As you're spending time at home
more than ever this Ramadan in light of the COVID-19 situation
, one of the things that could pile up is household chores. With cooking, cleaning and the laundry done more frequently, it can take a toll on your family members who usually do the bulk of the household chores at home, especially if you're living with a big family.
Plus, they might also have to deal with other commitments like working from home
and increasing their ibadah in Ramadan.
If you haven't been helping out at home already, this article will tell you why you should and why it is more rewarding than ever during this unique period of COVID-19 and Ramadan. If you want to help but don't know where to start, we'll also be listing out some simple things you can do to help lighten the load for your family ?
1. We are living in a pandemic
There's no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. Staying home for a prolonged period of time, you might experience cabin fever
(the feeling of being stuck at home) or even find yourself getting into small arguments with your family members
over the slightest things ?
Besides that, reports have also shown that the virus can also affect your mental well-being and cause stress and anxiety. Naturally, the pile-up of household chores will add a lot more stress to the person in your family who usually makes the bulk of the household decisions. It might be your mom or dad, your spouse or one of your siblings, depending on who you're living with. Simply thinking about what meals to prepare for the day/week and coordinating the housework that needs to be done can be an added burden in these trying times. That's why helping your family out with the household chores now is more crucial than ever, as you can split the burden and lighten the load of the decision-maker.
For example, if your mom is usually the one doing the planning, perhaps you can help her plan out what to prepare for iftar? It can be as simple as suggesting easy recipes to cook
or instead of cooking daily, you can order food delivery
for the whole family instead. If she is already cooking, then perhaps you can help in other ways like cutting the vegetables, washing the dishes and so on. But that's not to say that you should only help out when times are tough. If you usually don't help out at home, then this is the best time to start inculcating that habit! It will definitely help you see that your efforts will make a difference to the family ❤️
2. The Prophet (pbuh) always helped out his family
Ramadan is the time where we strive to get closer to Allah and one of the ways to gain His pleasure is to practise the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). One of the Sunnahs that many often neglect is helping out with the household chores.
When Aisha r.a., the Prophet's wife was asked, "What did the Prophet (pbuh) use to do in his house? She replied, "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for prayer, he would go for it." (Bukhari) In another report, Aisha r.a. is reported to have said, "He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed." (Adab Al-Mufrad graded sahih by Al-Albani)
This hadith is a reminder that no matter how busy you are with other responsibilities, you should pitch in and help out in taking care of the house.
The hadith also shows that gender stereotypes in the household are unfounded too. In many traditional families, society has the expectation that while men provide sustenance and income for the family, women are supposed to look after the home. But the Prophet (pbuh) has shown us that that's not necessarily true, that you can be responsible both at home and in your other commitments.
So, if in your family, the women are typically the ones doing more of the household chores, then it's time for the men to start helping out. Since the Prophet (pbuh) is the perfect example of a man, then we should strive to do our best in being responsible at home too.
3. Multiplication of rewards during Ramadan
Ramadan is a month of high status in Islam and hence, your rewards for doing good deeds and ibadah are multiplied, when they are done sincerely. While you increase your acts of worship during the holy month, you should also strive to help your family with household chores at home, as it is a good deed too. Ibn Abi Shayba reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "Every good deed is charity." (Sahih Muslim 1005).
Hence, by helping out with the household chores even in the simplest of ways, it can be a form of charity which is highly regarded in Islam. While helping out in Ramadan is more crucial due to the added responsibilities of the month, we should strive to do so in other months too. In Islam, we are encouraged to do good deeds for the family to strengthen family ties and do small acts of charity every day.
4. Cleanliness is highly regarded in Islam
When you help out with the household chores like cleaning and washing, you won't just be helping to lighten the load of your family members. More than that, you are keeping the place you live neat and tidy and cleanliness is something that is highly regarded in Islam. We can see this from the Prophet’s saying (pbuh) that “cleanliness is half of the faith (iman)” (Sahih Muslim).
Only when you clean your environment can you focus on doing your Ibadah properly. Think of it this way, by keeping your house clean, you'll also be enabling your family to do their ibadah in a clean space. In a month where we strive to get closer to Allah, wouldn't you want to do more to gain His pleasure?
