In islam, a man is head of the household. The husband is the head of his wife. The reason being that he is the one who spends on his wife, he maintains the family. “Men have authority over women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.”
The muslim ideal is for the man to work and provide, and for the woman to be the homemaker. And since the husband brings home the bacon, the wife must obey him devoutly. And if the husband divorces his wife, or wives, all she can claim is her mahr since the family income and everything that was bought using that income belongs to the husband.
Picture if you will a man who wants to pick pears. The tree is huge, and the pears are too far up for him to pick. So, he orders his wife, or wives, to carry him around on their shoulders so he can reach, and pick the pears. Day after day, she, or they, are commanded to let him stand on their shoulders so he can pick the pears.
What islam says, is that because the man picks the pears, they belong to him. When he shares the pears with his wife, or wives, this makes him superior and his wife must obey him. And if he divorces her, not a single pear belongs to her. The fact they she, or they, carried the husband around on her shoulders all day every day is of no consequence according to islam. Her work is of no value – after all, HE picked the pears.
This is the sick and warped view on family dynamics in islam.
There is a certain amount of work that has to be performed in every family. There is cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, childrearing etc and there is also the necessity to work to have an income. In islam, the only work that has a value is the work that brings an income, the picking of the pears. The enormous amount of work that is necessary to take care of a family, the nights with crying babies, the washing of dirty clothes, the cooking and washing up, the cleaning – it is all valued at nought. His 8 hours a day of work means all the money in the family belongs to him and he is the head of his wife. Her 14-18 hours of hard work cooking for him, cleaning up after him, taking care of his children, doing his laundry, washing up after him – only means that she must obey her husband and own nothing should he divorce her. This is also why a man inherits twice as much as a woman, because he “spends on his wife”. This is how islam values women.
This is the sick and warped view on the value of homemaking in islam.
This is also one of the truths behind the misogyny of islamic polygyny. Four women can carry a man on their shoulders all day every day. But a single woman can’t carry four men on her shoulders all day every day. And since muslims can’t imagine the roles of the genders any other way, they can’t understand how polyandry would be possible.
If the woman is busy taking care of more than one husband, which one would she obey, taking into consideration that people differ in their nature and character? One wants to travel and the other wants to stay where he resides, one wants to have sexual intercourse with her at a specific hour, and the other wants the same at the same time. One wants hot food and the other wants it cold, and other unlimited matters. So how can life be acceptable with the above conditions? In addition to this, she has to fulfill the need of her husbands whether in relation to sexual intercourse or else. If we assume that their needs are at the same time, how can she fulfill them? (Source:islamweb.net)