Category: Character, Morals (Akhlaaq)
Fatwa#: 41142
Asked Country: United States

Answered Date: Oct 18,2018

Title: How do I deal with my Mother-In-Law?

Question

 

Assalam o Alikum

Following are the detail of some of the issues which I am facing. I am requesting you to please look into these issues from insight.
I came to live in USA after my marriage 6 months ago,Since the beginning of my marriage my mother in law have so much objections whenever I go out with my husband parks, lakes and to friend’s gatherings, and she complain my sister in law (who is married and live in another city) about that and she tried to interfere and trying to impose her opinion on us. 
My mother in-law and sister in-law are trying to control me directly and indirectly that is by making  complain to my husband behind my back in a provoking way, and she was lying about me, in her complain my sister in law trying to portray me as somebody bad, irresponsible for household duties, disrespectful and criticize my husband for giving me freedom and telling him to order me to do this and that, and they are blaming me to control my husband, in short she is trying to ruin my reputation in my husband's eyes, and showing that they all are one family and I am somebody who is here to work for his parents and to pleased them, and in return he start forcing me to make sacrifice for their happiness. 
My husband works almost 10-12 hours a day, and I stayed at home with his mom and sister. He wants me to spend time with his mom, but I simply can not do that, because I know the more time I spend the more trouble there will be, because we are very different in personalities, and there are lots of differences, and I also know that she is having certain bad feeling against me. Although for my husband I tried my best to spend time with her, watch TV, talk and work with her, but I am uneasy in spending longer time with her and I want to have my space and wants to do my own stuff, but I feel forced to do so just because of their complain behind my back to my husband and he might get unhappy and think bad about me. 
I am alone in the country and my parents and siblings are not here, I am feeling like there is a whole force against me, although my husband is very loving and caring but their complain are affecting his attitude and our relationship because these things are driving me crazy and I am very unhappy with this situation.
When i got pregnant and feeling very bad, my mother in law turned blind eye towards me, and keep calling me upstairs for work they don't care about me at all. 
I never stop my husband from his parents care and I am very well aware about their status and their rights and respect in the family and his responsibility towards them and made them happy, but not on my expense and must not put our relationship in trouble.
I also tried my best to be good, respectful and thoughtful towards his family, cooked food for everybody, trying to talk, work and spend time with my mother in law but even at that time she had complains and trying to interfere too much between me and my husband and now I realized no matter how much I tried to pleased her there is no way to make her happy, so all my positives will be overlooked and trying to make issues, objections and complains. Now I also start getting angry and start arguing with my mother in law and sister in-laws because they pushed me to the limits and i find it very hard to tolerate with this constant emotional torture and it is damaging my health mentally and emotionally. Now the situation is their happiness depends on my unhappiness, because they are jealous with our relation and they compete with me in everything.
I want my husband to act as a shield for me, protect me, and draw limits for everybody in the family and not listen to people’s false complain about me, and whenever his family tried to suppress him, he should not get suppressed by them instead took a bold step, because our relationship was really happy, very loving and caring, but i felt a difference in his behavior, i start feeling distance from him and i am feeling that he is using me to pleased his mom and sister, and forced me to change the way they want me to be, and in return i start feeling hurt, unhappy, stressed, and angry on my husband.  
I am getting very uncomfortable, feeling controlled and stressed by living together, because my in-laws always wants me to tell them before I am going somewhere and they interrogate a lot that where we are going, why we are going, what we did, what we eat, how much so and so cost and then made objections, they also keep a check on my daily activities, in short my in-laws have so much interference in our life, objections and complains on everything I do, or I don't do, and my in-laws especially my mother in law and my sister in-laws thinks they have every right to control, interfere in our life, and they are acting as a boss over us.
Because of all those issues I don’t want to live together and share kitchen and household task with them, I want a complete privacy separate residence and there should not be any interference from my in-laws, I also request him to please provide me a separate place to live where we can live peacefully, or at least a separate portion with separate living facility and separate entrance door in the same house where nobody will interfere, because I don’t want to put our relationship in trouble because of other family members, but in our culture parents are thinking that the wife is taking their son away, and they are getting angry try to suppress their son and use different emotional tactics to portray that wife is evil even if she is demanding her basic rights and no matter how wrong they are they thinks they have all rights over daughter in law, and my husband said same cultural thing that he is not going to leave his family, and he accused me that I am the reason of separating family and breaking strings one by one, although I didn't ask him to leave or break ties with family,  my intention is to protect myself and our relationship from bad behavior of my in-laws and I can predict it now that how far it will effect our relationship. And i am scared that his mom and sisters will ruin our relationship. 
Although before marriage my sister in law asked me that my husband is the only son and very close to his family so he wants to live together, so i agreed on that by saying if everybody is caring so it is fine with me, but it is not true and he is not close to his family instead he expect me to to spend time with his family and do things for them. And also i was not aware of the above mentioned situations. Now living together becomes dangerous for us and our relationship because they filled my husband's ear with lies, jealous of our relationship and play conspiracy against me, I feel unsafe here. 
Now, I would like to know about my responsibilities towards my in-laws and how far I am accountable and answerable to my mother in-law and my sister in-laws? and what are their limitations and are they allowed to give me orders and ask me to do things for them? and to tell me how to live my life? what to do and what not to do? When should i go out with my husband and when i shouldn't? Are they allowed to dictate orders through my husband? Is it allowed in Islam for a husband to ask a wife to do things for his family and asked her to make sacrifice for their happiness?
Please explain my rights in the light of Islam? and also in this situation what are my husband's obligation towards me?
Is it wrong for a wife to ask for a separate residence or a separate portion because of this situation? Is it right for  a husband to ask his wife to tolerate with this situation especially if he knows that his mother and sisters are playing conspiracy against our relationship? 
Please provide Quotes from Holy Quran and Hadith and from famous scholar to support your points. 

