Helping Your Wife With Household Chores is a Neglected Sunnah - The Thinking Muslim

Helping Your Wife With Household Chores is a Neglected Sunnah

Husband doing chores is Islamic

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 including Imam Malik, al-Shafi’, and Abu Hanifa. In other words, they opine that a wife is under no obligation to cook, clean, wash, sew, etc. for her husband. Even the controversial popular Kuwaiti cleric Sh. Othman al-Khamis is very explicit about this in one of the videos on his YouTube channel and adds that rather it is obligatory on the husband to bring someone to serve his wife for such tasks.

The Shafi’ scholar Sh. Musa Furber argues that a “husband is required to inform his wife that this is not the case. Furthermore, she is entitled to wages for doing so – if she decides not to do so as an act of charity. Her refusal to do so is not an act of disobedience and he cannot withhold her support if she refuses.”

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):


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56 thoughts on “Helping Your Wife With Household Chores is a Neglected Sunnah”

  1. Our men are now so unloving, irresponsible and pompous… what they know is the Sunnah of multiple wives whom most times, they can’t care for or be just to…

    My sincerest salutation upon Muhammad SAW, his companions, households and all those who sincerely follow him till date…. I love you Feesebilillah

    1. Oh be quite. We’re outside our houses 9-5 providing for you and you’re complaining we don’t help around the house often. In the Prophet’s days there was no 9-5 jobs getting all tired so there was time and energy to help around the house, these days there isn’t.

      1. I would actually disagree. During the Prophet’s time, they had to work more than 9-5. And they didn’t just sit on a desk all day long, they actually worked. So I would argue they would qualify to be even more tired. As someone who is married and has worked 9-5, I can confidently say that men today do have the time to help the wife around the house if they really want to. Also, the problem is that the women are required to work more than 9-5 around the house but men have a start and finish time. If a man wants to not work around the house and wants his wife to work in the house, then she too has the right to claim a start and finish time.

      2. That is the exact attitude that displays the arrogance of men if you work 9-5 women especially mothers work 24/7 and have no days off or breaks. ..even when the kids are asleep there is housework to do and if it wasn’t for nagging husbands who expect their wife to do it among everything else she has seldom time to reflect on her faith and just sit and read quran…so while you finish work and come home and your dinner is ready and brought to you your wife did that and when she is finished she has to clean and dry and pack and vacuum then put kids to bed and fix herself even though she is so tired just to please her man while he just sits there probably looking at other girls on his phone. …

      3. oh yes….
        how many wives have a 9-5pm jobs and still do whatever she is excepeted to do in the house +kids
        while her jobless husband doesnt want to move a finger
        doesnt she feel tired too
        the prophet *saw used to help
        and the deen doesnt say oh if u have a 9-5job u r excused from helping ur wife

      4. Hijabi Adventures

        These comments are horrendous. I’ve been married nearly 4 years. The first year, I finished my Master’s degree (my husband has a bachelors), I had a part-time job, and still did housework. Afterwards, for the past 3 years, I have been the sole provider for my husband and I, working 8:30am-6:30pm, and I still had the ability to come home and help my husband with the housework, and take us on vacations to 6 different countries. Please men, why don’t you try telling me, again, why you can’t help your wife with housework and raising children with your little 9-5’s.

        1. No offense but that is pathetic. You are clearly not living a Muslim lifestyle according to the Quran and Sunnah. Women are not allowed to work in mix environment where men and women interact.The fact that your husband stays who with the kids proves he is not a man.

          1. Please don’t get the teachings of Islam wrong. It was narrated that the prophet PBUH assigned a public post to a woman. So where is your understanding coming from brother?

      5. SHAME ON YOUR MOTHER FOR RAISING A SON LIKE YOU. I AM A SINGLE FATHER OF 3 SONS (WIFE PASSED AWAY VERY YOUNG). I am raising my sons to do their own cooking and cleaning so that they don’t need a maid for a wife but a life partner..

