The Muslim man has many responsibilities. His first and foremost responsibility is to his Lord; to worship Him alone and to be obedient to him. After his responsibility to his Lord one of his most important duties is to work and provide for his family.
The Muslim man knows that it is his duty alone to keep a roof over the heads, clothes on the backs, and food in the stomachs of his family. This is the purpose of the man. He is the breadwinner and the protector. Allah, the Most High, said:
“The father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis” (Al-Baqarah:233)
This doesn’t mean that he must be super rich and give his family everything they want and need, because Allah decreed that there will be rich people and poor people, so we can’t all be wealthy. Rather the Muslim man provides for his family in the best way he can and he works hard for the money he earns. The Prophet ﷺ said:
“No man earns anything better than that which he earns with his own hands, and what a man spends on himself, his wife, his child and his servant is charity.” (Ibn Majah)
There is a lot of honor in a hard days work for a hard days pay. The Muslim man hates to sit idol. He keeps himself busy in the service of his family. Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“I hate to see a man totally free, not doing anything from the work of the life of this world nor the Hereafter.” (Al-Hilyah, 1/130)
Laziness and procrastination are the enemy of the Muslim man. They are obstacles in the face of happiness and success. The Prophet ﷺ even used to teach the Sahabah to seek refuge in Allah from laziness, he said:
“O Allah! Indeed, I seek refuge in you from sadness and depression, weakness and laziness, cowardice and miserliness, being overcome by debt, and being overpowered by men.” (Al-Bukhari)
It is interesting that the Prophet mentioned sadness and depression along side laziness, because these things often go hand in hand; either the laziness leads to sadness and depression or the sadness and depression leads to laziness or incapacity. Umar bin Al-Khattab also said:
“The happiest of people is the one under whose care people are happy because of him, and the most miserable of people is the one under whose care people are miserable because of him.” (Munaqib Umar, Pg 130)
The Muslim man derives pride and satisfaction from his work and from the things he is able to do for his family.
So to all of you Muslim men out there, work hard, take care of your families, and don’t forget to seek refuge from laziness and weakness with the Prophet’s dua on a regular basis.
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