Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, August 8, 1999

I have decided this week to write about a subject that I feel is important:


As a Muslim lady, I sometimes hear about the conditions of my sisters who are in need of assistance. I am an American convert to Islam for almost 26 years now. There seems to be a re-occuring problem in this country that I must say makes me both sad and angry at the same time. This is the problem of some Muslim men who do not work to support their families.

Of course, most Muslim men work extremely hard, and fulfill their obligations admirably. So this is not an indictment of all Muslim men, but only of those who behave in a certain manner.

It seems almost a contradiction in terms. How a Muslim man can allow his pregnant wife to work full time while he is unemployed for long periods of time seems to me some sort of psychosis. We all understand, there may be short periods of time when for some legitimate reason a husband cannot work, illness for example. Reasonable people understand something like this, but men who stay out of work for long periods of time (years even), what must be their understanding of their Islamic duties as husbands and fathers?

A Muslim lady's primary responsibility is as wife and mother, not breadwinner. Some ladies have even had to resort to charity from the government because of their strained situation. Dear brothers, there are hadiths that state a man who doesn't support his family is as one who deserts his family, and his ibadat is not accepted until he returns.

I have heard many arguments: "I can't cut my beard, they serve alcohol". But in the US there are many, many, many HALAL jobs that a Muslim man can work. The concept of working more than one job was something that many of our fathers here in the US had to do.

So I ask, how can someone justify such behavior? I would like to request a learned person to answer this question in detail, it seems evident from Qur'an and Hadith the correct answer, but there are many such cases in the US. Where is the justice for Muslim ladies that we read about and made us choose Islam? What becomes of the family in such a situation? The beautiful order and justice that characterizes Islam is gone.

The US is not a Muslim country and so Shariah (Islamic Law) cannot be practiced in its entirety, but, I am hoping that "rightly guided" brothers can find a REMEDY to this heinous practice. May Allah help us and guide us to correct understanding of His religion.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials