Author Topic: Husband and wife roles/duties  (Read 827 times)

NewFreeMind

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Husband and wife roles/duties
« on: September 29, 2022, 06:24:24 AM »
Before getting married, I discussed the setup we'd like to adopt as a husband and wife in our relationship.

We both agreed on a more contemporary setup, being one where we will put equal effort in every aspect of our life, meaning equal financial contribution, house chores and so on.

Aspect where we couldn't achieve that, we balanced it but doing something else (i.e she's better at cooking so I look after the grocery, house work etc)

We also agreed that once she goes into maternity leave, I'll take over all the finances, which is what I've done.

Now that she's on maternity leave, we had some arguments and she brought this matter up saying using Islam to make a point, be that as a husband it is my duty to provide financially anyway as well as to look after the family.

She rubbed this on my face a few times before as well and I let it go. I now asked her what's the point of bringing this up when we clearly agreed on our arrangements and we have both been honouring them.

The reason why she brought it up was to tell me how in Islam the man has the duty of providing financially as well as looking after the family and the women doesn't have to do anything unless the man is absent, in which case she looks after the family.

I have always tried to be fair and rather than using religion to set some roles, I looked at the circumstances and thought it would be nice to have a setup where everyone does everything.

However, now that my role is to provide financially, I'd have thought that it would be her to role to look after the house primarily, and obviously, after work, I would help where I can.

I have seen clear verses in the Quran showing the role of a man when it comes to looking after the family and providing financially but I did not see clear verses about the role of a woman.

Can anyone help me understand, based on Quranic verses only, what the roles, duties are of a husband and wife?

Thank you

Wakas

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2022, 12:24:44 AM »
Based on my Quranic studies, the default role of the husband is the breadwinner/provider for the family/household. Technically the wife does not even need to look after the children/house. Perhaps the only exception is the breastfeeding/nursing period.
But it all depends on what you mutually agreed prior to marriage (or perhaps at the start of the marriage if it was not discussed prior).

So she has a point BUT what was mutually agreed upon trumps the default roles in Quran. So your position is correct in my view. If she wishes to expiate/compensate for her breaking your agreement then as you mentioned she could look after the children/house, you as provider, and you also help her when you can. That would be a fair compromise but it is open to what you both decide.

You can read what Quran says about marriage and being a maintainer here:
https://misconceptions-about-islam.com/misconception.php?id=40
http://www.quran434.com/wife-beating-islam.html#part2

Also I assume you are referring to Quran based islam. I dont know the position in Traditional Islam.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

NewFreeMind

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2022, 01:48:14 AM »
Thank you Wakas
Yes, I am referring to the Quran based ruling.

Quote
Based on my Quranic studies, the default role of the husband is the breadwinner/provider for the family/household. Technically the wife does not even need to look after the children/house. Perhaps the only exception is the breastfeeding/nursing period.
Agreement with her aside, is this even fair when it comes to husband and wife rights?
Women's right have been a matter for debate and controversy in Islam on the idea that they are not seen as equals.
The above is not true obviously and I always thought the Quran will be fair when it comes to being fair to both men and women.
However, if the role of a husband is clear and that of a wife is open to discussion (where based on the Quran she can do whatever she wants to) then how is this a fair setup?

hawk99

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2022, 04:29:39 PM »
Peace NewFreeMind,

The point of the marriage is to bring peace to one another as well as to family and the community.  Yes, the man has to establish himself in the land to assure all that he is able to lead his intimate family.  Allah has given us guidelines to accomplish this goal. The family belongs to the man and the wife supports the husband.

(30:21)
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

To reach the point of tranquility there must be an understanding. 

Affection is a person feeling of liking and caring for someone, they should endeavor help them find peace

mercy is to show compassion or forgiveness toward someone whom it is within one's power.

A husband and wife can make each other happy or unhappy by their behavior.

Siin-Kaf-Nun = to be quiet, rest/repose/dwell/lodge, inhabit, stop/still, subside. Tranquility, security, mercy, blessing. masakin - poor/destitute/weak/penniless, humble/submissive, one who is in a state of lowliness/humiliation/abasement/submissiveness, one who cannot move to earn his livelihood because of his physical/mental/financial disability. sikkin - knife, as it is cause of making still after slaughtering.

If you work together, you can accomplish much.

May God reward the two of you                                                                                       :peace:                                                                                                 
The secret to monotheism can be found in the garden

Wakas

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2022, 11:44:13 PM »

However, if the role of a husband is clear and that of a wife is open to discussion (where based on the Quran she can do whatever she wants to) then how is this a fair setup?

It can seem like that on the surface but I think we have to bear in mind the wider picture. Women are generally at a significant disadvantage in society and in relationships in general, e.g. burden of child bearing, periods, menopause, generally weaker physically, less job availability, discrimination, higher rates of domestic abuse / rape, and the region of Arabia during revelation was quite misogynist/discriminatory etc.
So I think what Quran is doing, in my opinion only, is to not put any set obligations upon women, which might shackle them, or men might take even more advantage of them if it were decreed etc, but to leave it open. Of course, a naturally righteous wife will happily contribute to the home environment, whether that be financially, family, chores etc and a naturally righteous husband will be happy for his wife to freely choose what their setup wishes to be, with mutual agreement being key. Some women will prefer the traditional role as homemaker, others not, or some might have a mix.

