Allah Subhanuhu wata'ala has given distinct roles and responsibilities to each men and women. He declares in the 34th verse of Surah an-Nisa' "Alrrijalu qawwamoona AAala alnnisai'' Allah has appointed men as responsible over women.
The verse further states that Allah has given to men a rank above women in seniority. In the same verse He explains the reasons for this rank. First, man is physically stronger and powerful. He has the capacity to many of those hard work which a women cannot do. Secondly, he earns money through his hard work and spends on his wife. Thus man is appointed responsible to earn and run his house. That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "The most deserving of your earnings are your wives and your children" This is the responsibility of man as directed by Allah himself.
Wal mara'to, raie 'atoon ala ahli baytee zawjeeha wa waladihi And the woman is responsible for the household of her husband and her husband's children. These are very important rules coming out from the mouth of the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him. Therefore they should pay attention towards these words.
All the scholars agree to the fact that, women have two types of children to bring up, first the children of the other wives of her husband as well as her own, that's why the words in the hadith says, "his children" referring to the husband. If you study the hadith carefully it gives a responsibility to the wife to look after the people of the house of her husband, that includes, her father in law, mother in law as well as his children from other wives too. The reason is clearly understood: She stays in the house of her husband, who feeds her and provides her other needful things too. The gratitude towards the husband's contribution is she has to be extremely good in looking after the needs of the people of the her husband's house. This includes the bringing up of step kids too if there are any. Then the Hadith says further: It will be questioned to her if she fulfilled her responsibility.
This is the reason why the Qur'an prohibits women to be out of house. Even the wives of the Prophet were commanded by the Qur'an to remain in the house and avoid roaming out of the house. If the women is out of the house most of the time, the house will be unprotected, which includes, old parents of her husband, his children and other precious things at home. Allah has bestowed this responsibility upon the wife. That is why I personally appeal to all my sisters to fulfill your domestic responsibilities that is given by Allah.
Secondly, if your husband asks you for something then do obey him till he does not give you any haram instructions. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said "A lady who prays her five times prayers regularly, and fasts the month of Ramadan, and obeyed her husband, will be honured by Allah on the day of Qiyamah, by being permitted to allowed to enter the Jannah by any of the eight gates she wants to enter. If you study the hadith , you will know that there are three things mentioned in the hadith for a woman to be qualified to enter Jannah, five times prayers, fasting in Ramadan and obey her husband. The first two are of the five pillars of Islam, and the third is not zakah or Hajj but Allah has connected her obedience with Salah and Fasting. It is very bad that a husband listens to you and provides you good but you dont return it back with obeying, rather she finds excuse to disobey.
There is a hadith meant for both, the husband and wife. The Prophet, peace be upon him said, "Should I inform you which people among you will enter into Jannah without being accounted? The people said, "Yes". He replied, " The Prophets, The Siddiques (the Truthfuls) The Martyred, the kids (who died before reaching puberty) and the fifth will be those Muslims who though stay at the different ends of the city yet go to meet each other just for the sake of Allah." Then the Prophet said, " Should I inform you which the women will enter the Jannah without being accounted ?" The people replied, "Yes" . He said, " The Affectionate towards her husband and children, one who has many children, (hardships in giving birth to kids and raising them good,, becomes a source for a high position in Jannah), those who initiates in pleasing her husband after small quarrels or rifts, those who will give up herself in the arms of her husband when he is upset and pursues him to be pleased by refusing to eat till he cheers up.
In domestic matters, Allah has put more responsibility upon the wife. Consider this, Allah calls the house in the Qur'an as 'Waqarna fee buyootikunna' " The house of the wife" though it has been bought by the hard work and money of the husband. This is a very important point to note. This privilege is due to the responsibility attached. Take an example of a family where the husband is in Dubai, to earn, while the wife is in Pakistan or India. The husband works for eleven months and then gets only one month leave to stay in the house he has bought by his own hard work while the wife stays whole year. Similarly, the husband works whole day for six days a week and finds just one day holiday to stay at home, that too if the wife calls for an outing he misses out that one day too. Thus the man though he is out of the house most of time it is the wife who is at home holding the front and fulfilling the household responsibilities.
So I appeal to all my brothers and sisters to fulfill their roles and responsibility. A hadith comes to my mind from Musnad e Ahmed: Once, the Prophet, peace be upon him, was sitting when a Bedouin came to him and requested " O Messenger of Allah! My camel is in a very angry mood today and does not allow me to tie its rein in its neck, Every time I try to tie him he runs to bite me" The Prophet got up and went with him along with the companions. They reached the field and the man pointed towards one end of the field and said, "The camel has went off there" The Prophet proceeded towards the camel and the companions too walked along with him in a circle around him to protect him in case the camel attacks him. When they reached the camel. He called upon the camel and the camel ran towards him. The companions said, We were on high alert to protect the Prophet, but we saw that the camel rushed towards the Prophet and slowed down in a very humble manner as it approached him and finally sat down peacefully on the feet of the Prophet as if prostrating to him. The Prophet, peace be upon him, called for the rein to be tied on his neck. He then tied it on the neck of the camel and patted on the back of the camel and told his owner to take it. The camel went peacefully. The companions said, "This camel is better than us, he respects you more than we do. He came on almost prostrated upon your feet while we never do it! May we too prostrate to you?" The Prophet replied," This forehead is not supposed to be bowed before anyone except before Allah. If at all it was to be prostrated then yet I would have not asked you to prostrate before me but a wife would have been ordered to prostrate before their husband.
Today many wives are not happy when they see their husbands serving their parents, or sharing his earning with his parents, many even avoid serving her in-laws. These are the main reasons why there are disputes in our homes now a days. So lets understand and give each other's rights.
And Allaah knows best.