        1. Thank u 😊 thank u ❤️For raising young men to being partners may allah give u the best in this life and in the next inshallah ameen

      6. In the time of the prophet there wasn’t even time to sleep like you do…. they sleep with one eye closed. Most don’t even know if they will live till the next minute or where their next meal will come from, still they do their duty to their women and family. Please don’t even compare your life of luxury to the hardship they endured every single day.

        1. Ade, your statement is so full of misinformation it is shameful. You are making thing up as they come into your narrow minded head. Your reference to the Believers during the time of the Prophet is grossly inaccuarate because the Prophet himself counseled men to treat their wives fairly with kindness, because women constantly sought his guidance when they were being abused. The only way a person or a nation can solve problems is to admit they exist, not make up lies about them.

      7. Did you really just say that the Prophet had time and energy to help out?? DO you even know anything about the prophet’s pbuh LIFE? You can argue about how men do more work than women. Thats not the issue here. But to go ahead and say that HE MUHAMMAD PBUH HAD MORE TIME THAN U IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I HEARD. Bro i dnt think you realize, the men back then were fighting in jihad, training for war, always migrating. Working not just by sitting on a desk.. their work was much more laborious

      1. you said something you can’t even prove..During the time of the prophet they used to work more than 9 5???from here you come up with this?? a feminist conference??

        1. Not everything is feminist. Stick to the point of the post. Stop going off topic. What is wrong with a husband helping his wife in the house? Are you seriously suggesting that the Prophet (pbuh) didn’t help his wives at home? Also, just one question mark is enough. There is no need to place multiple ones. That doesn’t strengthen your argument more.

      2. There is nothing wrong in a man helping his wife obviously. Yea the Prophet used to do it too. My point is about the brother’s comment. He is right in some ways. i commented just to get an idea from where you came up with your more than 5 to 9 fact. Don’t forge lies in the name of religion just for the sake of your desire is all i have to say.

        1. No one is lying. There is no need to exaggerate. The “9-5” is metaphorically speaking. It’s not literal. And understanding such things as literal is not a sign of intelligence. The point was that the sahabah were either farmers (Ansar) or businessmen (muhajireen). These things are not your typical 8 hour work days. They require a lot to plan, travel, market, research, etc.

    2. As an Educated Man, as a Muslim Convert, as the Master of my House
      I will never take any suggestion on what I should do or not do in accordance with Quran.
      Have read the Book, the Holy Book, over 30 Thirty Times, cover to cover
      I find by this suggestion, to not question my reading, my understand or my accept of Quran.
      On the other hand, understand of Allah’s (The ONE (1) Gods Laws (GL)
      are far and apart from Man Laws, which are Self Service at best, Misleading and often
      defy any NORM you man Chooses.

      Quran, the Living Quran, beyond be Allah’s WORD, it is an amazing Text in that it has been current to
      the reader in 632 AD, or in 2020 AD. Further, if two readers, read the same verse, without any other
      out side suggestion, there is the possibility of understand, misunderstanding or some understanding.

      I would suggest, before advising me, you take to READING the Holy Quran once again, for religious content,
      as I often do, to find that you will be brought to a NEW Realization, of what you previously thought you
      read – knew, which happens to me on occasion. But, understand this Holy Book, was written for
      Humanity, not Just for Muslims. People in Science, History, Philosophy, and Psychologies read Quran, and re-read
      Quran, understand certain complexity, are not and were NOT Complex at ALL in 632 AD.

      It is but a suggest to the reader here, that you challenge is to READ QURAN, and understand in on a personal level.
      As I Read it, The Holy Quran, my take is that I, with NO intercessors will be responsible on the day of MY Judgement?

      I Should entrust my future to some ones ill gotten guidance, spread here? I Think NOT, be he layman or Iman,
      forget NOT, they are ALL Humans, subject to often and frequent errors

      1. Does that mean you won’t help your wife out with household chores? Not sure what ill gotten guidance you are referring to, since there are multiple references of how the Prophet lived with his wives.

    1. Does that mean you won’t help your wife out with household chores? Not sure what ill gotten guidance you are referring to, since there are multiple references of how the Prophet lived with his wives.

