Once the ‘honeymoon’ phase of a marriage is over and the reality of marriage sets in, many small issues may arise that one needs to address right away before they become larger and lead to separation or divorce. Amongst these problems is housework or chores.
The name itself brings about dreaded memories amongst some of spending many, many laborous hours on the floor or in the bathroom or kitchen spending your entire time cleaning. In the past, it may be unusual to see the man doing any chores or housework. Our parents and the generations before that would see housework or chores as a woman’s job or part of her role as a housewife.
As the lives and roles of both men and women change, so must how we perceive chores or who takes the responsibility of chores. It remains a fact that a Muslim wife due to her being at home most of the time will still perform the majority of chores and housework, however, this does not absolve the man of his responsibility of doing chores or helping with chores. We take a look to the best of examples for us as Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him.
From numerous reports and incidences in the blessed life of the Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings be upon him) we can find information about how he was in his house and we can find information about his housework. Some of the narrations are below:
The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) occupied himself at his home like a common man. As it is related by his wife ‘Aisha (radiallahu anha), he used to clean his clothes, milch the sheep and himself do his odd jobs. She also says that he would mend his clothes, repair his shoes and do similar other tasks.
When asked how the Prophet occupied himself at home, she replied, “He used to keep himself busy in household chores and went out when the time for prayer came.”
We can see from the life of the best person to have ever lived that he himself used to do chores at home. He used to perform chores that he was responsible for. We can take this as an example and encourage people to learn from the life of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and can encourage men to begin doing chores at home, especially those that relate specifically to themselves. These may include, ironing, fixing your clothes or shoes, and doing your laundry amongst many others.
Begin by doing the chores that relate specifically to your own things and eventually you can move into doing chores for the entire household. Also as a final tip to husbands, your wife may always do the chores at home and may never ask for help, however if you willingly, without asking her, perform a few chores then watch how her love and admiration will increase for you. This will provide a much needed boost in any relationship.