Husband Overburdens Her and Does Not Help Her at Home
Fatwa No: 406489

  • Fatwa Date:31-10-2019 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 3, 1441
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Question

Assalam alaikum. May Allah have mercy upon you, and reward you for the help this site is providing. Im feeling like im losing myself because of housework and the expectations of my husband and myself that I can not manage to live up to. I live with my husband and four children, I just gave birth a month ago so i have a small baby. My husband works 3 jobs to support us, and i dont have any family around so I'm the one who takes care of the children, shop groceries, take care of the home, follow up kindergarden, school, homework, Islamic studies etc. My husband is not happy with me because the house looks messy and is not clean as he and i wishes but I can not manage everything on my own. I'm so sad about this, and cry often. He does not accept to have a house cleaner, or for me to get help from friends. He asks me to come to him in bed daytime when the baby sleeps, but when the baby sleeps is the only time I can do something at home. When he does not sleep he wants to breastfeed or I have to change on him etc and I can not do anything. Please advice me, as I feel I'm about to loose my mind at times and I get easily angry and frustrated because of always stressing. But my husband says my job is easy, why I can not manage it good. I feel like a failure, and the stress is affecting my health.

Answer

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

Marital life is of an immense value and it should be founded on mutual kindness between the spouses according to what is reasonable; Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.} [Quran 2:228]

The husband and wife are expected to cooperate and complement each other in shouldering the burdens of this life, while maintaining perfect understanding and mutual respect. On her part, a wife should serve her husband at home in accordance with the customs of their community, and the same applies to the husband; he serves his wife in accordance with the customs, by seeking to earn a living and the like. Among the manifestations of the enjoined kindness towards one’s wife is to refrain from overburdening her with duties beyond her ability, and if this happens, he should graciously help her out. This was the refined etiquette observed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) with his servants; what then should the etiquette be with one’s life partner and mother of his children? Abu Tharr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Your slaves are your brothers, and Allah has put them under your command. So, whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them to do things beyond their capacity, and if you do so, then help them.” [Al-Bukhari]

If the husband is unable to help his wife himself, he should find her a female helper. The majority of scholars maintained that if a wife is not used to serving herself (prior to marriage), it is obligatory on the husband to provide her with a servant.

As for raising the children and giving them guidance, this is an obligation on both parents. The fact that your husband overburdens you with all these duties that you mentioned, and he expects you to fulfill them perfectly and then calls you to bed when you are performing the household chores without trying to help you himself or provide you with a servant or even allow your friends to help you, then this means that he is overburdening you with duties beyond your capacity. It is impermissible for him to do so, and it is against the enjoined kindness towards one’s spouse.

Our advice for you is to be patient, seek the help of Allah The Exalted and recite Thikr to relieve your stress. Try reaching an understanding with your husband in light of what we have mentioned. You can also seek the mediation of some wise people, whom he respects and appreciates, to give him advice and open his eyes to the proper way (of dealing with his wife).

Beware of Satan lest he triggers disputes between you and your husband, causing discord and separation, thus tearing your family apart and exposing your children to loss. May Allah make matters easy for you, relieve your distress, and amend your husband’s condition.

For more benefit on treating one’s wife honourably, please refer to Fataawa 88304, 86618, 88304, 85167, 86344, 85308 and 90039.

Allah knows best.

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