Question:

Which of the two is more virtuous for a Muslim woman; should she fulfill the household duties and the rights of her husband, or should she allocate time for seeking knowledge (of the religion) and employ a foreign servant to fulfill the household duties?

Answer: Yes, it is obligated on a female Muslim to seek understanding of her religion as much as she is able. But the obligation to serve her husband, obey her husband (i.e. in that which is lawful) and nurture her children is a great obligation.  She should allocate time to study everyday even if that is little, or sits for a short while, or she allocates some time to read every day and utilises the remaining time to fulfill her daily chores.

So, she neither abandons seeking understanding of her religion nor does she abandon her chores and children to the servant. She should be moderate in this affair- allocates time for seeking understanding even if that is little and allocates enough time to fulfill the household chores. [Source: Al-Muntaqaa’ of Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan 4/179]

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Abu Mu’aawiyah (Abdullaah Al-Gambi)