Getting someone to help mother in caring for children
Fatwa No: 361054

  • Fatwa Date:26-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 8, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Shaikh, I would be grateful if you would answer this question directly, because if you show another fatwa, I will have difficulty understanding it. Can mother hire a babysitter to look after her baby and clean the baby's waste (stool, urine, vomit, etc.) in order to decrease her burden, or is it obligatory for the mother to do all the cleaning of the baby's waste and look after her babies despite of her burden, workload, and sufferings? Can the husband help her in cleaning the baby's waste? Is it impermissible that the husband helps his wife in giving time for the child and helps his wife to look after and clean the waste of the child? Is giving time and looking after the child one parent's responsibility, or that of both parents?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, it is permissible for the woman to get a maid, for example, to help her in taking care of her children and the like, with the consent of her husband, because it is not permissible for her to let someone enter his house if he does not like for them to enter it.

Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said in the Farewell Hajj (Farewell pilgrimage), “…Your right over your wives is that they do not allow anyone whom you hate to sit on your beds…” [Muslim]

An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon, said in his commentary on this statement, “The chosen view is that it means that they do not permit anyone whom you dislike to enter your homes and sit therein, whether the person given permission to enter is a non-Mahram (marriageable) man or a woman or any of the wife's Mahram men. The forbiddance includes all of this, and this is the ruling of the scholars of Fiqh on the issue.

Secondly: There is a difference of opinion among the scholars of Fiqh on the ruling of the service of the wife to her husband.

The view that we adopt here at Islamweb is that this depends on the custom, meaning that she is obliged to serve her husband according to what is customarily assumed and accepted that she serves him in. This does not mean that the wife overburdens herself with what she cannot bear. Rather, the scholars of Fiqh stated that if the wife is a woman of a noble status, or if her husband is among the honorable men whose wives do not serve them, then he must provide his wife with a servant. Al-Kharashi from the Maaliki School of jurisprudence stated this when explaining Mukhtasar Khaleel. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 86344 and 86406.

Thirdly: It is not forbidden for a husband to help his wife in the housework; rather, it is noble of him to help her in that. It is sufficient for us to know that the most honorable man, the best example, our Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to do that.

Al-Aswad, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I asked ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, ‘What did the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) use to do in his house?’ She replied, ‘He used to serve his family, and when the time for the prayer was due, he would go out for the prayer.’” [Al-Bukhaari]

Also, Imaam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked, “What did the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) use to do in his house?” She replied, “He was a human being just like all other human beings. He used to remove the fleas from his clothes, milk his sheep, and serve himself.

Thus, both spouses should understand that cooperation is the basis in marital life and that it is the most effective way to achieve happiness, to strengthen the marital bond, and to spread affection.

Fourthly: Raising the children and providing them with good guidance, care, and so on, is the duty of both parents, because the children are a trust with them.

Allah says (what means): {O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones.} [Quran 66:6]

Shaykh As-Sa‘di, commented on the verse in his Tafseer (Quranic exegesis), saying, “It means: your children are a trust placed with you (parents), and Allah has enjoined you to take care of them. You must strive to preserve their religiosity and worldly interests; you should teach, discipline, and protect them from corruption and evils. You must order them to obey Allah and always preserve their piety...

Allah knows best.

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