Traveling for a necessity and with mutual consent of the spouses

Q 1: Many of our friends who live in Europe are married and have wives in their homelands. They stay away from them for one or two years (Part No. 19; Page No. 344) or even more. They support their wives financially and some wives may waive their right to Nafaqah (obligatory financial support). It is possible for such husbands to bring their wives to live with them abroad, but they are apprehensive to leave them home alone when they are at work. Perhaps a child gets sick and the wife will not be able to take them to a doctor because of the language, which may stand as a barrier to do so. All in all, a lady would fear to go to a doctor alone due to people's bad morals over there. Is it permissible for a husband to stay away from his wife for this long period of time? Why?

A: First, a Muslim should live and try to earn his living in Muslim countries. He should seek knowledge from Muslim scholars to guard his Din (religion) of Islam and that of his family members against the Fitnah (temptation) of Kufr (disbelief) and corrupted morals. If he is forced to work or study in non-Muslim countries due to the difficult conditions that surround him or his Ummah (nation based on one creed), he is permitted to go there. In such a case, he is obligated to observe the rituals of Islam and adhere to the Islamic manners. Furthermore, he should fulfill his duties towards those whom Allah (Exalted be He) has put in his charge. Second, he is permitted to leave his wife, children, parents, or any other dependents for a long period of time if they agree to that. It makes no difference whether he supports them financially or they waive their right to Nafaqah because they are well-off and have what is sufficient for their living. If they do not accept his long absence and are jeopardized because of it, (Part No. 19; Page No. 345) it will not be permissible for him to abandon them. Instead, he has to take them with him if possible and assure their safety from Fitnah and corruption. Otherwise, he should live with them in Muslim countries to guard himself and his family against Fitnah that may affect their Din, worldly life, and morals. The wife is legally entitled to demand her husband's return if he refuses to do so. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, and Companions.