Many Muslim Women Feel “Icky” About the Idea of Being Housewives. Why?

I was talking to a group of single young Muslim ladies about marriage. They were in the age range of the late twenties to early thirties.

One sister said that she was searching for both a husband and a job. She was looking for a job because she wanted “the autonomy” that came with making her own money. Even after marriage, she explained, she still wanted to make sure she was still her own person and a big part of that was making her own money from a job. Relying fully on her husband’s money even if he’s wealthy, she said, would make her “feel icky.”

I’ve heard this exact same sentiment expressed by many modern Muslim women before her, said almost verbatim. Down to the “feeling icky” part.

Why does it make Muslim women feel so icky to have the traditional gender roles in their marriage? Why is it icky that the wife dedicates herself to the family, home, and children, while the husband dedicates himself to earning money for the family?

Where did we get our fears from? When did we learn this mistrust, this suspicion, this anxiety?

I understand that it’s multi-faceted, and I want to appreciate the complexity of this situation.

It is certainly a reality that in some cases, there are in fact some Muslim men who fail to take their role as providers seriously, forcing the females in their life to fend for themselves. Some husbands and/ or fathers have dropped the ball, showing their daughters or wives or sisters through their actions that perhaps men are not to be trusted, that men don’t fulfill their obligations and don’t keep their promises. Such men have failed to meet the Islamic standards for the wali/husband/ father, and this is a problem. There are weak men, undisciplined men, incompetent men; they let their women down.

RELATED: The Myth of the Strong, Independent Woman

Is that the main reason, though?

Because…how often does this happen? What percentage of Muslim men are “deadbeats” in this way? Is it the majority of Muslim men? Half? A quarter? 5%?

Yet the way we women worry about this issue and sometimes talk about it, you’d think it was 99.3% of all Muslim men who fail to provide.

This particular problem of irresponsible men, while it definitely exists, is highly exaggerated in the female mind.

Because stories get told again and again, spreading until they seem more prevalent than they truly are. Women hear about other women’s experiences and extrapolate from that certain lessons and come to certain conclusions, even if it’s all simply hearsay and they’ve never seen such irresponsible men themselves.

The other factor here is liberal education-indoctrination and feminism brainwashing. Let’s just call it what it is.

The modern programming of women goes as follows: “You are on your own for the most part. Men are not to be trusted! Your husband will probably turn out to be a stingy tight-fisted miser! Or he’ll be a useless unemployed deadbeat! Or he’ll cheat on you and leave you and the kids for another woman! Or he’ll beat you and be an abusive monster! What if he ups and dies? What if you get divorced for no reason? So many bad scenarios! Better be safe and get your own job to make your own money so you can keep your independence from him and not be forced to rely on the unreliable or trust the untrustworthy. Gotta be prepared for anything. Just in case. Cuz you never know. Just saying.”

Fear mongering.

Sowing seeds of doubt, of mistrust, of insecurity.

No tawakkul on Allah, but solely on one’s own desperate efforts. We’ve forgotten the hadith about the tawakkl and rizq:

حديث عمر ، قال: سمعت رسول الله ﷺ يقول: “لو أنكم تتوكلون على الله حق توكله لرزقكم كما يرزق الطير، تغدو خماصاً وتروح بطاناً.”

“If you were to have full tawakkul on Allah the way He is due, He would provide for you the way He provides for the birds; they leave their nest hungry and return full.”

But the modern brainwashing trains women to have bad expectations from the start, to assume the worst before anything even happens.

The husband is shot down before he can even do anything.

In war, this is called a preemptive strike.

How can a marriage survive under such conditions?

The most intelligent, sensible, and effective division of labor is an exchange between the genders.
Each gender has something that the other lacks. They trade in a mutually-beneficial exchange for the benefit of both parties, the children, the family, and society.

Historically, this is how it has always worked:

Men, with their larger frames and stronger physique, have a greater capacity to work hard jobs and put in long hours, which we can call surplus labor.

Women are the only ones who can have babies, which we can call reproductive ability.

In marriage, the man offers the woman his surplus labor and she offers him her reproductive ability in a system that benefits both parties and builds a family. It’s actually a brilliant system because it accounts for each gender’s nature, God-given abilities, and temperament.

Each gender can focus fully on their respective abilities and play the role that comes most naturally.

This makes marriage smooth, seamless, complementary.

But now in these modern times, women are being fear-mongered and brainwashed into trying to fulfill BOTH roles: chasing surplus labor and reproductive ability. At the same time.

This is too much for any one person to do simultaneously and still be okay, still be rested, still be sane.

Women, you are being pressured into doing too much.

This “icky” feeling that’s been planted into your psyche hurts you. That’s external to you, implanted by feminism. Let go of it.

We as women need to pick good Muslim husbands (vetted by wali, istikhara, and consultation). And then we need to LEARN TO TRUST THEM.

And of course, the other side of the equation is that Muslim men need to live up to the Islamic standards for the wali/ husband/ father and fulfill their responsibilities toward dependants. They need to be in charge, as Allah has commanded. The great majority of Muslim men already do, mashaAllah.

RELATED: What Gender Roles Should Muslims Aspire To?

Once men are firmly in their masculine role, and women let themselves rest in their feminine role without feeling “icky” about it, our marriages can thrive inshaAllah.

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akh

One sister said that she was searching for both a husband and a job. She was looking for a job because she wanted “the autonomy” that came with making her own money.”

Having an independent income gives them veto power. They can challenge the husband’s authority. When the children see that the father has no authority they will challenge both parents, and play one against the other.
This is why these homes often lack order. And the children are out of order.

akh

The funny this is; they will hold on to that job even if they hate it. Most women do not even like to work. You have to get up early, commute, do tedious work with people you really don’t care for that much. This is why they routinely call in sick, take a day off or have to leave early. Once they have the job they’ll do everything possible to not show up at the job.

