The World Bank has listed obtaining the husband’s permission to leave the home among the procedures for married Muslim women to start a business in Malaysia.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report released today, there are nine procedures required for married Muslim women to register a firm here, one more than for men as it includes obtaining permission from their spouse to leave their home.
“According to Islamic Family Law, Art. 59(2)(b), the woman must obtain permission from her husband to leave her home,” said the World Bank, adding that the procedure would take one day to complete and cost nothing.
Section 59(2)(b) of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territory) Act 1984 states that a married Muslim woman will not be entitled to maintenance when she is “nusyuz”, or if she disobeys her husband, by leaving her husband’s home against his will.
Other examples of “nusyuz” under Section 59(2) include withholding her association with her husband and refusing to move with him to another home or place.
Sisters in Islam (SIS) communications officer Aliah Ali said “nusyuz” applications are used by men to avoid paying their wife maintenance during their marriage or in divorce cases. The concept is also found in all state Islamic family legislations.
“Unfortunately under IFL, ‘nusyuz’ only applies to wives. It does not apply to husbands, even though the Quran says both husband and wife can be ‘nusyuz’,” Aliah, whose organisation helps Muslim women in divorce cases, told Malay Mail Online.
Malay Mail Online spoke to two married Muslim businesswomen, one of whom said she rarely asks for her husband’s permission to leave their home for work as they trust each other, while the other said she asked for her spouse’s consent before starting her business.
Nornathasha Mohd Isa, who founded an online business in 2012 selling baby mattresses and pillows made from “kekabu” (kapok fiber) called kekabuonlinedotcom, acknowledged that asking for the husband’s permission to leave the home is one of the teachings in Islam, but said modern marriages are about trust.
“When we have nothing to hide and our husband knows what we’re doing, he’ll give permission without us asking for it,” Nornathasha, 29, told Malay Mail Online.
“I rarely ask for permission because for business, we have to be independent. So I will go anyway,” she said.
She added that her husband was not supportive of her quitting her job in insurance back then to start her business, but she went ahead because “I think I know what I’m doing”. She said she now makes three to four times what she was earning in insurance.
Nornathasha also said she and her husband, who works in the entertainment industry and is frequently outstation, keep each other updated about their whereabouts.
“My husband and I are very open — that’s the factor that allows me to go far.
“I have many friends, online sellers, who still use the traditional ways, like asking for permission. To me, that’s good, but it’s a factor that prevents the expansion of business,” she said.
Emy Yuzliza Yahya, who started an event management company called Moslema In Style that organises Islamic fashion shows, said she asks her husband for permission before leaving the home.
“I always ask my husband’s permission for everything that I want to do and before I started Moslema In Style,” she told Malay Mail Online.
Source : BOO SU-LYN@The Malay Mail Online