Rafed English

Be Grateful

Adopted from the book : "Principles of Marriage" by : "Sheikh Ibrahim Amini"

Housework may possibly seem an easy job to some men, but it is only fair to acknowledge it as a hard and tedious job. A housewife, even if she works all day and night, would not be able to finish all her work. Cooking, cleaning, washing the clothes and ironing, washing the dishes and arranging them, making the beds, and arranging the furniture and above all taking care of children, not one day, but everyday is very difficult.

A man might think that his wife is just cooking food three times a day and forgets about the rest of her work. Only a man who is prepared to stay in the house for a month and do the housework, would know the pressures involved. He would then appreciate his wife's efforts.

A housewife does all this work happily but she expects her husband to appreciate her and to show his gratitude. Dear Sir! what is wrong with thanking your wife for her housekeeping? Why should you not express your fondness for the food she cooks? What is wrong with thanking her with regard to her efforts in taking care of your children? Are you not aware that your appreciation for her would encourage and refresh her?

If you remain indifferent to her efforts, or do not show your gratitude, she would lose interest in the housework and then you would complain about her. You should know that you could be the cause of your wife's indolence. If a stranger does you a small favour, you would thank him many times, but upon your wife's many favours you are not even thanking her once! You are not prepared to even make her happy by showing your appreciation for all her efforts. "A twenty-nine year old housewife wrote from Tehran: 'I am married to an ungrateful and an inappreciative man who ignores my housework altogether. I wash, clean, cook, decorate the house, knit jumpers for the family, polish his shoes, iron his clothes, etc and he has not even once thanked me. Whenever I talk to him about the work in the house, he interrupts me and says that I should not praise it before him. He belittles my efforts, whereas his success is mostly due to my hard work'." 215

Some men regard it as a manly act to ignore their wives' housework. They think if they make compliments to their wives for their work, the women would be spoiled. They might even believe that a man and wife do not need to thank each other.

This belief is not right, because any good-doer from a psychological point of view, needs appreciation and gratitude. Appreciation encourages one to do good, and this is especially true for a housewife who is doing a tedious job everyday over and over again.

Thus Islam regards being thankful as a good quality in one's behaviour. "Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: 'Whoever praises a Muslim, Allah would write many praises for him until the Day of .Judgment'." 216 "The Prophet (SA) of Islam stated: 'Whoever respects a Muslim, and speaks affably to him, and removes his sorrow, would always be under the blessings of Allah'." 217

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