Q: I would like to know if it is permissible for females to study. I intend going to go to a girls-only university and am also in complete pardah. Will it be permissible?
A: It is not permissible for females to leave home and study, even if they are in pardah. This does not fall under necessity. A woman is only allowed to leave home when a necessity arises. You may study any degree, but do so from home. You can do it through a correspondence course. However, I would suggest that once you've finished schooling, don't worry about further degrees. Start getting ready for marriage by learning the ways of a housewife.
From experience I have learnt that when girls spend their teen years studying, there is no time to groom themselves for marriage by learning the finer points of cooking, housekeeping, etc. A young female also needs to start reading up on the Islamic Laws related to marriage, for without this a girl cannot become a proper and true wife. Furthermore, when a girl attains a degree, she will not stop at that but would be driven to start working. Then when she starts working and earning money (and nowadays women find jobs easier than men, and get better pay) she will discard the laws of pardah in the course of her work. She might even be working with men or interacting with them. This will later on impact on her marriage, as will her earning more than the husband should this materialize. Marriages have broken down due to wives working, for three main reasons:
1) The wife works with men, or comes into contact with them during work, and this (naturally) annoys the husband;
2) The wife earns more than the husband, so he feels inferior, and at times she regards him as inferior;
3) She feels independent, and believes that if her husband leaves, she can survive on her own.
These points are the ideal recipe for marital catastrophe.
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