If a woman works in her house without intending to seek reward for her work with Allaah, will she be rewarded for her work or not!
Praise be to Allaah.
A woman's work in the home is important work in which she helps to spread love and mercy in her home, and she plays a major role in raising her children and helps her husband in his work, da'wah and pursuit of knowledge. In this regard, this work is like all other kinds of work: a woman will not be rewarded for it unless her intention in doing it is sincerely for the sake of Allaah alone. There follow some texts which support this view, as well as some of the comments of the scholars.
Actions Are by Intentions
1 - Al-Bukhaari (RAH) included in Kitaab al-Eemaan (the Book of Faith) a chapter in which he listed shar'i duties, which included seeking reward for doing them. Al-Bukhaari (RAH) said: “Chapter: What was narrated about actions being but by intentions, and every person will have but that which he intended. This includes faith, wudoo', prayer, zakaah, Hajj, fasting and other rulings. Allaah says:
“Each one does according to Shakilatihi (i.e. his way or his religion or his intentions)” (QI7 [al-Isra']:84).
A man may seek the reward of charity for his spending on his family. And the Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallaam) said:
“But jihad and good intentions.” (Bukhaari),
Kitaab al-Eemaan) Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (RAH) said: The words “Chapter: What has been narrated...” mean: a chapter which explains what has been narrated as evidence that shar'i actions are judged according to intention. (Fath al-Baari; 1/135, 136)
Reward Comes With Intention
2 - It was narrated that Abu Mas'ood al-Badri (RA) said: The Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallaam) said:
“If a Muslim spends on his family, seeking reward for that with Allaah, then it will be an act of charity on his part.” (Muslim)
Spending on his wife and children is a man's shar'i duty, but he will not be rewarded for it unless he seeks reward thereby.
Al-Qurtubi (RAH) said:
The apparent meaning is that the reward for spending on them can only be attained by intending to draw closer to Allaah, whether it is obligatory or permissible, and this implies that whoever does not intend to draw closer to Allaah will not be rewarded, but he has discharged his duty in the case of obligatory spending. [Fath al-Baari (1/136)]
Ibn Hajar (RAH) said: It may be understood from this that the reward cannot be attained by doing the deed unless it is also accompanied by the intention.
Spending on one's family is obligatory, and he will be rewarded for what he gives according to his intention. There is no contradiction between its being obligatory and its being called charity, rather it is better than voluntary charity. [Fath al-Baari (9/498)]
AI-Nawawi (RAH) said:
Seeking reward thereby means seeking the Countenance of Allaah thereby. That does not include whatever he spends absent-mindedly (i.e. heedless of the intention and without intending to seek reward thereby). Rather this refers to the one who seeks reward. The way to seek reward is to spend it with the intention of fulfilling the duty of spending and kind treatment that has been enjoined upon him. [Sharh Muslim (7/88, 89)].
Even A Morsel In Her Mouth
3 -It was narrated from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallaam) said:
“You will never spend anything, seeking thereby the Countenance of Allaah, but you will be rewarded for it, even what you put in your wife's mouth.” (Muslim)
Ibn al-Haaj al-Maaliki (RAH) said:
He should not neglect to give his wife a morsel or two, because the Prophet (sallaallahu alayhi wa sallaam) said: “even a morsel that he puts in his wife's mouth.” He will earn reward even though there is some pleasure for him in putting a morsel in his wife's mouth, but he should seek reward in all of that, i.e. in bringing the food and in giving it to her. [AI-Madkhal (1/224)]
AI-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (RAH) said:
You will never spend anything, seeking thereby the reward of Allaah, but you will be rewarded for it. The attainment of reward is dependent upon that, i.e. on seeking the Countenance of Allaah. This is what matters. [Fath al-Baari (5/367)]
A woman will be rewarded for her work in the house if she seeks reward with Allaah for that, and is sincere in her intention. And Allaah knows best.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited