Does wife need permission to fast?

Question:

Asalamu `alaikum Sayyidi

Does a wife have to ask permission from her husband to keep nafl fasts, for example voluntary fasting in Muharram? Taking into account the fasting is short in the winter months and we are both at work all day and do not see each other, so it does not affect marital relations. Thank you Sayyidi!

Answer:

wa `alaykum salam,

Asking permission ensures the Sunnah has been put into effect, but is not literally necessary if there is an understanding between the couple, in which  case the wife does not have to ask permission. However by asking the wife gives her husband a chance to fast as well which will redouble her reward and his. There is a hadith that mentions special blessings for the spouse, who before tahajjud, wakes the other spouse, and so by analogy this would result in reward for the wife encouraging her husband to fast with her.

W ‘Allahu `alam

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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