A husband should not overburden his wife with what is beyond her ability
Fatwa No: 255271


I am a nuring mother and this is my first baby. My baby is 2 months old. I feel very depressed and lonely. My husband tells me that I should have time to cook food for him. I don't have any help and I am alone with the baby. I am not able to have time to cook food. It is difficult for me to even eat all day because of the baby. If I had time I would have cooked food. My in-laws were here recently and because there was someone to look after ther baby I was able to cook food and do other household chores. I am extremely hurt. How can my husband expect me to do something I am not able to? He is angry and upset. Please help me-I am very lonely and depressed. I wish Allah had spared me this emotional pain.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

We believe that the matter is easier than to reach this state between spouses, if there is understanding between them and they cooperate in their marital affairs, as this is part of living with each other in kindness. The husband should not resort to such a way of treatment where there is someone who gives orders and the other has to obey. He should not get angry with his wife if she does not fulfill some of his requests. No doubt, treating the wife in this way affects the marital relationship even when the wife does all that he asks her to do. For more information, please refer to Fatwa 85424.

The scholars held different opinions about the ruling on a wife serving her husband; the majority of the scholars are of the view that she is not obliged to serve him as we have already explained in Fatwa 86406.

Even according to the view that she is obliged to serve her husband – which is also a well supported view – then this should be done within reasonable terms. In fact, a wife serving her husband in a way that involves potential harm to her is something beyond reasonable terms.

In conclusion, we say that you should be wise in dealing with the matter of preparing food and serving the family, and you should seize the opportunity when the baby is sleeping or calm to perform some house chores. You should also advise your husband in a gentle and soft manner and in the light of what we have mentioned above if he overburdens you with something that you cannot do.

You should also supplicate Allaah to correct him. You may also, when necessary, seek the help of some righteous and pious people whom you think would influence him and to whom you believe that he would listen to.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa