A man living at his parents' house after marriage
Fatwa No: 180019

Question

Asalamualaikum. Iam a married woman with a 4 month year old son at the age of 19. My husband n I are living with his parents and his younger brother since my marriage a year ago. The problem is that my mother in law is very rude to me. She blames me for anything that goes wrong in the house. I cook for everyone in the house and most of the time she gives negative comments about my cooking n sometimes she just won't eat what I cook eventhough the food is cooked nicely n the rest of the family like it. She passes negative comments about anything I would do and she wants me to clean the house everyday day thorough cleaning n look after the baby and everyone at the same time. There are always issues about something so one day we all sat down to talk about this and they went out of control saying very rude stuffs to me making up things and lying in front of my husband blaming me for things which I have never done it went to the extent that they had made it very hard for me to live with them so my husband and I decided to move out making this decision after reading an article online by a sheikh currently in Chicago who has studied in England who says that sons need to take care of their parents but staying with them is the Hindu culture. He strongly suggests that couples with such problems should move out else they may end up breaking the nikah. I don't have any problems with my husband we are very happy together but my mother in law is making it very hard for me to live in that house with her high expectations and interferring between me and my husband all the time there was a moment when she asked my husband to break his nikah with me.Please guide me with Islamic knowledge if my husband and I have made the correct decision of moving out?Since the decision my mother in law is trying to make my husband feel guilty that he is wrong and saying that he will suffer in akhira n that she will not change her approach towards me.please provide solution with reference. Jazakallah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that the wife has the right to be in a separate residence where she will not be harmed by the presence of any of her husband’s relatives; for more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 84608.

Therefore, there is nothing wrong with yours and your husband’s decision to live in a separate accommodation, and this, in itself, is not considered as him being negligent about the rights of his parents, because his obedience to his parents is an obligation in what is permissible only and obeying them in matters that cause harm to his wife is not permissible.

Furthermore, a wife is not obliged to serve her in-laws unless she does so voluntarily and with her proper consent. If she does so, then this is evidence of her kindness and good conduct. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 84909.

Kindness should be met with kindness and not with arrogance. Therefore, if your mother-in-law treats you harshly despite all the service that you provide for them at home, then she is wrong. However, it is good that you are patient with her as this is considered as being kind to your husband and avoiding having problems with your mother-in-law  as this may lead to bad consequences.

Hence, we advise you to avoid getting into arguments with her, to be gentle with her and to avoid her evil as much as possible. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 89154.

Moreover, your mother-in-law has no right to ask her son to divorce you without a sound reason and your husband is not obliged to obey her in this regard. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 84056.

As regards the spouses living with the husband's family after marriage, then this is permissible and there is no evidence which prohibits it. If some non-Muslims [like Hindus] are doing it, then this is not evidence that it is prohibited. It might be that they do it based on their pagan rituals. In any case, it is Islamically permissible; rather, some jurists  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that if the husband conditions on his wife to reside with his family, then she has no right to refuse unless she is harmed.

Allaah Knows best.

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