Did the prophet used to wash his dishes and help do chores around the house like sweeping?
I tried looking up the question on Google but I did not find any answer so I came to ask here😇
There's a sahih hadith with a general hint that the prophet () used to support his wives:
I asked 'Aisha what did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do at home. She replied. "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer."
(See in Sahih al-Bukhari in the book of manners and form, the book of Call to prayers and in the book of supporting the family)
The interpretation of "serving his family" made by the scholars is that he supported his wife and their daily household tasks.
Let's go trough this hadith for a while and discuss it:
Knowing that the wives of the prophet () had small homes and lived near each other and even that fire was not kindled (for cooking) a month or more as stated in the Sahih hadith. One may ask, what's the effort the prophet () made or was 'Aisha in need of his help?
The answer has a deeper meaning, first of all the home of 'Aisha was not more than a small room which had a width of around 3.5 meters and a length of 5 meters. The reason for the prophet's support simply was his interpretation of the qur'an, as Allah the Almighty said:
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
(30:21, Translation: Sahih international)
The bold part in the above verse is a translation of the Arabic words:
This translation is rather an interpretation based on the meaning which certainly is based on an interpretation from tafsir.
Now the verb:
in Arabic doesn't only mean getting rest, getting tranquility or but also means dwell, live, stay, attend and assist. Which is also present in Yusuf 'Ali's translation of the verse (30:21):
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
So the facts above actually say there was no need for supporting 'Aisha () or any of the prophet's wives in their household tasks, nevertheless the prophet's interpretation of marriage, conjugal life and the corresponding verses of the qur'an, was that he should take a part of his time to stay home with his wives and family and support them. As marriage means sharing life and living together and this means spending time together and doing things together too. A husband who does any task at home in the presence of his wife -no matter how small this task is- would make her happy and win and reach her heart and this is the basis of a happy conjugal life.
As the above hadith doesn't count or quote any details we need some other sources which actually share some of them:
“'A'isha was asked: ‘What was Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) accustomed to doing in his home?’ She said: ‘He was a normal human being. He used to examine his clothes for lice, milk his sheep and serve himself.’”
(At-Tirmidhi in his Ash-Shama'il Al-Muhammadiyah)
'Amra reported that 'A'isha was asked, "What did the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do in his house?" She replied, "He was a man like other men. He removed the fleas from his garment and milked his sheep." (Al-Bukhari in his al-Adab al-Mufrad)
‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked: What did the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) do in his house? She said: He was a human being like any other; he would clean his garment, milk his sheep and serve himself. Narrated by Ahmad, 26194; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah, 671.
According to another report also narrated by Ahmad (24903): He used to stitch his garment, mend his shoes and work as other men work in their houses.
(The last two ahadith are mentioned in fatwa islamqa #197199)
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘, 4937.
In a longer version of the hadith linked above we may also read in both Sahih's:
Son of my sister, by Allah, I used to see the new moon, then the new moon, then the new moon, i. e. three moons in two months, and fire was not kindled in the house of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). I ('Urwa) said: Auntie, then what were your means of sustenance? She said: Dates and water. But it (so happened) that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) had some Ansar as his neighbours and they had milch animals and they used to send to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) some milk of their (animals) and he served that to us.
(Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari 1 and 2)
The bold sentence means that the prophet's neighbors lend him his milch animals and he milked them and served his wives from it.
As you may also read in the fatwa linked above the following:
In his house, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would be at the service of his family: he would milk his sheep, patch his garment, serve himself and mend his shoes. When the time for prayer came, he would go out and lead the people in prayer, then he would sit with them, talk with them, teach them, exhort them, remind them, listen to their complaints, and reconcile between them. Then he would go back to his house.