The woman must do this, the woman must do that. She must cook the food, take care of children, and obey her husband at all costs! Does Islam really subjugate women like it is thought? Well the answer is plain and simple. NO! To think, some of us are getting too obsessed with women, and all our focus and criticism goes against them, but what about men? Without doubt there are many things that are upon the women that are in her benefit, however, there are just as many things upon men, but these are either ignored or just not talked about.
Firstly, we should understand that men and women are different and have different roles in Islam. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.” (Qur’an, 4:32)
In Islam, men have many responsibilities to fulfill towards women. The man must earn, provide for, clothe and shelter his wife, and he is not allowed to take the money she owns. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that your wife has a right upon you (Al-Bukhari) and fulfilling this right is an indication of revering and fearing Allah. Man will be questioned if he fulfilled this duty. If he does not, then it is a clear act of disobedience to Allah and His Messenger.
So husbands, are we fulfilling our duty or are we disobeying our Lord?
Women play an important role towards the society. A mother who raises her children in accordance with the teachings of Islam is the backbone of society. Well-nurtured children are a basis for a strong community. Men should also play a part in the upbringing of the children. Yes, he has to go out and work, but there are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. I’m sure most of us are not so busy; if we prudently manage our time, we can make positive contribution in their upbringing. Here’s the question: How many men change nappies? How many men get up at night when the baby is crying? Very few I suppose.
How about dishes? When was the last time any of us men did the washing up? Why is it such a chore? After finishing dinner, what harm would it cause to pick up the plates and wash them? No instead, we eat to our fill, leave the plates where they are and take it for granted that our wives will do it. By helping around in washing dishes, changing nappies, and making our beds, our wives will only love us more.
The man also has a Hijab to observe. He must always lower his gaze. This is another aspect taken for granted. We have heard that we are not held to account for that one, unintentional, look. But some take it for granted to elongate it and make it ‘one long look.’ We must fear Allah and observe proper Hijab. Men should also dress modestly. His clothes must show piety and his Awrah must not be displayed.
We also ignore dressing up for our wives. Ask yourselves, when was the last time you looked your best for your wife? It is expected from her to look after the kids, make the dinner, clean the house and look good for us, but what about us? If the food is not cooked when we come home or we don’t like its taste, how do we react? Do we follow the Sunnah and keep silent without criticizing food?
We should follow the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all areas of our lives, and that includes within our households. Women are our partners. When no one listens to our problems, our wives do. Let’s start from today and make that change and surely the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) statement should be something for us to ponder on.
“The best of you are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you with my wives‚ – (Ibn Hibban)