Fatwa: # 15542
Category: Character & Morals
Country: Pakistan
Date: 19th August 2007


I wish to know what are the duties of a wife towards her inlaws, specially her mother in law?


I wish to know what are the duties of a wife towards her inlaws, specially her mother in law?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

In Islaam, a marriage essentially means the union of two individuals eventually leading to the coming together of two families or tribes, hence, the in-law relationship through marriage.


The in-law relationship is a topic generally many Muslims have misconceptions regarding.


At the outset one should know that when spouses get married they are married to one another and not their families. In other words they are committed to fulfill the needs and serve one another. Allah very beautifully describes the spouses relationship in the Quran: “They (your wives) are libas (ie body cover, screen, you enjoy the pleasure of living with them) for you and you are the same for them. (2:187)


It is the norm these days to have the wife unquestionably serve her in-laws, and some men have high expectations of their wives to do so. It is not the obligation of the daughter-in-law or even the son-in-law to take care of them financially or physical needs of his/her in-laws. But on the other hand, if the daughter/son-in-law serve their parents in-law out of love and respect, then it is their own free will which the parents-in-law should be grateful for. As for the son/daughter in law, the will be rewarded by Almighty Allah for their kindness and respect and for treating their parents-in-laws as their own parents.


Aisha (RA) reports that Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلّم ) said, “Verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness that which He does not confer upon severity… (Sahih Muslim)


So while it is virtous to be kind and of service to the parents-in-law, neither the spouse can impose on the other, in fact it is the duty of the child (son/daughter) to provide and care for his/her parents.


Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلّم) is reported to have said, “Those who do not show mercy to our young ones nor respect to our elders in not from amongst us.” (Abu Dawood, Hadith 4925)


Therefore, if each one fulfills his/her duties and appreciates the service and kindness of one another, then the in-law relationship will be a pleasant and enjoyable one.

And Allah knows best


Ml. Abdulla Fakee,

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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