Shouldn’t My Husband Do Chores in His Free Time to Help Me?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I am a Muslima homemaker. My husband works in a company and provides for us, and I do housework. On Sundays, he is free all day, but he doesn’t help me with housework.

Is it my job to do housework only because he provides for us? Shouldn’t he help me to do the housework in his free time? What does Islam say about this?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for working for your family at home and being kind and caring toward them.


In the Shafi‘i school, a woman is not obliged to do house chores, so in reality, neither of you needs to do them.

See those details here: What Are My Obligations in Obeying My Husband in the Shafi’i School?


However, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) had divided the work between his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali as her doing the domestic duties while he did the external chores, and this has been a sunna practiced among Muslims for over a millennium. [Ruhaybani’s Matalib uli al-nuha fi sharhi ghayatil muntaha]

As such, I encourage you to communicate openly with him and tell him that you need help, whether through him or through hiring someone. Although the shari‘a does not oblige him to help at home himself, as it does not oblige you to provide, there are many other solutions that can be found when both parties are loving, respectful, and God-fearing. I encourage you to explore those avenues and be sure to train the children to help at home so they don’t grow up to think they are above it. Display noble character and patience all the while as our Lady Fatima did.

Our lady Fatima

‘Ali bin Abi Talib narrated: “Fatima complained of the suffering caused to her by the hand mill. Some captives were brought to the Prophet, she came to him but did not find him at home ‘A’isha was present there to whom she told (of her desire for a servant). When the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came, ‘A’isha informed him about Fatima’s visit.” ‘Ali added, “So the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came to us, while we had gone to our bed I wanted to get up but the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Remain at your place.’ Then he sat down between us till I found the coolness of his feet on my chest. Then he said, “Shall I teach you a thing which is better than what you have asked me? When you go to bed, say, “Allahu-Akbar” thirty-four times, ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Alhamdulilla’ thirty-three times, for that is better for you both than a servant.” [Bukhari]

Al-Aswad said that he asked ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) about what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was like at home. She said, “He was at the service of his household; when the time for prayer came, he would leave to pray” [Bukhari]

Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.