    2. Where did anyone suggest that a woman is not obligated to obey her husband? And that reference is not poured in cement. Some men focus so much on that one reference in Quran but at the same time don’t support their wives 100%, are not always kind and considerate and have limited knowledge of what their own duties as husbands are. But somehow expect a wife to think highly of them. That is not how the Prophet lived. Don’t expect women to lower their standards.

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  3. Jzk for this post… it definitely is a neglected sunnah. The video is spot on, the cultural upbringing is to blame where boys are treated like kings and girls are taught to cook, clean iron from a fairly young age (I recall doing all these things from 11 years old) whereas my brothers were not taught any kind of responsibility. Just knew how to watch TV and play games.
    So once men get married that is all they know to be spoon fed and to order about.

    Unfortunately even when men start practising they will never look to how they should treat their wife or what her rights are or give her any kind of emotional support etc but will know their right of intercourse and multiple wives really well. Such sad times. I could go on as iv seen, heard and experienced…

    No we are not perfect but a helping hand would be great. We are not robots or machines and we need a rest, a break from time to time.

    May Allaah make us good wives and good husbands. Aameen

  4. Hijabiadventures

    These comments are horrendous. I’ve been married nearly 4 years. The first year, I finished my Master’s degree (my husband has a bachelors), I had a part-time job, and still did housework. Afterwards, for the past 3 years, I have been the sole provider for my husband and I, working 8:30am-6:30pm, and I still had the ability to come home and help my husband with the housework, and take us on vacations to 6 different countries. Please men, why don’t you try telling me, again, why you can’t help your wife with housework and raising children with your little 9-5’s.

    1. First thing you look up to is your job. Is it a mixed
      Job where there are men and women together?
      If yes, your husband needs to step up his game.
      And secondly, working is not a woman’s duty. Her’s is to take care of the households. That’s it! If you are a working woman, it’s already an issue.

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  9. Dear Brother and Sisters, please be aware that you are dealing with internet Trolls, when they reply to you giving fatwas and slandering and in-all trying to make you look small.

    Islam is the most beautiful thing this is why our mosques are full and yes it is true men (I am a man) neglect there wife/children/house – regardless of your faith.- even I need to do more.

    Be like the prophet, give charity, work hard, pray hard, be not just a husband but a partner to your wife, do household chores, always look after orphans and the list goes on.

    To follow Islam it means to be the best to your wife and that is the best of men.

    Also do not entertain these trolls who try to reply making you question yourself, the World is waking up and seeing to get close to the creator is to submit like the way all the prophets did Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Muhammad etc (Peace and Blessings on all of them) and Islam in my opinion is the best to do that – please go see all faiths personally and make your choice :]

  10. Salaams, I actually read thru all the posts. Last post is spot on, there r trolls out there. Plus men who get irked by our beloved Prophet setting the standard of which they fall far below. He helped out, he is our example, so follow him, it’s simple. Spouses are spose to share. But men think oh I worked today it was so hard and then they have the audacity to question you when u say ur tired, even tho u run round after kids all day plus house work. Wouldn’t it be nice if he said to u, sit down relax I’m gonna watch the kids, u go have a long soak u deserve it. Alot of jobs these days aren’t even as tiring as back in the Prophets day. Wonder if I’ll regret working, starting soon. Ramadan is here, let’s improve our character and be good to each other. Let’s live by the Quran and the Sunnah. Allahu Alim.

    1. Bro, there is no need to spam my wall with an irrelevant debate. I only stated the opinions of reputable Muslim scholars on this issue. You should probably go challenge them if you disagree.

      1. This article is written from the wrong angle, one can’t say it’s not the responsibility of the wife to look after her husband- I came looking for ‘the reward of helping the wife in household chores’ – meaning that I want to know the rewards from Allah for helping.

        This article is pushing the concept of wife doesn’t need to serve her husband, this is definitely a dangerous concept- I live in London and there are many husband who are working very long hours to provide for their wife’s- he can’t afford a maid, he is struggling to pay the rent, whilst your article is promoting that the wife should get a wage of she serves hey husband. This article will cause some to start a right their husbands.
        I disagree with this article, I really wonder if this article been written by a scholar?

