Wife abstaining from doing housework

Question 39: I have a wife and five children including infants and toddlers. My wife does not fulfill her household and marital duties nor takes care of the cleanliness of my children. She does not care about me and does not accept my advice or requests. For instance, she does not obey me when I call her to bed, and she leaves the house indifferently without my permission. Sometimes I return home and find the children crying, while she is not with them. I do not know where she goes when she is out. I wish she could do some household chores, such as cooking, making me tea or coffee, and doing the laundry, but she does not do any of these things; even worse she has aggressive manners. What should I do with this woman? Some people have suggested something that would cure her and make her obedient to me. Is this cure permissible? What should I do with this wife? May Allaah reward you best and guide you to goodness in this life and the Hereafter.

Answer: If the reality is as you mentioned, you should advise her and explain to her the rights of the husband on his wife and the rights of the children on their mother and you should do this in a kind and gentle way. Tell her that leaving her husband’s house without his permission is not permissible. Instruct her to fulfill her due rights towards you with peace and love, and fulfill her rights. Ask her parents and Mahrams (unmarriageable relatives) to help you... read more here.

Is wife responsible for doing housework like cooking, washing, cleaning and so on?

Question 33: What is the ruling on a woman doing housework, such as cleaning and washing? Is she considered a sinner if she neglects it? Is it one of her duties towards her husband to cook for him? Can a husband prevent his wife from buying whatever she wants with her money if she has enough accessories and other luxurious things? Her husband provides her food, clothing,and shelter, but she does not want the clothes her husband buys for her; she wants to buy expensive clothes, accessories and luxurious things for herself and her son. She buys all this from her own money, but her husband does not agree to this and does not buy her most of the accessories that she wants. As the Nafaqah (obligatory financial support) is obligatory on a husband, can he prevent his wife from buying anything for the house with her own money?

Please suggest for me some useful books or publications related to marital life, a wife’s rights, and also child rearing, whether issued by the Committee or others. Do not forget to include information on their prices and where I can purchase them. Please provide me with a detailed reply, as I am a common man and I need to know everything in detail related to marriage and raising children.

Answer: Firstly, the ruling on a wife doing housework, such as cooking, washing, cleaning and so on differs according to the social class, customs and traditions of each society. 

Secondly, a husband cannot prevent his wife from buying foods and clothes with her own money, unless she is a spendthrift or buys something prohibited. In this case, he should prevent her from wasting her money or buying prohibited things and should be firm about that... read more here.