Best advise I could give women is: marry as early as possible to someone with potential.

Karai Gosht

You’re talking nonsense and gross generalisations. I know plenty of Muslim women who work, who are respectful of their husbands and assist them in their household affairs…some are forces to work due to circumstance and some enjoy what they do. There is no one rule for all situations.

akh

“”Where did we get our fears from? When did we learn this mistrust, this suspicion, this anxiety?”

Generally this mindset is found among children of divorce. These women project their negative feelings about their father on all men. Particularly men of the same background. This is why they relatively often marry outside of their ethnic group.

Poverty is also a cause. If the father wasn’t a good provider women will focus on providing for themselves.

akh

“Fear mongering.”

I’ve seen older bitter women do this repeatedly with young women. “have you own money, one day he will leave”. The husband senses the wife’s mistrust and starts to be suspicious of her. Tensions rise and the break up is here. Interesting point: most of the time it’s women who leave their husbands. Cases where husbands leave their family are relatively rare.

Ele86

Great article, feminism seeks to debilitate the family unit and expose our sisters other men, we have all seen the fitnah this brings, not to mention the later the woman pushes off marriage, the less fertile she becomes and the more birth defects a child she gives birth to is at risk of.

These women need to stop feeling icky and start taking in facts

Ele86

I find it “Icky” to marry a girl who prioritizes work

Abd

Same, they’re gonna start getting desperate when they’re in their 40s and nobody wants to look at them

Md. Alam

A career woman could be my good business partner not a good mother of my child.

Baz

Everyone has their personal preferences which should be respected. Some women like Mrs Haqiqatjou and Haredi/Amish/Mennonite women CHOOSE to follow traditional gender roles. Mashallah good for them. Others choose to follow professional careers in all fields. The good thing about Haqiqatjou’s host country USA is that at least women can choose either way, unlike Muslim skeptic’s semi-idol or secret boss Afghanistan who does not give women the choice except a few gynaecologists and girls tutors.

Baz

Billions of women and men worldwide, Muslim and NonMuslim, especially in big cities, will feel even more icky and oppressed/persecuted if you support trying to export and forcibly impose the women’s rights domestic laws of Afghanistan on everyone else in the entire world through ISIS 2.0 (Haqiqatjou’s proposed expansionist Islamic empire). The popular resistance against Isis 2.0 will be even fiercer than Ukraine today or Afghanistan yesterday, so your Isis 2.0 will utterly fail and be defeated.

Zaid Diaz

Nice to see you come back to the site you hate the most. Typical Serb characteristic. Na zdravlje!

Baz

Since you refuse to stop your baseless Tecfiri slanders while ignoring all my pro-Islam pro-khi1afa rants elsewhere in this blog & ignoring my stated Indian sunni Muslim origin, I may as well now accuse you of being Yehudy & khwarij agent of I5IS (i5reali secret !ntel service). Inshalla in future we will have REAL khi1аfa or “United States of Islam”, which has both far less social restrictions than Talib, AND oppose both cuffar like Serb fascists & fake Muslim khwarij like maybe you

Haider

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa barakaatuhu, Akhi.

Gender roles are already defined in the Quran and Sunnah
Men are supposed to work and provide and women are supposed to stay home and take care of children. Akhi, if you’re okay with these roles being destroyed and mixed up, then fear Allah, because you’re suggesting you know more than Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him), or don’t care about what they say. We as muslims cannot choose what we want, we have to sacrifice our desires.

Baz

Wlkmslm, Nowhere have I said or imply that I’m against natural gender roles, and in fact, as you can see from my above comment I’m 100% for it, as long as they chose to live like that, not doing just to avoid beating or jail like Muslim skeptic’s ideological utopia Afghanstan. If you say that it is haram and punishable crime under sheria for Muslimah to do career jobs and hobbies outside home, then you prove it from scripture, otherwise your suggesting that you know more than Allah/Resool-PBUH.

Nisa

I’m sad to say but I was once like these women. Funny thing is, I didn’t really have a bad male role model as I had a responsible and loving father but hearing all the “male deadbeat” stories made me fear marriage.

Yes, these stories can be beneficial to caution sisters when selecting suitors and brothers to act as a wali but today’s culture turn it into an extreme scare tactic.

Karai Gosht

Some women just want financial autonomy. Nothing wrong with that. I’d hate to rely on my husband to be able to buy what I want, give gifts and do sadaqah. He should take care of the lion’s share of spending and do his role, but I want to work for my own mental wellbeing and financial independence.
My work is shariah compliant alhamdulillah.

Abd

You’re going to be more than just financially independent… You might just be independent for the rest of your life period.

Ibn Tachfine

Why not, but as soon as you have a baby, you gonna see work as mental wellbeing ? You gonna chose “independence” over motherhood ? Knowing that, would you delay to have a baby because you don’t want to lose your “independence” feeling right now … ?

Haider

If you don’t trust your husband, why even marry?

Ibn Tachfine

The “deadbeats” kills me, reminds me of the non binary imama Amina Wadud

Sarah

Don’t forget, that a lot of Muslim men also expect their wives to work, and some have even said, to me personally, that they want costs/bills split 50 50 after marriage. Also whilst looking to find someone for marriage, I have almost invariably been asked what my job is because I’m told that this is increasingly important. I live in the UK btw, and I don’t think it’s fair to not consider all facets of an issue.

Thanks

Anya

This article did not explain what to do incase your husband does die early and there is not enough to live on. Or if he does happen to leave you.