Wives are not domestic servants

cookingKhai Zem Mat Sani

HOUSE chores are not women’s obligations rather it is the duty of the husband to provide domestic help/ assistance to perform the tasks if they can afford to do so, said a speaker during a lecture at the Knowledge Convention held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin, faculty dean of Syaria and Law at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in her speech titled ‘Wasatiah Shaping the Excellence of Women’ said that a wife is not intended to be used as a domestic servant, instead she is only responsible for child raising.

“According to Islamic teachings, basic housework such as cooking, washing and tidying up the house are not the obligation of the wife but it is the responsibility of the husband to do the household tasks which include hiring a house maid to perform the house chores,” she said.

“However, if the husband is not in the position to fulfil the obligation then the role of the wife to lend a (helping) hand is very clear,” she said.

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin

The faculty dean further said that for a husband who is able to provide all the needs for his family, Islam does not encourage his wife to work.

“This will give more time and space to housewives to perform their duties as mother and ‘educator’ to their children and carry out their responsibilities as wives.

“The balance can be seen from the division of labour in which a husband becomes the breadwinner and a wife is responsible to take care of her husband’s asset and raise children,” she said.

However, women could play their part if their husband cannot afford to hire domestic assistance. “Her job is not merely to raise and take care of the children but also to see that all of the house chores are done in joint effort to bring about a happy family and raise the most excellent children.”

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini also said that tolerance between spouses is important in order to achieve wasatiah in the family institution.

In her speech, she also said that Islam does not forbid women to involve in the working world. “Working is an act of worship. However, Islam puts the conditions for women who have career to maintain their family welfare,” she said.

“Women have an advantage and ability that are proven through numerous studies. They have a strong emotion which is important in dealing with people.

Women often doing their works thoroughly and could do much work in a short period of time,” said the speaker, adding that women can do multiple tasks and able to settle it short time.

She went on to say that women could work if there is a need, such as to accommodate her family and parents.

Apart from financial purposes, women are also urged to practise menutup aurat (safeguarding their modesty) at the workplace to avoid persecution, obtain the consent of their husband, the ability to juggle between work and family and if the children are not doing well in their education, wives are encouraged to quit from their work.

The Brunei Times
Friday, November 13, 2015



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