Mutual Responsibilities in the Islamic Family

Getting married, yesterday’s girl and boy become today’s husband and wife; they form the most basic and important foundation in the society in which each of them is bound to perform certain duties. In this peaceful and calming bond, namely the Islamic family, no person is superior to the other, and no responsibility is more vital than the one of the other; they both form the pillars of a firm foundation and are two equal sides of a scale which hold it in balance.


Nevertheless, there are some certain tasks in which both husband and wife should participate; Actually, mutual responsibilities on which Islam emphasize are really easy.


Affability in Behavior in the Islamic Family


The very first duty that has been defined for husbands and wives mutually is affability in behavior [1]. In other words, they should act in a kind and respectful manner toward each other, speaking with dignity and affection, understanding each other’s needs and feelings, being ready to comfort one another in times of hardship and sharing their joy in times of happiness. Also, they should consult in their affairs with each other and respect one another’s views and decisions.


Furthermore, honesty and faithfulness are among the most important characteristics that both husbands and wives should observe in their married life. They should try to be as open as possible to one another and avoid hiding things from each other. Otherwise, there may arise a feeling of suspicion and insecurity between them.


Islamic family, Mutual Responsibilities

Cooperation in the Islamic Family


Despite many misunderstandings, Islam does not consider housework the responsibility of women and condemns the men who force their wives to do so. On the contrary, Islam obliges both husbands and wives to participate in this task and help one another in doing it, rather than leaving the whole burden on the shoulder of one person only [i] [2]. They should also both cooperate in upbringing their children and reach unity in their behavior and speech toward them so that the feeling of harmony and comfort will spread in the family.


Beautiful Appearance in the Islamic Family 


Besides, for husbands and wives to be always attracted to one another in an Islamic family, both of them should appear as clean and beautiful as possible in front of each other [3] & [4]. For instance, they should wear the best clothes they have got, wear perfume, adorn their hair, etc.


As a result, the love between them will increase, and they will feel more secure. Also, when the need for physical attraction is satisfied in the private environment of married life, neither husband nor wife will feel the desire and urge to satisfy this need in other unlawful ways.


Islamic family, Mutual Responsibilities


Finally, for a marriage to be successful and healthy and form the recommended Islamic family, both husbands and wives should attempt to do whatever is best to save this holy bond. For sure, this is not an easy job; it takes self-sacrifice, patience, hope, and optimism.


Regarding mutual responsibilities, you should know that you may sometimes feel tired, disappointed and hopeless but at the end of the day, when you look at your spouse, feel the love in him/her and think about the beautiful life that you can build with him/her, you will be surely willing to pay any expense to make this come true.



[i]. Whenever Imam Ali – pbuh- found a chance and was free, would come and help his wife Fatimah- pbuh- in the housework. One day Prophet Muhammad came to their house and saw they were working together and asked:” which one of you are more tired so that I take his/her place?”, Imam Ali –pbuh- answered: “ Fatimah is more tired.” Our kind prophet gave Fatima rest and continued her work himself[3].



[1]. (4:19)

[2]. MirzaHossein Noori, Mustadrak al-Vasael, V.13, P.48.

[3]. Morteza Motahari, Dastan-e- Rastan, V.2, P.252.

[4]. Shaikh al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasail al-shiah, V.20, P.158.

[5]. Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Kulaynīm, Usul al-Kafi, V.5, P.511.