Many of us have become accustomed to some form of help in our homes. For some of us, it is the cleaning lady that comes once a week. For others, they have cleaning, cooking, and driving personnel. Others have gardeners, security personnel, and baby sitters.
These are all blessings from Allah Almighty and we should be extremely grateful for them.
At the same time, these blessings come with tests and responsibilities for us.
Are we fulfilling the rights of the people who work for us in our homes? Or are we treating them kindly and with respect? Are we paying them fair? Or are we burdening them more than what is reasonable? Are we allowing them enough rest and free time for their families, sleep, rest, holidays and spiritual advancement? And, do we leave some housework for ourselves?
So, there are actually two issues at stake here.
1- The first one is how we treat people who work for us and especially for the comfort of our homes. We should treat them with respect and kindness. They are a trust on us. Appreciate their work with kind words. Give them some gift on special occasions.
2- The second issue is whether we leave some housework to do for ourselves?
Why is that important?
If we work all day whether inside or outside our homes and we have the financial ability to pay people to do all the work around the house, why should we bother to do that work ourselves? The simple answer is: because it is good for us and our family.
Get Rid of Pride
Doing some housework by ourselves can save us from pride that might develop in our heart because of our economical or societal situation. The Prophet said that no person will enter Paradise who has even the weight of a mustard seed of pride in his heart.
That means this pride has to be erased. Our heart has to be purified from pride before we can enter Paradise. This purification can happen in this world, and we should strive hard for this, or in the next world.
The beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Fatimah, used to do all the housework by herself. She even went to fetch water from the well and carried it on her shoulders so that marks would stay on her skin.
Another narration about Fatimah tells us about how the mill to grind flour caused pain in her hand. That is why she wanted to ask her father, our beloved Prophet, for a servant from the prisoners of war.
However, when the Prophet came to his daughter, he told her that he would give her something much better than what she had asked for. So, he taught her to recite praises to Allah (SubhanaAllah) 33 times, express gratitude (Alhamdulillah) 33 times and recite Allah Akbar 34 times before going to sleep.
When we do our housework, we can remember this Hadith about Fatimah and make dua to Allah to grant us the beautiful characteristic of Fatimah, who was one of the four women to achieve the highest rank in Paradise.
Multiply Your Intentions
And with the right intention, even washing dishes or cloth or sweeping becomes an act of worship. This is especially important in this blessed month of Ramadan where we strive to utilize every free moment for worship to Allah.
For example, while washing clothes, we can make the intention to wear them while standing in prayer in front of Allah. Allah loves cleanliness and beauty.
The same applies for cleaning our home. And while doing our housework we can engage in abundant dhikr, in the remembrance of Allah. We can recite the Quran from memory or we can send prayers upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad. That is multi-tasking at its best. And we will not feel that our time is wasted washing dishes.
How to Get More Rewards
For those of us who cannot afford any helper in the home, we should feel grateful that Allah has not burdened us with this blessing, the responsibility and the dangers that come with it.
We might be tired. And we might be exhausted. But, with the right intentions, doing the housework will be good for ourselves, for our children, and for our marriage as well.
Why do I say that?
If the husband sees the wife preparing the food, he will be satisfied with her. He will insha’Allah feel love and compassion towards her. And when he eats the food she cooked, all the dua and dhikr the wife made while cooking will feed his soul and will increase his obedience to Allah and his love to his wife, insha’Allah.
When the husband, after dinner, helps his wife to clean the dishes, the wife will feel happiness and gratefulness that Allah has given her such a caring husband. And insha’Allah her love for him will increase.
Now imagine, if the food has been prepared by a maid and the cleaning is done by a maid, the blessings of these daily activities done with the right intention, are missing.
Whoever cooks the meal, whether husband or wife, should try to do so in the state of ritual purity (wudu) and in the constant remembrance of Allah.
Even if we only manage to prepare scrambled eggs but with wudu, with dhikr and dua during the process of cooking, these scrambled eggs will feed the body and the soul of those who eat them and insha’Allah make them more obedient towards Allah.
If Allah has blessed us with children, it is good when our children see their mom and dad do housework because they learn from that. And if they are old enough, we can include them and ask them to help us.
This will create a feeling of togetherness between all the family members and children learn to take responsibilities and be of help to others. And to be of help to others is one of the beautiful traits of a believer. Our Prophet said that:
The best Muslim is the one that is of most benefit to others.
If you can take some useful information from this article, this comes from Allah SWT. Alhamdulillah. And if there is anything unclear, wrong, or expressed in an impolite way, I ask Allah SWT for His forgiveness.