Parents have no right to control their son's life or that of his wife
Fatwa No: 245677

  • Fatwa Date:29-3-2014 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 28, 1435
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Question

My parents in law are always interfering in every matter after marriage. Even in my husbands absence I am expected to be at their home and they decide when I can go to my home and for how long. They are interfering in our money matters and telling me which dress I should or should not buy and the price range. They compel me to wear jewellery. They decide whether we can go out and when and where and for how long even when we go to visit my parents and relatives. Sometimes when I wake up late in the morning I get reprimanded. Now I live with my husband in qatar where he works and in laws are in india. But they are always expecting and demanding unreasonable andhuge amount of savings and getting angry when we dont send money to India. Its not because they are poor and dont have enough because my father in law has a very successful business. Their view is that life is about making a lot of money even if it means not visiting relatives or parents. They want my husband to take up part time jobs in his free time.We are also restricted from travelling to other countries even if it is to visit my parents or other relatives and so straining the relationship between the others as well.As they are not satisfied with our savings, now they are demanding that my husband leave his job here and go live with them even if its a small job which would affect his career and also my sons life as there are no islamic schools there.also there iS not much islamic atmosphere. My father in law said that he would confiscate our passports when we go for vacation so that we cant go anywhere. All this puting strain on our relationship as husband and wife. My mother in law badly wants to see us but they are never satisfied with what Allah has blessed us with.We want to go for umra but if we tell them they wouldn't agree again because of money issues. What should we do. Do we need their Permission to travel anywhere even to visit relations and should we leave this islamic country and go back .

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.

Children have a great duty toward their parents, as parents are the cause for their existence in this life. They endure many hardships for their children's sake, staying up at night, and exerting much effort. Therefore, it is the right of the parents for their children to be as kind and dutiful as possible to them, and they should try to gain their pleasure as long as possible. However, this status does not give them the right to interfere in married life of their children or to handle them arbitrarily so as to impose difficulties. Please refer to Fatwa 88675.

The son is not obliged to obey his parents in every matter; he is only obliged to obey them in what benefits them provided there is no harm in it for him as clarified by the scholars. Please refer to Fataawa 131695 and 84942.

This principle should be applied when passing judgment on his parents requests, including how they have requested that he return to India and live there.

He is not obliged to seek their permission every time he travels, but he is obliged to seek their permission in every travel in which his life is at risk; the Hanafi scholar Ibn Nujaym  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “As regards business travel and travelling for Hajj: it is permissible for him (the child) to go without the permission of his parents, because there is no fear for his life. The Shaafi'i scholar Zakariyyah Al-Ansaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "Regarding the travel that is predominantly safe, [the child] is not to be prohibited from doing business or the like, so that he is not kept away from his livelihood and so that his life is not disturbed.” [End of quote]

In any case, he should try not to displease his parents, and to do whatever would please them and prevent their anger even if only by saying good words to them. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 122356.

Finally, it should be noted that the wife has the right to be in a separate accommodation from her husband's parents, as she is not obliged to live with them in the same house. Also, they have no right to control their son or pressure his wife or order her to do something that would impose difficulty. Good relations should prevail between the in-laws and they should respect the strong bond that binds them together.

Allaah Knows best.

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