Once the Nikāh ceremony takes place, a man and a
woman are husband and wife in the legal sense. Consequently, as far as their
legal rights and obligations are concerned, they cannot be tampered with in any
way. In such circumstances, if the wife insists that he come and stay at her
house or if they go out together for some entertainment, then perhaps no one can
put a blame on them in the legal sense, but then there is another aspect to this
which needs deep consideration. You see the formation of a family is not merely
an issue of law and legal rights. Such things only safeguard the marriage
contract and protect the interests of the spouses. As such, they have deep
significance. However, the formation of a family has a social side as well. By
this is meant the healthy traditions and conventions of a society which have
evolved over centuries and which have taken the shape of certain accepted norms.
On these traditions is built the fabric of a society and they themselves are
based on precepts and standards which human nature in general relishes. The
Sharī‘ah itself directs us to follow these traditions and customs of a society.
If a husband meets or converses with his wife who he is
yet to take home in the presence of elders then this is something which is in
accordance with the traditions of an Islamic society. However, it is against the
conventions and traditions of an Islamic society for a husband to stay at the
house of such a wife, or take her out alone though legally, as I said, this
cannot be objected to.