Marriage in Islam is a contract where the rights and obligations can be mutually agreed as long as they are islamically acceptable.
“People always say that it’s not the woman’s responsibility to cook for everyone in her husband’s household or to take care of their husband’s parents. However, recently I was wondering if this mentality is a view created as a result of some influence from feminism. I wonder if even the learned amongst us have accepted this viewpoint without really critiquing it because of the influence feminism has had.
So for instance, Imaam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported in his Saheeh that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: “My father died and left seven daughters, or nine daughters. I married a woman who had been previously married, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me, ‘Did you get married, O Jaabir?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘A virgin or a previously-married woman?’ I said, ‘A previously-married woman.’ He said, ‘Why not a young woman so you could play and joke with one another?’ I said, ‘ ‘Abd-Allaah [the father of Jaabir] has died and left behind daughters, and I would not like to bring them someone who is like them, so I got married to a woman who can take care of them.’ He said, ‘May Allaah bless you’ or ‘Fair enough.’” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari bi Sharh al-‘Asqallaani, vol.9/513).
“The evidence derived from the hadeeth of Jaabir is that al-Bukhaari introduced this hadeeth under the heading, “Baab ‘awn al-mar’ah zawjahaa fi waladih (Chapter: a woman helping her husband with his children)”.
This hadith surely shows that actually a wife taking care of others other than her husband is something that we shouldn’t discourage just like the nabi (saw) didn’t. So if a man marries a woman with the view that they can help look after others in his household, then we shouldn’t accuse the man of oppressing his wife because this is completely permissible in Islam. What I would say is that this shouldn’t be an expectation of the man. Therefore, men should inform their future spouse the requirements they expect of their spouse to fulfil and if the future potential spouse accepts these terms then there is no problem with this arrangement.
May Allah protect us from kufr ideas like feminism. Ameen
– Mohammed Ibn Ansaar