Wife and difficult In-Laws
Am I responsible to financially assist my family-in-law?
When I got married my husband was not earning well but we were living in joint family system. It was hard for him to keep up. As I was doing job so I had to participate in home expenses. He has 4 brothers. They did not participate as they promise, they left us by saying it is solely our duty now whether we rob or commit theft. Later on they said it was my duty to run home as my husband was not doing well, was that my duty? I gave 1 lakh rupees to my brother in law as loan, he refuse to pay it back and said it is Qardh Hasna, but before he promised to pay it back in one year, my mother in law talks bad about me all the time the most of it which is not true. I`m living abroad now so I stopped talking to her, is it okay to not to talk to her? Does your in laws have right to spoil daughter in law`s life if their husbands are not financially strong? I feel very stressed, I feel I will go mad if that continued, what should I do?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In principle, the husband is duty-bound to earn and cater for the food, clothing and shelter for his wife. The wife is responsible only for acting faithfully and honestly in the rights and belongings of her husband.
The woman is not obliged to earn and financially fulfil the home expenses of her family-in-law. If she voluntarily contributes towards the home expenses of her in-laws, that will be a gesture of goodwill from her side.
Sister in Islam, we acknowledge that your mother-in-law may have hurt your feelings; however, it is important that you do not sever ties with your mother-in-law. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
ولا يحل لمسلم أن يهجر أخاه فوق ثلاث أيام
Translation: It is not lawful for a Muslim to abandon his brother for more than three days.
He (peace be upon him) also said:
تعرض أعمال الناس في كل جمعة مرتين يوم الإثنين ويوم الخميس. فيغفر لكل عبد مؤمن إلا عبدا بينه وبين أخيه شحناء. فيقال: اتركوا أو اركوا، هذين حتى يفيئا
Translation: The actions of people are submitted twice each weak, on Monday and Thursday. Every believing servant is forgiven except for the person who has enmity between him and his brother. It is said: Leave these two [and do not wipe out their sins] until they reconcile with each other.
You should maintain ties to the best of your ability according to your health. There are various methods you could adopt:
- Request your husband to speak to his mother to clarify the matter on behalf of you;
- Alternatively, express your sentiments to an elderly reputable person who may enjoy some influence over your mother-in-law and thus explain to her kindly;
- Contact a local reliable female scholar who you could confide in to overcome your difficulty;
- Read books of the pious predecessors and listen to the speeches of our great Ulema which may also help you overcome your mental state;
- Maintain relationship with your mother-in-law via the phone though this may only be occasional and brief;
- Send occasional cards and gifts
Sister in Islam, do not allow your haunting past override your possible bright future. Pray Allah guides your mother-in-law, cleans your hearts from past animosity and instils the love for each other in your hearts. Your efforts in trying to maintain ties should be simply for the pleasure of Allah and entertaining hope of reward from Allah. Allah Ta`ala says:
وليعفوا وليصفحوا ألا تحبون أن يغفر الله لكم والله غفور رحيم
Translation: Let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is All-Forgiving All-Merciful.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) states:
صل من قطعك وأعط من حرمك واعف عمن ظلمك
Translation: Join ties with one who cuts you off, give to one who deprives you and forgive one who oppresses you.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also states:
إن المتحابين بجلال الله في ظل الله وظل عرشه يوم لا ظل إلا ظله
Translation: Those who love each other simply for the sake of Allah will be under the shade of Allah and the shade of His throne the day there will be no shade but His shade.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Hanif Yusuf Patel
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: ... ولهن عليكم رزقهن وكسوتهن بالمعروف
[Saheeh Muslim, 2469]
تجب على الرجل نفقة امرأته المسلمية والذمية والفقيرة والغنية، دخل بها أو لم يدخل
[Al-Fatwa al-Alamgiriyyah, 1:544; al-Fatawa at-Tatarkhaniyyah, 4:183]
[Fatawa Mahmoodiyah, 13:420; Ahsan al-Fatawa, 5:476; Radd al-Muhtar ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, 2:719]
 فالصلحت قنتت حفظت للغيب بما حفظ الله
 [Fatawa Mahmoodiyah, 18: 616, Dar al-Iftaa Jamiah Farooqiyah]
 [Saheeh Bukhari, 5718, 5726; Saheeh Muslim, 5471; Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 2023]
 [Saheeh Muslim, 5484; Al-Muwatta Imam Malik, 1703]
 [Al-Qur`an, 24: 22]
 [Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 18032]
 [Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 23940]
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