Fatimah is regarded as an exemplar for men and women.
History tells us that Fatimah (as) lived with her husband as best as a wife can, in love, faithfulness, obedience and care.
She lived with her husband as any wife, did not set herself apart as the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (sawa); rather she performed her marital responsibilities as best as a woman could do in spite of the weakness that plagued her from the start of her life, as narrated by the historians.
Fatimah (as) was faithful to her husband, and harmonised with him in soul and spirituality.
Ali and Fatimah (as) used to divide the responsibilities inside the house, and in our narrations Fatimah (as) asked the Prophet (sawa), in a loving way, to divide the chores between her and Ali (as). The agreement was that she would grind, knead and bake and Ali (as) would sweep the floor, and bring water and wood (for the fire).
In this there is a lesson for both men and women: men should learn not to feel too grand to serve at home. Ali (as) swept the floor and brought the water and wood, while the men among us feel their masculinity is brought into question if they sweep the floor or bring water. Ali was the master of men, but saw nothing objectionable in sweeping the floor of the house, because the house was his house and the wife his wife. He was a human being, and she was a human being, and a man, however great, is never too big to serve his children, wife, father, mother, brothers and sisters or anyone for whom he is responsible.
The same lesson has to be learned by women: that work at home is not belittling – a mentality which has arisen amongst women lately. Fatimah (as) worked, grinded and baked. Although we have said many times that Allah has not made it obligatory for a woman, whether daughter or wife, to serve at home, it is obligatory under Islam in that Allah wants people who live in any position which calls for participation to participate naturally and according to their powers. Allah did not make it obligatory for women to work at home or breastfeed the children, because he wanted them to give from their heart, and with the energy, effort and awareness that springs from their own will.
In the question of serving, he who serves another within the ambit of his responsibility does not call his dignity into question; so the woman who regards her work at home as belittling to her personality, or the man who regards his participation in such work as belittling to him is misguided. There is no person who is a servant absolutely, and there is no person who is a master absolutely, for everyone of us is a master in one circle and a servant in another.
History tells us that the life of Fatimah (as) might be described as ordinary, as far her daily life – doing the domestic chores, bringing up her children – is concerned. In spite of being the Doyenne of the Women of the World, the daughter of the most honorable Prophet and Messenger, wife of the Commander of the Faithful and the Master of Regents, and mother of al-Hasan and al-Husayn