Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
As a man, is it acceptable for me to expect of my future wife that she make her home life her main priority after we have children and not have a full-time job at least until the children are 12-13 years old? For both partners to work, especially when it is not needed, does not seem to be conducive at all to the development of a spiritually and morally nourishing home for children. If we cannot agree on this issue, is this an indicator of a significant incompatibility?
Thank you for your question. Yes, it is reasonable for you to expect this, and you should search for a girl who has the same mindset as you.
Being a homemaker is a wonderful occupation, rewarding, creates healthy bonds, and nurtures children. There is nothing to be ashamed of in this, though some belittle it and degrade it. I pray that you do find someone intelligent, pious and devoted, who is cut out for this. Please take a course on Islamic Marriage to learn marital rights and obligations according to Islam, and not according to culture or some other set of standards.
You have to tread carefully when you look for a wife because although you want her to stay home, you don’t necessarily want her to be uneducated. A good education, especially if it’s balanced between secular education and Islamic education, results in a balanced mindset, refined character, a deeper understanding of what you do, and a better capability to raise hard-working children.
It can be tricky to find someone who worked hard to learn but then doesn’t want to use her degree. One might prefer to marry an educated girl who will work part-time or even less frequently than to marry a girl who has no education at all. Pray istikhara and ask for guidance on finding the right person for you, someone who will put Allah, and His Messenger and her family first, without feeling that she is suffering.
Please see these links as well:
Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the specifics of the situation.
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.