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Should men be stay-at-home dads or homemakers?

Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih IV ra wrote:

Those men are qawam [maintainers] who financially provide for their wives. Those useless men who live off of the income of their wives are not at all qawam.

(Holy Quran Urdu with Simple Translation, p. 134)

One reason why Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih IV rta called such men useless is that they fail to fulfill their primary responsibility to their family. If a man supports his wife, he is not doing her any favors. In reality, his wife has a right over his income. On the other hand, if a wife supports her husband, she is doing him a favor because Islamically her husband has no right over her income. Hudur aba said:

Every married man is the guardian of his family, and looking after their needs is his responsibility. Man has been made the qawam, and to provide for the expenses of the home and the education of the children is his responsibility. However, unfortunately, in the Jama‘at there are some men who, rather than providing the expenses of the home, instead ask their wives to pay their expenses. However, they have no right on the income of their wives. If a wife pays some expenses, then that is her favor to her husband.

(Khutbat-e-Masroor 2004, p. 184, March 5, 2004)

If a man is a stay-at-home dad, he is not fulfilling his Islamic role of being qawam of his household. Hudur aba said:

Those men who look to their wives’ wealth should remember that this responsibility is there’s, and they have no right on the woman’s money. Men are themselves responsible for fulfilling the financial needs of their wives and children. Therefore, what- ever the circumstances, even if they have to do labor to meet the expenses of the home, it is their obligation that they meet the expenses of the home. If they pray along with this effort, Allah places blessings and creates ease.

(Khutbat-e-Masroor 2004, p. 455, July 2, 2004)

One point that is important to remember is that the Holy Prophet sas was always the head of his household, and all of his wives were stay-at- home mothers and homemakers. Hadrat Khadijah ra was only a career woman up until her marriage to the Holy Prophet sas. Property was  the means of business in Mecca, and merchants managed that wealth. After marriage, she ra gave all of her property to the Holy Prophet sas and he sas was the provider for the family. Hadrat Musleh Mau‘ud ra wrote:

Marriage between the Prophet sas and Khadijah ra was settled and solemnized. A poor man orphaned in childhood had his first peep into prosperity. He became rich. But the use he made of his riches is an object-lesson to all mankind. After the marriage Khadijah ra felt that she was rich and he was poor and that this inequality between them would not make for happiness. So she proposed to make over her property and her slaves to the Prophet sas. The Prophet sas, making sure that Khadijah ra was in earnest, declared that as soon as he had any of Khadijah’s ra slaves, he would set them free. And he did so. Moreover, the greater part of the property which he received from Khadijah ra he distributed among the poor.

(Life of Muhammad, p. 8)
Updated on December 21, 2018

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