Gender Roles: What to discuss before Muslim marriage?

October 21, 2022
Share Us

Islam is a comprehensive religion that beautifully explains how to excel in all walks of life.  Every lifestyle aspect, whether it is your professional or personal life, is clearly described so that every Muslim man and woman can live a virtuous life, prosperously and happily.  Even in the institution of marriage, rules have been set, and values and gender roles have been defined.  Although cultural traditions make an impact on the value system, however, those who truly understand Islam can demarcate the lines between religion and culture.

“They are your garments, and you are their garments”. [Surah Baqarah, verse 187]

The above Ayah mentions equality in marriage. Husband and wife are similar to what clothes are to a human body. Just like clothes protect our bodies from outside environments and are close to us, spouses should protect each other and always speak in a manner that exalts the other.

Gender roles in a domestic household: What to discuss before choosing a Muslim partner

Gender roles in a domestic household

Islam has broadly outlined the roles and responsibilities by providing men’s and women’s rights, further defined by cultural beliefs. When the Prophet Muhammad () had important matters to handle, he would sometimes turn to his family for their opinion. He used to ask his wives for advice and respected their thoughts and opinions. He never raised his voice with any of his wives and always held them in high regard.

Due to the diversity in the population, we have seen that, unfortunately, a fusion of cultural values derived from other ethnicities, is practiced, which adheres to the women being oppressed and suppressed without the fundamental right to education, sell or own property, to work, or initiate a marriage/ divorce, choose a spouse and participate in civic activities where men overpower them due to their ignorance and general entitlement that has stemmed from a patriarchic society.

Therefore, it is imperative when choosing a Muslim spouse, to ensure that both parties have a clear and like-minded understanding of their gender roles and future expectations of their marital life. There are some basic matters that must be addressed, and an agreement should be reached before marriage to ensure a happy married life. These range from earnings, chores, the weight of voice, and so forth.

Earnings:  How are the incomes shared between a wife and husband?

How are the incomes shared between a wife and husband

Predominantly, the man being the breadwinner and the woman being the homemaker, was the set formula for a happy life. However, with the changing dynamics of society, we are witnessing an increase in the number of stay-at-home dads. We have also seen that women are equally taking on the financial responsibilities, whereas men are helping with the domestic chores. Although this may seem like a contemporary notion, this concept was vetted by Islam centuries ago. Bibi Khadija (R.A.) was a successful businesswoman before her marriage to our beloved Prophet Mohammad PBUH. It was, in-fact her, who initiated the proposal. The acceptance and respect for women that may earn more than their husband has been exemplified for us, so that we may learn from it.

Financial reasons are one of the most common reasons for feuds in a family.  Both husband and wife need to sit together and plan their finances wisely.  If the husband is the sole breadwinner, he should ensure that he appropriately fulfills his wife’s expenses and household needs.  The wife should be contended with his earnings and spending without being spendthrift.  If both partners are earning, they should collectively manage expenses and savings.  Income gaps between couples can sometimes create disharmony and disparity, especially if the wife makes more.  Couples should clearly understand that the weight of their relationship is dependent on love and respect rather than mere financial contribution.

In the light of Islam, what the wife earns, is solely at her discretion to share with her spouse or to save for herself. What the husband earns must be shared with the wife. If couples educate themselves about their rights towards each other under the teachings of our religion, we can lay rest to so many problems that become a bone of contention between Muslim life partners.

Kitchen chores: Should both spouses pull their weight?

Kitchen chores: Should both spouses pull their weight

Relationships require equal effort from both partners; idealistically, finding the perfect couple working full-time jobs and managing domestic chores collectively is challenging. It is seldom an idyllic image like what we see in rom coms. In which the perfect husband dries the dishes after he has put the kids to bed as the wife cleans the rest of the house.  In real marriages, one spouse sometimes has to put in more hard work than the other, which creates lots of pressure and tension.  This pressure to meet expectations often causes a rift between husband and wife.  Instead, one should understand that both partners are equally important and contribute to the house in their own way and shouldn’t overburden each other.

Having said that sharing house chores is an essential part of sharing lives. Our prophet PBUH did his own chores and lent a helping hand so that his wives weren’t overburdened by domestic tasks. Young couples should draw inspiration from the greatest role model and emulate his behavior in their daily lives as a married couple. This will help to build an environment of affection and respect.

Cleaning up: Is it the Muslim woman’s job or the Muslim Man’s job?

Cleanliness is an integral part of our religion, both husband and wife should clean up after themselves and instill the same values into their children. This will help create a well-balanced society that gives importance to general hygiene. Antiquated concepts of a doting wife are usually a perfect housewife that keeps the house sparkling clean, but it is no harm if a Muslim man helps out his wife with cleaning chores. This joint effort not only helps the kids understand the importance of cleanliness but also emphasizes teamwork and fosters love.

Life Partner roles in the light of Sunnah

Life Partner roles in the light of Sunnah

Prophet Mohammad PBUH would contribute to household chores, by mending and cleaning his own clothes. Islam encourages harmony and love in a marriage and has highlighted ways of creating this bond between spouses.  Both husband and wife must adhere to their duties and responsibilities, knowing they are accountable to Allah (SWT) for their actions.  A husband should be a great partner and a responsible father, and the wife should invest her time in fulfilling the duties to keep the family happy.  In a hadith, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) emphasizes that ‘Whoever gets married has safeguarded half of his religion”.

Both husband and wife need to support each other through thick and thin.  The below-mentioned hadith further elaborates on the significance.  “There is no better structure founded in Islam other than marriage.”  Husband and wife are two pillars of this structure that holds the family together; the man has been given a prominent role as he is responsible to feed, protect and provide for the family, while the woman has to guard her house in his absence, look after the family, and manage the tasks that keep the household running effectively.  There are no hard and fast rules in terms of the life partners as they can be interchanging roles for the betterment of the family.

SyedMatch is one of the leading Muslim matrimonial websites where you can meet someone who is open-minded and would take pride in his contributions to the family. Find someone who shares your values and is keen to be a lifelong teammate, join now.

Share Us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *