May a husband prevent his wife from attending Islamic women's gatherings?

Religious Authority: 
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
May a husband prevent his wife from attending Islamic women's gatherings?

The problem with many Muslims who lack sufficient Islamic knowledge is that they impose their own moods, mentalities and personal views upon Islam. Therefore, we often find someone who is rough and merciless, treating those around him; including his wife and children, in a very aggressive and rough manner and may go to lengths of claiming that this is part of Islam.This also includes the view of some men towards women. This view is often very radical and narrow and is characterized by the man's wish to control his wife as well as his ill-perception of her.

The Prophet Mohammad said: "Women are the complimentary halves of men" . He also said: "Do not prevent women from attending mosques" , as mosques were the only means of the time of the Prophet Mohammed for women to learn, increase their knowledge in Islam and to observe the congregational and Friday prayers, as well as to get to know their good sisters. The example of the mosque in our days is the Islamic meetings which give women the chance to increase their Islamic knowledge and awareness, to participate in active Islamic work and to get to know and co-operate with the sisters who work for Islam.

All this are compulsory activities upon all Muslims, whether they be men or women, otherwise, Islam would definitely recede and go into decline.This becomes more of an obligation when we learn that enemies of Islam work day and night and employ men and women of all sorts to isolate Islam from the reality of society and to promote ill-thoughts, views, cultures and ideas within the Muslim society.

However, this woman's activity must never transgress over the rights of her husband and children, as it is only fair that each receive their due attention. In addition, whilst Islam gave the husband the right to govern and rule the household; he must not abuse this authority and prevent members of his family from exercising their respective rights and freedoms, as Islam prevents harm to be caused or to become.