 

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Sister in Islam,

We take note of the contents of your email and the challenges you are being faced with.  

If what you state about your in-laws reflects the reality, then their behaviour is unfortunate.

It is evident that you are facing a very difficult test while you have barely begun your marital life. Disagreements between the daughter in law and mother in law are common.

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 fulfil the needs and serve one another. As a wife, you are bound to serve your husband only.  Your duties and rights are in relation with him and not you in-laws.

It is a virtuous deed to be kind toward your in-laws and help them in their daily lives, but it is not incumbent upon you to serve them.  Therefore, you should try to the best of your ability to get along with your mother-in-law. Adopt methods of winning her approval.  It might seem hard in the beginning, but good character and patience will change her attitude towards you and eventually she will start treating you more kind-heartedly. 

You are a newlywed, wed for only six months, you need to stay patient and seek out other ways to resolve the situation you have with your in-laws until a solution can be found.

Every person has a different nature and temperament. The only solution for one’s peace when living with people is patience and tolerance. If one conditions the mind to be patient, over time, patience becomes one’s nature and it becomes easy to tolerate people of different temperaments.

We advise you to discuss this matter with your husband and figure out what is the best solution.  Do not keep your feelings hidden from him, and express to him openly how you feel. Your husband should address the problem by discussing with his mother the issues you have raised rather than allowing her to go on complaining about you and ill-treating you.

You may express your sentiments to an elderly reputable person who may enjoy some influence over your mother-in-law and thus explain to her kindly.

You enquire about the rights of a wife. The Jurists have outlined three basic rights of the wife. [1]

(1) Shelter

(2) Food

(3) Clothing

 

The above are the necessities of every living individual.

 

You feel that by you living in a separate home from your mother-in-law would better help you in doing this, then this is a legitimate request. It is your right as a wife to demand your husband to arrange separate living accommodations for you.

Over time, your husband can be convinced of having a home very close to the parents so that he can continue to serve them and you can have your own space, which we agree is necessary in your case to avoid future confrontations. However, this will take time, especially in your cultural environment where it may be seen as taboo to have the son seek separate living arrangements.

You have to win over your husband by gaining his love and confidence. Since you need time to figure out a solution, do your best to ignore any issues with your mother-in-law while you seek out a compromise that is acceptable to you and your husband.

 

Put your trust in Allah and seek strength from him. Du’aa is the weapon of a believer. Read Salaahtul Haajah and implore Allah Ta’ala to change the temperament of your husband and make him loving to you.

May Allah Ta’ala ease your pain and suffering and alleviate the predicament you are faced with. Aameen

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Muhammad I.V Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 



الاختيار لتعليل المختار (4/ 3) [1]

قَالَ: (وَتَجِبُ لِلزَّوْجَةِ عَلَى زَوْجِهَا إِذَا سَلَّمَتْ إِلَيْهِ نَفْسَهَا فِي مَنْزِلِهِ نَفَقَتُهَا وَكِسْوَتُهَا وَسُكْنَاهَا)

مَا مَرَّ مِنَ الدَّلَائِلِ (تُعْتَبَرُ بِقَدْرِ حَالِهِ) لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: {لِيُنْفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِنْ سَعَتِهِ وَمَنْ قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنْفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ} [الطلاق: 7] كَذَا اخْتَارَهُ الْكَرْخِيُّ، وَاخْتَارَ الْخَصَّافُ الِاعْتِبَارَ بِحَالِهِمَا، فَإِنْ كَانَا مُوسِرَيْنِ لَهَا نَفَقَةُ الْمُوسِرِ، وَإِنْ كَانَا مُعْسِرَيْنِ فَنَفَقَةُ الْمُعْسِرِ، وَإِنْ كَانَتْ مُوسِرَةً وَهُوَ مُعْسِرٌ فَلَهَا فَوْقَ نَفَقَةِ الْمُعْسِرَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ بِالْعَكْسِ فَدُونَ نَفَقَةِ الْمُوسِرَةِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ أَحَدُهُمَا مُفْرِطًا فِي الْيَسَارِ وَالْآخَرُ مُفْرِطًا فِي الْإِعْسَارِ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِ بِنَفَقَةِ الْوَسَطِ، وَالْقَوْلُ قَوْلُهُ فِي إِعْسَارِهِ فِي حَقِّ النَّفَقَةِ لِأَنَّهُ مُنْكِرٌ وَالْبَيِّنَةُ بَيِّنَتُهَا لِأَنَّهَا مُدَّعِيَةٌ

