Husbands request for wifes permission before travelling alone


If a man is travelling by himself, is he required to seek the permission of his wife before leaving?


Islam enjoins husbands to deal with their spouses not whimsically or erratically but in full conformity with standards of kindness, decency and fairness. This has been best summed up in the Quranic imperative: “And deal with them on terms of al-ma’ruf” (Q. 4:19). When we enquire what is considered al- ma’ruf, al-Qurtubi, a prominent commentator of the Qur’an, explains that it involves all that is mandated by standards of decency, fairness and kindness. Ibn Abbas, the inspired commentator of the Qur’an, reminds us that while dealing with their wives, men ought to be more forgiving in regards to their slips and mistakes, while being more diligent in fulfilling their own obligations towards them.

While enjoining compassion as the norm and standard governing spousal relations, the Prophet, peace be upon him, placed the onus for it squarely on husbands rather than on wives when he said, “The best of you is the one who is the kindest to his spouse and I am the kindest to my spouse!.”

Now coming to your specific question, it may help us to pose the question in this way: Suppose there are two friends who are on extremely good terms, then suddenly one of them takes off without letting his friend know, wouldn’t it be considered as unfair and unkind? If that is certainly the case, then how could we tolerate such behaviour from a husband towards his wife? Isn’t the relationship between husband and wife, who are supposed to be life-long partners, stronger than that of two friends?

Therefore, I must conclude that such behaviour of a husband is considered as a violation of the norms and standards of fairness and kindness as mandated by the Qur’an.