It goes without saying that the family affairs should be run by mutual agreement between the husband and his wife. Successful marital life depends upon love and affection between spouses. If spouses consider their obligations and rights as declared by Islam, they will solve life problems with tranquility and happiness.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: According to the strict teachings of Islam, it is the responsibility of the husband to work to maintain and support his family as Allah has stated in the Qur’an that the financial responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of men: (Men are maintainers/protectors of women because of what (strength) Allah has given the one more than the other, and because of what they spend of their property (to maintain them).) (An-Nisaa’ 4: 34)

However, if both husband and wife have decided consensually that both of them are going to work, they should share the financial responsibilities if not equally at least partially. It could be a good idea to agree upon a formula acceptable to both (one third of wife’s earnings towards the family expenses is a good workable formula). As far as the responsibilities of caring for children and taking care of home are concerned, these should also be mutually shared by both husband and wife. To refuse to do so, and thus putting the whole burden on the wife is nothing but oppression and injustice. It is at once unfair, and, therefore, unacceptable in Islam.

How can a wife be expected to spend eight hours outside the home working and then when she comes home she invests another eight hours of work at home taking care of home and children?

Allah’s strict order in the Qur’an for the spouses is to deal justly, fairly and compassionately towards one another, and He has categorically forbidden all forms of injustice and oppression in any form whatsoever.

Based on the above, it becomes clear that as long as the husband agrees to allow his wife to work, he has to help her in taking care of children as dictated by justice and good treatment.