Generalization Of Hijab Directives In Surah Ahzab

Question

I have heard a scholar saying that it is not desirable that a woman should leave her home unless extremely necessity. Under normal circumstances it might sound appropriate but I wish to know does Islam prevent a woman to leave her home on habitual basis? Does the Shari'ah allow a woman who is dressed according to Islamic regulations to leave her home to visit her parents, friends, or to a decent family restaurant? Or it would mean violation according to the Islamic law? There is a verse in the Qur'an addressed to Prophet's wives telling them to stay in their homes. Does it apply to all Muslim women or just the wives of Prophet? I wish to know how can it be sinful if a woman leaves her home even though while observing hijab?


Answer

We believe that Islam does not prohibit women from leaving their house and interacting with the members of the opposite sex. They are only required to follow etiquette of interaction. There is no shari'ah directive prohibiting them from leaving their houses. For detail please refer to the following article which covers the Qur'anic directives in this regard. It also explains why the directives appearing in surah al-ahzab which asks the wives of the Prophet (sws) to stay at home are not general in nature and therefore universal:

http://www.al-mawrid.org/pages/browse_art_ques_eng.php?cid=166

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