Question 8: I have a wife who lives in a separate house away from my parents whom she deeply hates. She does not even like them to come to the house. It should be noted that she has four children. When my parents visit me, she does not serve them. It is I who serve them food, which I actually buy from restaurants, make them coffee, and prepare their beds. I do not let them feel my wife’s dislike for them. When they ask me about her, I tell them that she and I had a quarrel. I do not want them to feel that she hates them.
Please advise me. What should I do as regards my parents, this wife, and the children who are torn between their motherand me? Since I do not want to offend my wife, I would like to give her advice through your Fatwaa’ (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar). I will give the Fatwaa’ to one of her brothers to read it to her as she is illiterate. Al-salaamu `alaykum warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh (May Allaah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you)
Answer: Both the spouses should fear Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and do their duties towards each other in kindness. They should both be kind to their in-laws in order to create intimacy and become a close-knit family. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: …and live with them honourably. He (Glorified be He) also says… read more here.
Question 7: Is it the husband’s right that his wife should treat his parents kindly and be dutiful to them even if they are not Muslims? It should be noted that they live in a separate apartment away from his family and she visits them occasionally. We appreciate your advice. May Allaah reward you best.
Answer: A Muslim woman is required to treat people kindly, whether they are in-laws or anyone else, and this is highly stressed when it comes to her husband’s parents because this strengthens the marital bond and helps the husband express dutifulness to his parents… read more here.
Question 6: I have a seventy-year-old mother who lives in Syria. I am her only male child. I left the country three years ago. Please keep in mind the difficult conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the distressed governorate of Hamah. Of course, the news reached you about it. That is why I prefer not to travel there. However, my mother lives there alone. Last month, she was afflicted with a disease that has made her incapable of moving. My mother wishes that I send my wife to Syria to help her during this painful sickness. My wife does not want to travel because of the difficult conditions there and because of her four children who are unable to help themselves. Even more, one of those children is young and requires continuous care, especially that he is sick and needs special care. Moreover, she does not want to travel alone. I am intending to send my wife with the teachers who will travel to Syria at the end of this school year, but my wife does not want to. The question is: Is there any obligation in Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) that a wife should nurse her mother-in-law? If my wife does not travel, will I be undutiful to my mother who may be angry at me because of this?
Answer: First, there is nothing in Sharee`ah that obligates a wife to help her mother-in-law, except if she does this out of her kindness, capability, and good treatment to her husband and for the sake of establishing ties with her husband’s relatives. Second, your wife is excused if she does not travel to your mother for fear of the difficult conditions and dangers prevailing in the country where your mother lives. There is no sin on you if she does not want to travel even if your mother is angry. You have to be dutiful to your mother in other ways as much as you can. For example, you can bring her to live with you, send her money to hire someone to serve her, or do any other thing within your capabilities… read more here.