Praise be to Allaah.
In the earliest days, the Muslims used to have slaves, female
and male, who used to serve them. Slavery was abolished [in Saudi Arabia] in
1386 AH, and there are no slaves any more. The people began to bring female
servants from some other countries such as the Philippines, Sri Lanka etc.
In this situation the people had no choice but to bring servants. It is
permissible for a woman to bring a servant, but she should make sure that
she is a Muslim and that she is trustworthy and there is no fear of her
causing harm, and that she adheres to the rulings of Islam, is modest and
observes hijaab; she should avoid meeting men, and if any man enters the
house she should wear hijaab as women do in front of non-mahram men. Bringing such a servant should be the matter of necessity, and when the wife is able to do without her, she should be sent back to her family. (If these conditions are met), then it is permissible to bring servants according to need.