Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessing of Allah be showered upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them with sincerity.
You are to be commended for withholding your temper and not striking your wife. Physical discipline is only allowed in specific circumstances. In this case, hitting your wife would probably not help. As for cursing your wife, threatening harm, or calling her names, these are all behaviors you should refrain from. Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands. And an Emigrant (Muhajir) is the one who gives up (abandons) all what Allah has forbidden." (Sahih al-Bukhari)
As to your frustration with your wife, you have a valid concern. Marriage is a partnership where the husband and wife have to balance their rights and responsibilities toward each other. It hurts the marriage when one spouse shows no interest in matters of importance to the whole family.
You mentioned that your wife does all the cooking and cleaning. It’s possible that she may be feeling overwhelmed with her domestic duties, and is intimidated by the idea of more work.
If you think this is the case, give her the day off, make dinner for her, or do something that will relax her. Then explain how important it is for you to get her help with the family finances. Suggest to her that if she took more of an interest in the family finances, she would be in a better position to shop for the family. Tell her that, as Muslims, we’re also supposed to plan for the future. By helping with the finances, she can help you set some long-term goals, which are important for the family’s future. If the family has any surplus wealth, she also needs to be aware of this so she can ensure the family pays zakat.
Show her how to do simple things like balancing a checkbook or paying bills online (if this applies to you). She might find that she enjoys it. There’s a website that you can go to at www.soundvision.com, where you can download a budget planner for Muslim families. Consider presenting these to your wife to spark her interest in the family finances.
Stress to her the benefit and blessings (barakah) in mutual consultation between husband and wife. Allah, the Exalted, describes the believers as those who consult (shura )in Surat al-Shura, verse 38: “Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance.”
Remind her that she is obliged to obey you in all that is halal. Likewise, as stated in Reliance of the Traveller, both of you are obligated to be gracious to each other.
Finally, it may benefit the both of you to seek the help of a Muslim marriage counselor who can give you advice on harmonizing your family goals and creating a peaceful environment where everyone can grow.
And Allah alone gives success.
And Allah knows best.
MMVIII © Qibla.
All rights reserved
No part of this article may be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of the copyright holder. For permission, please submit a request at our Helpdesk.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Knowledge is only through study." While some knowledge can be gained from reading or casually listening to lectures, the best means to gain knowledge is through finding a qualified teacher and then setting up a systematic program of learning. Picking up a book or reading an article and trying to figure things out on our own is no substitute for learning from someone who has a direct link to our living tradition.
Through joining an online class at Qibla, you can benefit from convenient, online courses that will give you access to reliable scholars and our popular curriculum learning tracks. Knowledge gained in these courses will both build your iman and assist you in putting into practice what you learn. Don't give yourself less than you deserve, register today.