Dear Sheikh! There are many uproars nowadays condemning women’s staying at home and blaming Muslim woman for preferring house to having a job. I myself see that the main role of a Muslim woman is her role as a mother and wife. Can you shed light on this?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All thanks and praise are due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner! Thanks for the great confidence you have in us and we hope that our humble efforts meet your expectations.
In the first place, every Muslim woman needs such an illuminating way of thinking and intelligent mentality of yours, our sister. In fact, what you have stated is clear. A Muslim woman’s main role is to care for her house and fulfill the responsibility placed on her shoulder by her Lord.
This does not mean that we oppose woman’s work; rather, we stress the fact that the main work of a woman is to work in her house. Her product is her children. It is a valuable work indeed.
Elaborating more on this, we cite the following:
Apart from her role as a wife, the Muslim woman has a very important role as a mother. The status and value attached to parents in the Muslim world is very high. The Qur’an says: “Your Lord has decreed that you should worship nothing except Him, and (show) kindness to your parents, whether one or both of them attain old age (while they are) still with you, never say to them ‘Shame! nor scold either of them. Speak to them in a generous fashion. Protect them carefully and say: ‘My Lord, show them mercy, just as they cared for me as a little child.'” (Al-Israa’ 17:23-24)
Again Allah says: “We have enjoined man to respect his parents; his mother bears him with fainting after fainting, while his weaning takes two years. Thank Me as well as your parents; towards Me lies the goal.” (Luqman 31:14)
It is reported that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): who is the most deserving of good care from me? The Prophet replied: “Your mother (which he repeated three times)” then your father, then your nearest relatives in order”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
In another hadith the Prophet has said: “Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers.” In other words Paradise awaits those who cherish and respect their mothers.
The Muslim mother has consequently a great feeling of security about the type of care and consideration she can expect from her children when she reaches old age.
As the verse of the Qur’an quoted above indicates, thankfulness to parents is linked with thankfulness to Allah, and a failure in either of these respects is indeed a major failure in one’s religious duties.
In both the Qur’an and Hadith, the principles of strong belief and good conduct are highly stressed, and good conduct begins at home with one’s closest relatives.
Sister! listen to the best Teacher and Guide for humanity, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as he elevated women from their status as chattel to the dignity of being equal servants of Allah with men.
Yet, their status in society was not conditioned upon entering man’s world. Their most important task is to take care of their homes and children. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says in this regard, addressing women: “Take care of your home for that is your Jihad.” (Ahmad)
Jihad is the epitome of Islamic life. Declaring home-making as Jihad for women is giving it the highest possible status in an Islamic society.
Not only is it an all-important task, only women are uniquely qualified to do it. It is not by accident that pregnancy and nursing are purely feminine tasks. Allah has given women the special talents and psychological makeup needed to take care of children.
There is no substitute for mother’s milk or mother’s love. No one can extract a bottle of motherly compassion. Her patience, kindness, willingness to sacrifice her own comforts, and her natural affinity for children — and the children’s natural affinity for the mother– are the key to successful upbringing of children.
A mother understands the children’s problem even when they cannot express it. She can uniquely sense their needs, both physical and emotional. She can satisfy some of these herself. For others, children need the father. But even he needs her insights in discharging his responsibilities in this area. No day care center or nursery can make up for the absence of the mother and father.
Mothers are the silent workers who are indispensable for building character of the next generation. A believing mother who understands the crucial nature of her responsibility will imbue her children with faith and moral values, as much as she can. She will raise children with courage, honesty, truthfulness, patience and perseverance, love and kindness, faith and self-confidence. On the other hand, a society without mothers and home-makers will produce at-risk youth.
This role of a woman is like that of the archers in the battle of Uhud. It looked less important, but was the key to the fate of the entire army. If women hold on to their front, the entire army will succeed. If they leave it for “greater action” elsewhere, everyone will lose.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.themodernreligion.com