Sadly, women are still expected to take on the full responsibility of cooking elaborate meals during Iftar and prepping fulfilling Suhoor meals, all by themselves. The stereotypical gender roles in the Muslim community are most prevalent during the month of Ramadan. Why must women bear all the headaches of cooking and cleaning during Ramadan?
This article is for our dear brothers: a guide on how to be helpful during Ramadan.
It’s Sunnah to Help Out Around the House!
This is a PSA for all the men: It’s Sunnah to help with chores that may seem out of your comfort zone. The Prophet (PBUH) would help his wife, Aisha, with the household chores and never labeled housework to be the duty of the woman.
Al-Aswad reported: I asked Aisha, “What did the Prophet ﷺ do in his house?” Aisha said, “The Prophet ﷺ would do chores for his family and he would go out when it was time for prayer.”[Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Don’t let toxic masculinity define household chores as tasks exclusive to women. In many households, women struggle to complete household chores by themselves and while the men of the home know this, they are still dismissive. This attitude reflects that men need to work towards being good human beings towards the women in their life. Helping in the kitchen or with household chores is a manifestation of virtue, love, and compassion as helping others is encouraged in Islam.
“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.”Prophet Muhammad (PBUH
10 Ways Our Muslim Brothers Can help with Suhoor and Iftar prep
We’ve asked our fellow sisters in what ways they can use help from the men in their house and to no surprise, they were shocked that we were interested in knowing! See, we must make it known that men can indeed play a significant role in helping during the month of Ramadan. We’ve compiled a list of how:
1. It’s simple. Just ask how you can help.
Brothers, communication is key! You won’t be appreciated if you barge into the kitchen and take matters into your own hands. Instead, ask what sort of help is needed. If you just ask, we promise, we will put you to work!
2. Help Clean the Kitchen
There are two types of women in the kitchen. One cleans as they cook, and the other one cleans after they’re done cooking. In both instances, cleaning is the toughest part. Especially during Iftar and Suhoor time because we’re on a time crunch.
3. Do the Grocery Run
Women are already exhausted from doing daily chores and the added pressure of doing a grocery run is so exhaustive. Brothers, ask the women in the house to write down a grocery list and take charge of bringing all the right ingredients.
4. Store the leftovers in the fridge
One of the pet peeves most women go through is seeing pots and pans of leftover food in the fridge. If you would like to help, transfer the leftovers in containers or Ziploc bags to make use of the space in the fridge or freezer. P.S. Please wash the pots and pans after that.
5. Help set the table
If your family is the type to eat together in the dining room, it helps if you could set the table in a neat and orderly manner. Use the right silverware, glasses, plates, and placemats, and refrain from constantly asking what to do next.
6. Keep The Children Busy
If you are a husband or father and you have infants and toddlers at home, this would be a great opportunity to not just help your wife out, but to bond with your children as well. You might be wondering how this helps your wife.
Well, it is very frustrating hearing children cry or be obnoxious when you’re trying to prep for Iftar or Suhoor. It adds to the unwanted stress and slows down progress. If you can take care of the children at that time, it’s literally a lifesaver!
Try and distract your children for a while by engaging in rigorous and fun physical activities to tire them out! Your wife will thank you later.
7. Make Sure Your Wife Gets to Eat in Peace
Again, if you’re a father or a husband, you might be familiar with children acting up the moment its time to eat. Often times, moms eat when everyone is done eating. But in Ramadan, even the moms are fasting and it’s unfair that they don’t get to enjoy a full meal without being interrupted. Situate the children before Iftar time by giving them a snack or feeding them dinner early.
8. Get Takeout When Your Mother, Sister, Wife, ETC is On Their Period
This is pretty much self-explanatory! Being on your period is already tough and having to prep full-on meals is just not it. Give the woman in the house a break on days she’s on her period or just tired. Order takeout or cook up a meal yourself.
9. Help Her Meal Prep
Meal prepping is such a lifesaver. You can suggest meal prep as a way to free up more time around Iftar and Suhoor. Having meals half-cooked or half-prepped lessens the burden of cooking. Who wouldn’t want that?
10. Shower Her With Words of Appreciation
Sometimes, all it really takes is for you to give the woman in your life emotional support when they’re busy preparing meals for the whole family. Give her compliments on how delicious her food is and appreciate her efforts in making a warm meal.
We hope this list serves as a guide for Muslim men wanting to be the *shining star* for their female loved ones during Ramadan!