Fatwa: The Maximum Amount of Time
a Man Can Live Away From His Wife
Reprinted from Islam Online
Fatwa Question Details
Name: Anwar from Pakistan
Title: The Maximum Amount of Time a Man Can Live away
from His Wife
Question: As-Salaamu `alaykum. What is the maximum amount
of time a man can live away from his wife? When a person moves
to Europe or America, it can take one or two years (depending
on the individual) to settle down properly. If his wife joins
him from the beginning, it will be difficult for him to cope
with the financial pressure and concentrate on other aspects
Mufti: Islam Online Fatwa Committee
Answer: Dr. Su`aad Salih, Al-Azhar University, answers:
Wa`alaykum As-Salaamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings
be upon His Messenger.
The maximum limit a husband is allowed to be away from his
wife is four months, or six months in the view of the scholars
of the Hanbali school. This is the maximum period a woman can
endure separation from her husband.
Exegetes of the Glorious Qur'an narrate the following incident
in support of this opinion.
One night Caliph 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased
with him, was making his rounds of Madinah when he heard a woman
The night is long, darkness all around me;
I am sleepless, for I have no friend to play with.
By Allah, had there been no fear of Him,
This cot would be shaking from side to side.
Upon investigation, 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him,
found that the woman's husband had been on a military expedition
for a long time. He then asked his daughter, Hafsah, a widow
of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, "How long
can a woman endure separation from her husband?" She replied,
"Four months." As a consequence, he decided that he
would not send a married man away from his wife for a period
exceeding four months.
However, if your wife agrees to give up this right for more
than this period, and allow you to travel until she is able to
join you, then it is lawful and there is no wrong in this.
Allah Almighty knows best.