Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My 37-year-old sister won’t help us with chores!

multi tasking woman


I am 30 years old and a Ph.D. scholar. I really need your help regarding a problem and I will really appreciate your advice.

My mother works every day and night.  She does all the housework everyday and she doesn't even get time to rest. I feel so sad for her. She works so hard in our house without taking a rest and no one is helping her!

So I decided to start helping her with the housework. We are four sisters, I am the second one, and two sisters are younger than me. My elder sister is very lazy; she is 37 years old, while my younger sisters are 26 and 22 years old, respectively. Of all of us, I am the only one who helps my mother.

One of my younger sisters is a doctor so she doesn't have time for home chores. The youngest spends all her time on her laptop. And whenever I ask the elder sister to help me and my mother, she never does...she doesn't even wash her own clothes! She just sleeps and watches tv all day, every day! My mother doesn't even ask her to do things, because she knows she is a lost cause.

I fight with my sisters to help me, but sometimes, I go for weeks and months not speaking to them because they are not at all respecting of me. They are all so lazy. I tried everything by love or by anger but my sisters won't budge.

When I talked to my parents, they said "You also can leave the house chores... if you also do not want to help us just don't, but do not fight with each other."

Additionally, my 37-year-old sister has very high requirements and need for attention, and because of that, my parents don't think about me at all, and my mother and father love her more than they love me.

I cry too much. I really need help to get out from this situation... I can't take it anymore. It is happening with me everyday. I always stay alone in my room with no one to speak to, and just pray and ask Allah to help me out. I hope anyone of you brothers and sisters will reply me soon and give a solution to my problem.

Thank You!


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9 Responses »

  1. As-salamu alaykum sister. My suggestion is that you stop doing chores for your elder sister's benefit. I don't mean stop helping your mother. It's important to help our parents. You receive your reward from Allah for that, no matter what your sisters do.

    But you said the elder sister does nothing and does not wash her own clothes, right? So don't wash them. Wash your clothes and your parents' clothes, but leave your sister's. Don't clean her room, make her bed, or do anything on her behalf. She can either do it herself, or live in squalor. That doesn't mean you have to fight with her. But you don't have to work for her either.

    I don't know what else to suggest. The whole situation is strange. Why are you all unmarried? Have you never considered renting your own apartment where you don't have to take care of your sisters? (Just a thought). In general I feel you are stuck in life and need to move forward, whether that means getting married, renting your own apartment, moving to another city for a job, or whatever the case may be.

    Wael Editor

    • we all are highly educated and my father and elder sister have so many requirements so the elder brother and sister are not want to get married. because of that parents are not thinking about youngers. Father said he can't allow us to get married until he is not satisfied. Even if we always be unmarried he said he doesn't care we can stay at home. I do not agree with it and talk to my mother many times but now I have left this on Allah.I understand he loves a lot but he just doesn't want to talk about the marriage. He just doesn't like anyone who brings the proposal.

      • Sister,

        In regards to marriage, this is against Islam on your father's part. It seems like your father does not have his priorities straight, and that maybe he even benefits somewhat from having 30-something-year-olds at home with him, rather than married...hint, hint: doing chores. How do you, yourself, feel about this? If you want to get married, you could seek the services of your local Imam as your Wali, since your father isn't interested enough or indifferent to it. However, if you are uninterested yourself in marriage at this time, there is no blame on you.

        I agree with brother Wael. Be careful that you are not enabling your older sister to live the hedonistic lifestyle by taking on her own chores. The minute you stop doing them, she will have no choice but to do them herself.

        Other than that, you will have to find a mental balance between doing what is in your power and control, and recognizing that you cannot force anyone to do anything that they do not want to do. Make dua and leave that part in the hands of Allah.



        • Thank you for your reply... I disagree with it as my father never ask us to do home chores. He gave us high education as I told that I am a Ph.D. scholar from abroad and the same for other siblings. The problem is he just does not trust anyone. He said all are bad when he will find someone like us he will allow us to marry. One thing you said that I cannot force others to do something. yes, that is right I understand now I cannot make them do something. I just left everything on Allah. As all the situation is out of my control. I cannot go to imam I respect my father how can I go there and ask him as my father is alive. he will die with shame...Thank you for the suggestion I just hope Allah will find a way for me.

          • Sister, Allah helps those who help themselves. You must make an effort. You are just sitting at home, thinking a husband will appear by magic.

            Your father is committing a serious sin by denying your right to marriage. He says you are bad, and he will only let you marry when he finds someone similar? What does that mean, when he finds someone bad? What kind of idiocy is that?

            If your father will not give you your rights, you must do it yourself. And if not, then you must accept your situation as it is. Those are your choices.


          • Asalamualaykum Sister,

            I'm sorry if I misunderstood your father. I did not mean any disrespect or that you should not respect or love him....just that if he's not letting you marry anyone due to his "high requirements," then you may be waiting a long time...even forever. I have a cousin in the same position. He is very well-educated, a doctor in fact, but has never married any of his prospects or love interests over the decades because his mother had very "high requirements." Now he is basically living as a career person and help to his parents. And this isn't necessarily by his own design in his case...Inshallah he will gain rewards for being patient and being a help to his parents in their old age, but he wanted to get married a couple of different times. So there is a lot of self-sacrifice involved. Allah knows best.

            Like I said, if you yourself are uninterested in marriage at this time, that is one thing, but if you want to get married, you should have a talk with your father about his requirements and which ones you agree with/don't agree with.



          • wsalam... brother you misunderstood .. father means that we are good so we deserve good. not bad

  2. As-salaamu Alaikum,

    Sister, do you work? Do you keep your salary for yourself, or do you give it to your parents? If you all are giving your salaries to the household, that's maybe one reason why your father doesn't want you to get married. Allaah knows best.

    Another thing, your father is looking for perfection for his children, which may not come, especially as you're all getting older. Are you interested in getting married? Or your life right now is perfect for you? Are you interested in looking for a proposal for yourself? Marriage is sunnah, and you should think about this. If no one in your current social circle looks good enough, widen your search. Mix-race marriage can be a good thing, especially if you're looking for someone as educated as you. But don't equate Ph.D. with good Deen and Akhlaq. Some Ph.Ds can be a total wreck in their deens and have rotten akhlaq.

    As for your sister, let her be, and don't help her chores. Help your mother. Help her cook, serve her well. Find her a help (maid) if you can. I really can not fathom that your father lets her do all the house chores and let you all girls not helping. Is he helping her at home at all? Sorry for sounding judgmental, but everyone chip in and do their share of housework in my house. Boys and girls, and the head of the house, the father ... make sure that the children help. The mother is not a servant to her kids. If I were your mom, I would have boycotted the house many years ago and use a chappal to make the children work. In a Muslim household, everyone helps, including the husband/father, as the example shown by our beloved Prophet SAW.

  3. Regarding marriage, you can find a husband online (Pure Matrimony) if you don't want to go to a sheikh. Talk to your mom about it, and go ahead and use it if you don't want to confront your dad.
    I personally found my husband with this website/app.
    Pure Matrimony is for practicing Muslims, has moderators reading messages so you're not alone, has an option for parents to see messages, has 100 questions you can fill regarding marriage and life-plan, and a marriage guides/resources.

    If you don't want to take this route, and use other methods, then go ahead. But be careful from not doing anything. You might find yourself losing your opportunity, and end up resenting your father for standing in the way.

    Perfectionism isn't healthy, good/average is just fine.

    P.S. people become more selective, and are less likely to take chances around the age of 27. Meaning, finding a spouse becomes more difficult with age. You and your sisters still have a chance, take it

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