All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

good logic

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2022, 03:24:49 PM »
Peace.

Equality is not easy to measure when there are different circumstances and variables that exist in nature.

Are humans not different  like male and female, colour habitat,race,rich poor,...etc? What is the level start for equality to be measured?

Say you give everyone a level start ,will they stay equal?

Too many factors are in the equation of equality.

Qoran deals with this in two sections:
1-Equality can never be achieved in a world of differences, competition, and test. so laws are in place in Qoran to give rights and dignity to every human being.
2- Freedom of choice is the driving force of  all the existing systems of men. Many of these systems are the causes of unfairness and lack of rights to many .

had GOD willed ,He could have created everyone equal and there is no need of tests or inequality or differences...But there is a good reason GOD created us humans on earth to go through the test and go through the experience of success or failure.

As humans , we are all connected together though a network of relationships like family, tribe, race, nation and connected to tasks to fulfill our responsibilities  l- (Salawat-. The most important connection for our success is the connection to our creator- by choice

Men have certain qualities and women have certain qualities. our roles in society can be the same and also can be different.

Qoran says men are responsible for the women and children in the family as in general men are the bread winners. However this can also apply to the women who are bread winners in the family or to both . Qoran does not give men authority or dictatorship  over the women.. things in the home run better with agreements and mutual respect.. Both have a role to play .
Qoran highlights the right of women specifically because many  men in many societies  restrict women s rights and oppress them.

If one thinks Qoran is unfair to men or to women or to both , then ditch Qoran  and try to sort out the issue by making a new agreement since the last one did not work. Both of you will have too much to loose if the relationship breaks.

Hope you can sort it out .
GOD bless you.
Peace.
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NewFreeMind

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2022, 10:05:50 AM »
Thank you for the response brother/sisters.

I understand how the wider picture depicts a reality where women are at a disadvantage.

However, I still don't understand why this justifies having rules for men and not for women.

Granted that women have been and are at a significant disadvantage when it comes equality but a lot of these disadvantages are not applicable to women in certain side of the World.
Similarly the role of a man has changed over time as well.

To give an example

It was men who were exposed to the most dangerous jobs and their life expectancy was lower.
Nowadays, men that are not exposed to that level of danger, do not go around acting like how difficult their life is.
However, if we think about maintaining a family, it has become considerably more difficult for men to maintain a family, yet the pressure and obligation of looking after the family lie solely on their income.

Women have been at a considerable disadvantage but now their circumstances are not the same.
In the UK, for example, they do not face the same level of danger they did back then
Looking after the house has become easier (appliances that facilitate the job)
Child bearing has become easier and safer with the progress of science.

The above is not to say that what women are going through it's easy, but it feels like that with time, the changes that have occurred in women's life are usually highlighted, mens issues are not.

In a relationship, a wife can simply use the Quran to show what the duties of a husband are but it's not accountable for anything as there are no verses in the Quran about the duties of a wife.

In the circumstances I am currently, I am committing a sin if I decide not to look after my wife and child financially, I am committing a sin if I don't look after them and the house but there's no burden/accountability on her and she'd be committing no sin if if decides not to take parts in these roles.

good logic

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2022, 10:47:08 AM »
If one understand that "Rijal"  can sometimes mean a role, not men or women, the picture can then depict any time and place . If one rakes the role of bread winner ,he/she is the head of the family or both can take the role jointly. i.e responsibility of provision and bringing up a family.
GOD bless.
Peace.
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hawk99

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2022, 08:18:04 PM »
Peace NewFreeMind,

How do you understand my previous post, what is the message from the ayat?  Please read again.

God bless you           :handshake:     :peace:
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Wakas

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Re: Husband and wife roles/duties
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2022, 12:23:31 AM »

Women have been at a considerable disadvantage but now their circumstances are not the same.

The above is not to say that what women are going through it's easy, but it feels like that with time, the changes that have occurred in women's life are usually highlighted, mens issues are not.

If only there was dynamic guidance in Quran regarding this..... oh wait, there is!


Quote
However, if we think about maintaining a family, it has become considerably more difficult for men to maintain a family, yet the pressure and obligation of looking after the family lie solely on their income.

In a relationship, a wife can simply use the Quran to show what the duties of a husband are but it's not accountable for anything as there are no verses in the Quran about the duties of a wife.

In the circumstances I am currently, I am committing a sin if I decide not to look after my wife and child financially, I am committing a sin if I don't look after them and the house but there's no burden/accountability on her and she'd be committing no sin if if decides not to take parts in these roles.

I'm not sure if you have understood what I've said thus far. So let's try another route - can you tell us from Quran what are the Arabic words for "obligation" or "duties" and "sin" and where they appear in context with regard to the husband/wife roles - thanks. If you struggle to find such, perhaps thing will become clearer.


All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org