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Helping your wife with household chores is a neglected sunnah. Any man that sees it beneath him or is too arrogant to help his wife around the house is acting against the sunnah and is guilty of chauvinistic behavior. In fact, majority of Muslim scholars are of the opinion that serving one’s husband is not compulsory on a wife. Imam Malik , al-Shafi’e and Abu Hanifa also support this.
Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was asked, “What did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family (كَانَ يَكُونُ فِي مِهْنَةِ أَهْلِهِ) and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)
The word used in the hadith is Mihnah (مِهْنَة), which is translated as ‘busy serving’ here, also means in the Arabic language ‘work’, ‘job’, ‘profession’, etc. This implies helping your wife in the house is a full time job as well. Whether it’s helping wash the dishes, cooking, cleaning, raising the kids, etc., is all part and parcel of being the ‘man’ of the house. The notion that it is somehow degrading for men to help and work with the wife around the house is foreign to Islam.
In another report Aisha is reported to have said, “He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.” (Adab Al-Mufrad graded sahih by Al-Albani)
In yet another report it is said that she said, “He milked his goat.” (Ahmad)
Hence, he did not find such things too ‘womanish’ for him to do. It is no wonder that he said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah)
Following is a very interesting and touching short video on this topic and shows how culture has ingrained within many societies a wrong understanding (Urdu only):
Categories: Akhlaaq (Manners)