What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: My husband does not help with the housework nor children, he just works in an office all day – does he not have to look after the children?
Questioner: Sister from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
It is the right of the father for the children that he provides them with food, residence, and any of their forthcoming expenses. Alongside this, he must also nurture them providing them with Islamic guidance, and it is more appropriate looking at the western lifestyle & environment that children spare some time daily, and they are given some form of physical Islamic activity to keep themselves busy. For example, giving them any book regarding Islām and asking them to read out a page from it, or them showing the practical method of salāh by physically demonstrating it, and anything in the like manner. They should also be encouraged after each & every [good] action & task, and one parent should not scold the other in front of their children, otherwise, tomorrow they will turn around and do the same. One should also have a firm grip over their actions; if they do anything which contradicts Islām, then one should definitely calmly explain and ensure that they understand.
As for the looking after of the children is concerned, taking care of them is the responsibility of the mother in the sense that she fulfils all of the duties with regards to bringing them up, and neither parent should ever dispute, quarrel, or fight in front of their children, as this has a greatly negative impact on them, and then later on, these same children become troublesome and cause havoc & chaos for their parents.
Just as it is stated in Fatāwā ‘Ālamgīrī,
“أَحَقُّ النَّاسِ بِحَضَانَةِ الصَّغِيرِ حَالَ قِيَامِ النِّكَاحِ أَوْ بَعْدَ الْفُرْقَةِ الْأُمُّ“
“The mother is more entitled to raise the children, regardless of whether the marriage is still intact or not.”
[al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, vol 1, ch 17, pg 541]
Yes, speaking on a moral basis, the husband should share the workload of the house and children with his wife (so yes, he should be somewhat of a stay-at-home father).
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0778] Should my Husband be helping with the housework and bringing up the kids? He is always at work.