(وَالْكِسْوَةُ كُلَّ سِتَّةِ أَشْهُرٍ) لِأَنَّهُ يُحْتَاجُ إِلَيْهَا فِي كُلِّ سِتَّةِ أَشْهُرٍ بِاخْتِلَافِ الْحَرِّ وَالْبَرْدِ

 

مختارات النوازل الصفحة ٢٩٦/٢٩٧

 

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار)-فرفور (10/562)

 (وكذا تجب لها السكنى في بيت خال عن أهله)

 

(قوله وكذا تجب لها) أي للزوجة السكنى أي الإسكان، وتقدم أن اسم النفقة يعمها؛ لكنه أفردها؛ لأن لها حكما يخصها نهر (قوله خال عن أهله إلخ) ؛ لأنها تتضرر بمشاركة غيرها فيه؛؛ لأنها لا تأمن على متاعها ويمنعها ذلك من المعاشرة مع زوجها ومن الاستمتاع إلا أن تختار ذلك؛ لأنها رضيت بانتقاص حقها هداية

(قوله بقدر حالهما) أي في اليسار والإعسار، فليس مسكن الأغنياء كمسكن الفقراء كما في البحر؛ لكن إذا كان أحدهما غنيا والآخر فقيرا؛ فقد مر أنه يجب لها في الطعام والكسوة الوسط، ويخاطب بقدر وسعه والباقي دين عليه إلى الميسرة، فانظر هل يتأتى ذلك هنا (قوله وبيت منفرد) أي ما يبات فيه؛ وهو محل منفرد معين قهستاني. والظاهر أن المراد بالمنفرد ما كان مختصا بها ليس فيه ما يشاركها به أحد من أهل الدار (قوله له غلق) بالتحريك: ما يغلق ويفتح بالمفتاح قهستاني

(قوله زاد في الاختيار والعيني) ومثله في الزيلعي، وأقره في الفتح بعدما نقل عن القاضي الإمام أنه إذا كان له غلق يخصه وكان الخلاء مشتركا ليس لها أن تطالبه بمسكن آخر (قوله ومفاده لزوم كنيف ومطبخ) أي بيت الخلاء وموضع الطبخ بأن يكونا داخل البيت أو في الدار لا يشاركها فيهما أحد من أهل الدار. قلت: وينبغي أن يكون هذا في غير الفقراء الذين يسكنون في الربوع والأحواش بحيث يكون لكل واحد بيت يخصه وبعض المرافق مشتركة كالخلاء والتنور وبئر الماء ويأتي تمامه قريبا (قوله لحصول المقصود) هو أنها على متاعها؛ وعدم ما يمنعها من المعاشرة مع زوجها والاستمتاع (قوله وفي البحر عن الخانية إلخ) عبارة الخانية: فإن كانت دار فيها بيوت وأعطى لها بيتا يغلق ويفتح لم يكن لها أن تطلب بيتا آخر إذا لم يكن ثمة أحد من أحماء الزوج يؤذيها. اهـ

قال المصنف في شرحه: فهم شيخنا أن قوله ثمة أشار للدار لا البيت؛ لكن في البزازية: أبت أن تسكن مع أحماء الزوج وفي الدار بيوت إن فرغ لها بيتا له غلق على حدة وليس فيه أحد منهم لا تمكن من مطالبته ببيت آخر. اهـ فضمير فيه راجع للبيت لا الدار وهو الظاهر، لكن ينبغي أن يكون الحكم كذلك فيما إذا كان في الدار من الأحماء من يؤذيها وإن لم يدل عليه كلام البزازي. اهـ

 

قلت: وفي البدائع: ولو أراد أن يسكنها مع ضرتها أو مع أحمائها كأمه وأخته وبنته فأبت فعليه أن يسكنها في منزل منفرد؛ لأن إباءها دليل الأذى والضرر ولأنه محتاج إلى جماعها ومعاشرتها في أي وقت يتفق لا يمكن ذلك مع ثالث؛ حتى لو كان في الدار بيوت وجعل لبيتها غلقا على حدة قالوا ليس لها أن تطالبه بآخر. اهـ فهذا صريح في أن المعتبر عدم وجدان أحد في البيت لا في الدار

 

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