The great scholar, Ibn al-Qayyim, said:
“Those who say that it is obligatory for the woman to serve the husband use (this ayah, i.e Soorah an-Nisaa: 34) as proof in that those who Allaah directed His Speech to (on this occasion) considered this to be from al-ma’roof (good). But as for the woman relaxing and having the husband serve her, sweep, grind the flour, knead the bread, wash the clothes, fix the bed, and serve the household, then that is from al-munkar (evil).”
And Allaah says:
‘And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar to those (of their husbands) over them.’
[Soorah al-Baqarah: 228]
And Allaah says:
‘Men are the protectors and maintainers over women.’
[Soorah an-Nisaa: 34]
So if a woman does not serve her husband, but instead he acts like a servant to her, then this means that she is the protector and maintainer over him.
He (Ibn Qayyim) further said:
“For indeed Allaah obligated him to spend on her, to clothe her and to provide her with a place of dwelling in exchange for his enjoying her and her serving him, as well as what the habits of the spouses call for. Likewise, the binding marriage agreements require that the spouses live in kindness. And kindness means a woman’s serving (her husband) and taking care of the inner affairs of the household.”And he (Ibn Qayyim) said:
“And there is no difference as to whether the woman is prestigious or lowly, or if she is poor or rich. Just look at this woman who was the most prestigious of women in the world…”
He is referring to Faatimah (radiallaahu anha); for she would serve her husband and come to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) complaining to him, but he would not complain about her.
– Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan [Al-Baseerah, Issue 20 - June 2007]