I am happy to be a traditional housewife.
I’m content with being a homemaker, a wife who plays a supporting role to my husband’s lead role. I’m busy enough in my position as a stay-at-home, as a mother homeschooling five children, alhamdulillah, that I do not wish for any further responsibilities to be placed upon my shoulders.
I feel completely fulfilled and at peace within my feminine frame, alhamdulillah. Thus, I have no desire to warp my essence or defy my fitrah (natural innate disposition) by trying to assume a masculine frame; or by competing with my husband; or by becoming independent of him.
I’m perfectly fine with being dependent on my husband—financially, emotionally, physically and so on.
Yet strangely enough, in today’s world, many people would consider my position in life to be precarious, perhaps even downright stupid.
“Why would you put yourself in this vulnerable position, so utterly dependent on a man?”
“Why don’t you want to go out there and get a job so you can make money just for yourself, independent of your husband’s income? You know, just in case…”
And, that’s when all the what-ifs start:
“What if he leaves you?”
“What if he cheats on you?”
“What if he abuses you?”
“What if he decides to go and marry a second wife?”
“What if he dies and leaves you behind as a widow with five children and then, you and your kids starve and become homeless?”
“What if you get bored with him; stop loving him; or drift apart, growing distant in your marriage? You’ll be trapped in a loveless marriage!”
Sorry, but I don’t want to live my life consumed by fear about potential disasters. I simply refuse to make decisions borne of pessimism. I will not allow my life choices to come from a place of manufactured anxiety and dread.
This fear is a fake fear. It is a fear that is artificially induced and pumped into the hearts and minds of women by the secularized modern world. It is intentionally manufactured by deliberate agents, much like fake designer handbags or shoes that are made in China.
The truth is, marriage has always been like this, endowed with a certain degree of risk. And that goes for both the man and the woman. There is a level of inherent uncertainty when it comes to marriage. If they allowed it to, these what-ifs could scare both the husband and the wife into actually destroying their marriage rather than doing their best to live happily together in harmony.
RELATED: A Message for Muslim Males: Traditional Muslim Women Are Counting on You…
But, for some reason, we seem to forget that marriage is not the only endeavor in life that involves risk. Everything does!
What if you lose your iman (faith) at school and become an atheist?
What if you spend decades of your life obtaining degrees but can’t find a job in this economy?
What if you get a job that you hate?
What if your manager at work is an abusive narcissist?
What if you devote all your time, effort, energy and ideas to a company and, one day, they decide to fire you for absolutely no reason whatsoever, only to replace you the very next day with someone younger, smarter or more physically capable?
What if you remain loyal to a company and work for them for years, allowing them to them make millions of dollars off your hard work and they make you redundant after having robbed you of your best years, then you find yourself all alone, without a husband or children or a family and, at this point, it’s just too late for you to be able to get all of those things?
What if you die alone and miserable, as a lonely retired career woman?
I mean, we could keep playing the what-if game all day long.
Only Allah knows the ghayb (the realm of the unseen). We have no knowledge or certainty regarding what is going to happen tomorrow; or how the decisions we make will end up affecting us; or how our choices will play out in the future.
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
Moreover, with Him are the keys of the [realms of the] unseen. No one knows [of] them but Him. And He knows, [as well,] all that is in the land and the sea. Not even a leaf falls but He knows it. Nor is there a [single] grain [hidden] within [the veils of] the darkness of the earth — nor anything moist [therein] nor anything withered — but that it is [recorded] in a clear Book [preserved in Heaven]. (Surat al-An’am, verse 59)
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عِندَهُۥ عِلْمُ ٱلسَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ ٱلْغَيْثَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلْأَرْحَامِ ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِى نَفْسٌۭ مَّاذَا تَكْسِبُ غَدًۭا ۖ وَمَا تَدْرِى نَفْسٌۢ بِأَىِّ أَرْضٍۢ تَمُوتُ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۢ
Indeed, with Allah, Himself, [alone] is knowledge of [when] the Hour [of Judgment shall come]. And it is He [alone] who sends down the rain. And it is He [alone] who knows [everything about] all that is in the wombs. And no soul apprehends [its destiny as to] what it will earn tomorrow. And no soul apprehends [its destiny as to] the land in which it will die. Indeed, Allah is all-knowing, all-aware. (Surah Luqman, verse 34)
Therefore, the best we can do is simply follow our naturally feminine fitrah as women and surrender to our human nature to pair bond with a spouse and create a family. Then, once we’ve made the decision to do that, we can use the means that we have at our disposal to vet our options thoroughly and move forward accordingly with full tawakkul (reliance) on Allah.
Risk is inescapable in this dunya (temporal, worldly abode). We must be capable of accepting this fact as reality.
Getting a higher education won’t erase risk.
Having a successful career won’t erase risk.
Possessing our own personal wealth won’t erase risk.
Life involves risk. Yes, getting married and relying on your husband carries some degree of risk. But so does accumulating lots of educational degrees and having a high-profile career.
RELATED: No, Muslim Women Don’t Need Careers To Be Empowered
However, in the modern feminist liberal world, we have been trained to zero in like an eagle on certain specific kinds of risk and to completely ignore others. We have developed a massive blind spot.
The only thing we’ve been brainwashed to identify (and hyper-focus on) are the risks of getting married, having children and working cooperatively with the husband. Yet these are the very things that most of us women yearn for within the deepest depths of our hearts. We dream about this stuff from when we’re little girls.
At the same time, we’ve been brainwashed to NOT recognize the risks of spending decades pursuing a secular, liberal western education and sacrificing our best years for an employer to whom we are just another faceless number. This path supposedly makes us “safe” somehow, but it leaves us miserable and full of regret.
This brainwashing is a long, subtle, delicate process, and it relies heavily on manufacturing fear and peddling it to the female masses. It entails sowing seeds of mistrust towards men, inducing suspicion against marriage and an all-consuming dread of motherhood.
The best way to fight this fear is to have fear only of Allah and to have full tawakkul on Him and the system that He has designed for us.
[Have We not] created you in pairs [as males and females]? (Surat al-Naba’, verse 8)
Under the tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse), Ibn Kathir writes:
يعني : ذكرا وأنثى ، يستمتع كل منهما بالآخر ، ويحصل التناسل بذلك.
Meaning: as males and females, each of them enjoying the other, and procreation results therefrom.
What a beautiful and simple way of looking at things. We are meant to enjoy ourselves and one another! Imagine being open, trusting and vulnerable enough to actually enjoy your spouse! Not to be bogged down by fear; or suspicion; or mistrust. But just to enjoy and relish one another!
So have trust in Allah. Have trust in His system. Have trust in the fitrah upon which He has created us. Allow yourself to trust your husband and enjoy his company, affection, generosity, care, etc. Allow yourself to commit fully to your marriage and to motherhood, and take comfort in knowing that you are living a life with purpose, surrounded by loved ones.
Do not allow others to push you into avenues that go against your nature as a woman. Do not be dragged away from your natural source of happiness and fulfillment. Especially when what they are luring you towards will neither make you happy nor will it save you from risk.
Want to learn about traditional Islamic wifehood in depth? Enroll in Umm Khalid’s Extended Online Course at Alasna Institute.