I am getting soooo tired of reading blogs, status updates, and e-mails from women complaining about their husbands. It makes me so sad to see families split up when there are children involved. I could write a long post about how to not marry an idiot (that goes for men and women), but there are so many couples out there who already got married and are on the brink of divorce, or who are separated, so let me say a word about the already married folks.
First, the guys: You are supposed to be the Khalifah of your household. YOU are supposed to be the one holding down the job. YOU are supposed to be the one paying the rent, making sure there is money for groceries, making sure there is money for the kids’ clothing and your wife’s clothing and the electric bill. It is YOUR responsibility in the sight of Allah; anything your wife does to contribute to the family income is considered a sadaqah and is not required. If she wants to take her paycheck and spend it on gifts for her mom, or a nice abaya for herself, it’s none of your beeswax. Don’t try to guilt her into thinking she has to pay the mortgage, too.
YOU are supposed to be the leader in regards to Islam. Pray as many fard prayers in the masjid as you can, but pray your sunnah prayers at home so you can lead your family. And when you are home and you pray, don’t just quietly go make ablution and pray without telling anyone; announce to the whole family that you all are going to pray now. Dad, mom, the kids, too. Yes, mom can get the heck of Facebook and junior can get his head out of the book or put down the Xbox controller. EVERYONE can pray behind you. It doesn’t matter if all you know is “qul huwallahu ahad”. They’ll stand behind you and respect you for your leadership.
If you are an Arabic speaker, for God’s sake man, speak Arabic! If your wife is not an Arabic speaker, how the heck do you think the kids are going to learn? Of course they won’t understand you at first; they don’t understand anyone when they are babies. But start now or the kid may never speak Arabic or be way behind in learning later on.
I know many brothers work long hours and work very hard, and you are tired when you get home. But that is not an excuse to strip down to your jockey shorts and veg out in front of the TV for three hours. Need to be refreshed after a long day at work? Watching the Law & Order marathon is not a halaal Islamic way of doing that. How about you come home, strip down (don’t worry, your wife is used to picking up your clothes, no biggie), take a nice shower, eat dinner, then make sure the TV is off and refresh yourself by tuning in to your family. Look at your kids, really look at them. See how big your son is getting? See how your younger child’s tooth is growing in? Can you believe how beautiful your kids are, and did you say mashAllah? Listen to your son when he tells you what he did at school, even if you could care less how many silly bands he traded for. Let your child tell you a string of really bad jokes and laugh at them. Don’t make the only comments to your children be “get out from in front of the TV!”.
YOU are supposed to be a leader in getting your family involved in the Muslim community. If you live in a non-Muslim country, that means you have to be very vigilant about making sure your wife can network with ladies in town and that your kids can play with other Muslim children. Make sure she has access to the car or that you can take her to sister get-togethers and classes or lectures at the masjid; make playdates for your children with other Muslim families. This might be something your wife is is really good at, or she might feel isolated and alone because you always have the car or you don’t “feel like” going to dinner at so-and-so’s house or you don’t like the Muslims here because they’re not from your country or culture. Get over it.
YOU are the leader; you set the tone. You have to at least be doing the basics: pray, give zakah, read Qur’an, follow your children’s progress, be nice to your wife. I see so many brothers not even doing one of these things. How can you expect to have a happy wife when you are neglecting every single aspect of your deen? Wake up or you are going to lose her and lose your kids. Either you’ll stay married but she will mentally divorce you and drift away emotionally, and your kids will grow up to love the dunya and forget who you are, or she’ll divorce you completely and you’ll only see the kids once in a while or even never, astaghfirullah.
I could say more, and probably will. Don’t think I’m letting YOU off the hook, ladies. I just have to go because my baby woke up and my kids are home from school. I’m an equal-opportunity chastiser :).