  11. I challenge you bcz you posted an only half opinion.
    My Dear brother Scholars also said a man has no obligation of his wife’s medical expenses even they are not obliged to give her extra meal e.g tea, fruits are not wajib on man.
    They only have to provide the necessities to their wife

    1. How is it half an opinion? Can you provide references? I’ve not posted anything of mine but only quoted references. I’ve provided all of the references in the links. I believe you are confused or misinformed.

    1. Bro, you have not proven why Musa Furber is wrong. Just because you don’t agree with it does not mean it is invalid.

      As for the book you sent, have you even read it? I’m not even sure if you understand Arabic. Even the book itself acknowledges what I said above that most scholars do not consider it obligatory. If you cannot understand Arabic, here is a short summary of the book in English:

      https://musafurber.com/2019/03/20/summary-a-wifes-religious-obligation-to-perform-housework/

      1. Brother, you are totally wrong plz read the complete Arabic book and your article is completely misleading the women . Musa fuber follow shafi school .
        In pakistan we follow hanifi madhab in which cooking is wife religious duty, not a legal duty. In Hanbali School of thought which you follow it is an obligation on the wife to cook for the husband as said by ibn e Tamiya

        Also, read the fatwa in below link :

        https://islamqa.info/en/answers/1704/the-wife-serving-her-husband

        1. Bro, do you even understand Arabic? I don’t believe you read the book at all. You wouldn’t be saying the things that you are if you had.

          My article is not misleading but accurately depicting that there is a difference of opinion over the matter and that most do not consider it obligatory. What is misleading about that? It seems you want to enforce an opinion that you follow on everyone else. That’s not how our deen works in issues of legitimate difference of opinion.

          If you follow the Hanafi madhab, then that is fine. Follow it. But let non-hanafis follow other opinions which are also legitimate. And Musa Furber being a Shafi’ and following the Shafi’ school is not wrong. The Shafi’ school is a respectable and accepted school in our deen. So I am not sure what your contention is.

          Lastly, the article you mentioned also is explicitly saying that there is a difference of opinion and that the correct opinion in THEIR VIEW is what Ibn Taymiyyah and others said. It’s just their opinion. They’re not saying those who follow the other one are being sinful. Also, Ibn Taymiyyah rahimullah does not always stick to our school, thus, we do not always accept whatever he says. Most Hanbalis say it is not obligatory for her. By the way this is also the opinion of Abu Hanifa.

          1. I read the complete book and i remind you to delete this nonsense article bcz All Scholars said that wife should cook for husband whether she is obliged or not
            There are lot of things which are not wajib on the husband but he always considers it obligatory to him

          2. No I am not going to delete this article, because you have not proven anything. The only thing you’ve provided is your own opinion. This is my last comment on the topic. This conversation is now wasting my time.

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  13. All these men be makin up excuses 🙄 is it that hard to help? XD I’m dissapointed, not that i expected better since I saw this going on in my family ( Desi ). My dad only started helpin my mom when she started workin and supportin him financially, you could say men are always late to realise the importance of a woman (wife, we dont do haram here) in their life.

    However I intend to change some rules in my house insha allah, and by allah’s will my future husband will be a much better man than any of you 😀 peace

    👀May Allah bring to us that which is good for us and keep away from us that which is not👀

    1. In sha Allah Sister!!! Please ignore all these pathetic men and their excuses. Our beloved Prophet(pbuh) was a messenger of Allah(swt), was a statesman, fought wars to defend his people, and was very busy in his days because a lot of people would come to him to ask for advice however despite all this he helped his wives and even served himself!!! He also made sure to talk with his wives and also made sure they were emotionally and physically maintained! Perfect husband and perfect father!!! every man should follow the example of our beloved Prophet(pbuh)

  14. The shallow men out there,while reading your comments I only pity and sympathize with the women of your families.The wives surely living sad lives.

    1. May Allah(swt) bless all of them sister! Why cant the men of our Ummah learn from our beloved Prophet(pbuh) on how to treat their wives! Yes i agree a woman should take care of her husband and kids but that doesnt mean to burden all the work on her as if she is a servant! You should help her out with chores or volunteer to take care of kids

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