Masha’ikh (in particular Hazrat Moulana Mazhar Saheb Daamat Barakatuhum) have also contributed to the above Fatwa.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


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