5. Strengthening your ties with family
Spending Ramadan during a situation like COVID-19 pandemic is truly unique and the silver lining is that you get to spend a lot of time with your family. On a normal occasion, you might have been so caught up in your busy schedules that you might not be able to do so. But during this time of social distancing and self-quarantine, here's your chance to perfect your relationship with your family. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"The best of you is the one who is best to his own family, and I am the best of you towards my family."(Sunan At-Tirmidhî, Sunan Ibn Mâjah)
Doing household chores together can be a great way to strengthen ties with your family and cultivate a good working relationship with them. For example, if you're preparing iftar together as a family, one person might be cutting the vegetables while another might be doing the cooking at the stove, or washing up. Not only will this lighten the load of one person, it is also an opportunity for you to have casual conversations with your family members and learn something new about them. Other chores like doing the laundry, sweeping and mopping the floor are also activities that can be done together as a family.
P.S. Check out these 7 things that our writer, Atiqah, learnt about her spouse while working from home.
Easy ways to help out at home:
The good news is that helping out at home doesn't have to be a difficult task or take up much of your time. Simple gestures can already help to ease the mental burden from the main decision-maker of your household. Here are some easy ways that you can help out at home ?
1. Help out in the preparation of iftar and cleaning up if you are not cooking
We feel you, cooking isn't everyone's strongest suit (although this is the best time to start learning how to cook
!) But even if you are not cooking, there are many ways you can still help out in the kitchen. For instance, you can cut the ingredients that will be used in the dishes later on or cook rice. Once iftar is nearing, you can help set the table and once everyone has eaten, you can clean the table then wash the dishes afterwards. These activities are a no-brainer but yet they can tremendously help out the person who is cooking!
2. Create a menu plan for iftar
We’re sure that for a lot of moms, dads or spouses who are doing the cooking, even thinking of what to cook for the next day can be mentally exhausting.
To save them the headache of what to cook next for iftar/sahur, you can suggest some dishes and come up with a menu plan. This can be done either weekly or for the whole month itself. This is a simple gesture but it will be so helpful for the ones doing the cooking.
P.S. Check out these 8 ways to make Ramadan easier for your parents!
3. Order delivery or cook simple dishes for iftar
Let the ones doing the cooking take a break by ordering food delivery or cooking simple dishes to help ease the load.
Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” Sahih At-Tirmidhi.
With so many halal eateries that deliver in Singapore
and even Jakarta
(even more so with COVID-19), it's super easy to get food delivered for the whole family for iftar! Not only will you be able to help ease the burden from household chores, you'll also be rewarded for it ? For those of you who are planning to cook for your family but not sure where to start, we've rounded up these 10 easy recipes for you
4. Help out with other household chores
Even if you're not helping out in the kitchen, there are many other chores that you can help to do such as the washing of laundry, sweeping/mopping the floor, washing the toilet, taking out the trash and so on. Better still, why not create a weekly housework roster so that you and your family members or spouse can take turns to do different household chores? This way, everyone has equal responsibility so the burden will be split.
5. Do grocery shopping for your family
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we're all encouraged to stay home and only head out for essentials such as getting the groceries. Even if you might not have time to cook or do household chores for the family, a simple thing you can do is to shop for groceries.
As you're helping out with the household chores, you'll also be able to go out for a bit after being cooped up at home. If you aren't sure what groceries to get, we've got the perfect grocery checklist you'd need for that
! Don't forget to practise these 10 supermarket hygiene tips
too while you're out. Just make sure to get long-lasting grocery items
so you won't need to make multiple trips to the supermarket in a week.
No time to go out? Then get the groceries delivered right to your doorstep. With these online grocery websites in Malaysia
and halal supermarkets & meat shops in Singapore
, getting groceries for the family won't be a complicated task at all!
We hope these rewarding lessons and simple tips have made you realised the importance of helping out with household chores during this period. If you haven't been helping out at home, it's time to start doing so now! Or if you have family members who are reluctant to help at home, be sure to SHARE this article with them ? Let's make our Ramadan at home a better experience for everyone!