Many men are reluctant in doing domestic work at home. In-fact many people are of the opinion that they will lose their status as men by assisting in household chores. However the practice of Rasulullah was contrary to this. It is narrated by Hadhrat Aaishah that “Rasulullah used to assist in household chores and when the time for salaah would approach, he would leave immediately for salaah.”
In another Hadith it is mentioned that once Hadhrat Aaishah was asked, “What work did Rasulullah do while at home?” She replied, “Rasulullah was a man among men. He would clean his own clothes, milk the goats and take care of himself.”
If all men, in present times, follow this wonderful example, we will also reap the following benefits;
1. We will be fulfilling a sunnah of Rasulullah which is the greatest benefit.
2. We will be of assistance to our families at home.
3. Pride and arrogance will be eliminated and humility will develop in us.
The following are some examples of work that could be carried out by men in their homes.
1. Setting and clearing of the dastarkhaan for meals.
2. Helping with the dishes.
3. Putting away the ironing.
4. Helping with the children.
5. Making the bed after sleeping.
6. Helping the children with their sabak and homework.
7. Light maintenance work at home e.g. changing globes, tap washers, etc.
Unfortunately, some men possess a very demanding nature. Instead of assisting with the children and household work, they demand attention for themselves. At meals times they will want to be served all the time without offering any assistance. It is of utmost importance that we forsake this attitude and bring alive the mubaarak sunnah of Rasulullah of assisting in household work. By practicing on this sunnah it will also assist in strengthening the bond between husband and wife and help in creating a loving, caring environment in one’s home. This sunnah is in-fact a prescription to cure many of the ills which are so common in marriages today.
The following is a malfooz (saying) of Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (RA);
“This is something that I don’t wish to mention, but due to necessity I am saying it. If you wish you can find out from my wife how I conduct myself with her at home and what service I take from her. Al-hamdulillah neither am I restricted, nor do I restrict anyone else. In this way, one lives like a king.”
It is always my practice that when I go home to eat and if there isn’t any fresh bread that has been baked then I eat the bread which was left over from the previous day. Most of the time when I arrive home and I see my wife engaged in some household work, I take the bread myself, fill the container with water, dish out the curry from the pot and sit down to eat. Actually if I see that she is busy cooking and she needs anything at that time, for example she needs water for cooking, I will fetch the water for her from the water pump and first give it to her.
If I see that she is not busy doing any work then I will ask her to serve me. It is very important to be considerate in these aspects. After all, she also is a human being. It is not possible for her temperament to remain the same all the time. Even a servant feels lethargic at times.
I do lots of work on my own and I don’t regard it as a burden. If she wants to be of any service to me, I allow her and I feel comforted that she is serving me. She also feels at ease when I am at ease. At nights I sleep very little but when I see my wife fast asleep, I thank Allah Ta’ala that she sleeps so well otherwise I would have been burdened with a double worry, one that I cannot sleep and the other that she cannot sleep.
When I am about to leave the house, I ask her if there is anything that needs to be done before I go. If she doesn’t need anything, then I leave. If she indicated that there was some work to do, I would remain behind and complete the chore. For example, If there was a letter to write to someone, then I would complete writing it before leaving the house. After meals if I felt like eating some paan, I would ask her where the container with the paan is kept. She would point it out to me and I would take out the paan and help myself.
In present times the youngsters call their wives their life companions. What companionship are they talking about? Have they even fulfilled the rights of this companionship? This is mere lip service. Infact, instead of being their life companions they have distanced their wives because of their uncaring attitude. [misaali gharaana pg. 56]
May Allah Ta’ala enable us all to follow in the mubaarak footsteps of our noble master Sayyidinah Rasulullah and grant us the taufeeq and ability to be of assistance in our homes. Aameen.