Islam honors women, whether as mothers, daughters, sisters, or wives. The husband should not mistreat or oppress his wife or command her harshly. Rather, he should deal with her in a wise manner and tell her kindly and gently to do things that are in her interests, his interests, and the interests of the household. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” (At-Tirmidhi).
As for who is responsible for doing housework, it depends on the customs of the people in each country and what is stipulated in the marriage contract or what the couple have agreed upon before marriage.
The eminent Muslim scholar and renowned da`iyahSheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef states: It should be clear that this issue depends on the customs of people in each country. If it is a custom of people that wives have to do such chores, then she has to do them according to what is appropriate. But the wife should not be burdened in a manner that causes her hardship or difficulty; rather it should be in accordance with her ability and what is customary. Also, the issue depends on whether the wife used to do that in her parents’ house or not.
If she used to do so in her parents’ house, then she has to do the same in her marital house. But if she used to be served in her parents’ house, then she is to be dealt the same in her marital house. Thus, if she used to be served in her parents’ house and refused to serve her husband from the first day of marriage, this is her right and the husband has no right to force her to do housework. If he insists, then she has the right to ask for divorce.
But if she agreed to do housework and then refused, she has no right to do that.
Thus, the issue of the wife cooking food, cleaning the house, etc. depends on the customs of people and the conditions of the wife in her parents’ house prior to marriage and what, if anything, is stipulated in the marriage contract.