A Maid, a Babysitter, or a Wife?

If you want a woman to do all the house chores and look after your every need, then what you want is a maid and a babysitter – not a wife.

This one is for the guys.

It is a disturbing trend that women are pressured into getting married, and when they finally tie the knot, their life becomes more miserable than when they were single. This paints a horrible picture of marriage in the minds of women. On one hand, they are being told that they have an “expiration date” and have to get married quickly or fear the consequences of staying single. On the other hand, once they are married, they become a slave in the household.

No wonder there are women who want to opt out, i.e., not get married at all. Who can blame them? Any normal individual wouldn’t want anything to do with such an oppressive concept of marriage.

This isn’t to say that marriage is like a fairy tale; it has its ups and downs. Marriage isn’t always pretty. There are bills to pay, kids to feed, a house to maintain, different personalities to handle, more birthdays to remember, and the list goes on. Marriage has its challenges. But that doesn’t justify making the woman’s life *unnecessarily* difficult.

Our lawfully-wedded spouse is our partner. Marriage is not an employer-employee relationship. It is a beautiful partnership – a partnership towards Allah. If one understands partnership in the context of business, then one understands where I am going with this. In a business partnership, each share profits and losses equally. There is no “me vs. you”, it is always “us”. If one partner wins, the other partner wins and if one partner loses, the other partner also loses.

Partners will carry each other’s burdens, making the load lighter, and the journey easier.

There is an understanding that life after marriage will be more difficult, but that doesn’t mean it will be more miserable. A husband and wife face difficulties together. They help each other, making the life of the other easier. From there, happiness blooms – despite inevitable marital difficulties.

So guys, how about washing the dishes once in a while? Perhaps do a little house cleaning on the weekends? Or maybe, cook dinner tonight? How about massaging her feet for a change? Some might think it’s heresy for a guy to get his hands dirty around the house. But for others, it’s Prophetic.

Our Prophet, despite being the busy man that he was, would help out around the house with what we may consider “menial” house chores. But to our blessed Prophet, no honest work was menial. Can you imagine the best of creations mending his own clothes? (Keep in mind, sewing machines weren’t invented yet). Is it hard for you to imagine? Well, it shouldn’t be because he actually did it.

Some guys might think it’s a waste of their time to do these house chores. What about her time? Is your time more valuable than hers? If you think you’re tired, then what state do you think she’s in after she spent the whole day cleaning up the house and preparing the meals?

Don’t get me started on working wives. They do twice the work, with half the appreciation.

This article isn’t meant to downplay the husband’s worth. Husbands do a lot for the marriage too. My intention is to direct the eyes of the husbands into seeing and appreciating their wives for all the things – big or small – that they do around the house and stop complaining when the food tastes less salty than you prefer.

Seeing that they are your partner, you should be motivated to help out and avoid making her life more difficult than it should be.

Husbands helping out around the house: this is what we should consider to be mainstream and conventional, because this is the Sunna.

You know what isn’t the Sunna?

Being a couch potato while she sweeps the crumbs from under your feet.

This article was first published on ISNA Lanterns by the same author.