A wife is not obliged to provide for her family or serve in-laws
Fatwa No: 260551


Respected brother, i am a muslim working lady, i am taking care of all my expenses, my child expenses, and house where we are living is given by my company where i am working and they are deducting house rent from my salary. My husband want her moher to stay with us and i accepted but his sister who is already married coming to our house without my information for unknown duration of time and if i tells my husband that with job, child and household i get tired, at least your sister should stay at her house, he and his mother gets upset with me and start taking bad about me and my family. is it not my right to enjoy my life in my owm house although my husband is not paying a single penny to me for financial management of my self and my child and forcing me to serve and respect his abusive mother. he is threatning me that if i will not do so, he will leave me.if i let him realize that these are his duties which i am fulfilling, he gets angry and telling my that it is my obligation to bear all responsibilites otherwise he will be very bad with me. all this time of my married life i was accepting to safe my relationship but now i am fed up and feeling depressed. kindly i need your help. i feel i cannot stay with him in all these circumstances.


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, is His slave and messenger.

It is incumbent on the husband to provide (separate) accommodation for his wife and she is not required to provide accommodation for herself. She is not obliged to live with her in-laws, including the mother-in-law as highlighted in Fataawa 101899, 31645 and 84608. Moreover, a wife is not obliged to serve her mother-in-law as per the Sharee‘ah, but she may willingly volunteer to do so; this has been underlined in Fatwa 84909.

Scholars asserted that if the wife is like those who are served [i.e. has servants], it is incumbent on the husband to provide her with a servant in the marital house. Hence, what your husband said to you is wrong and he should not repay your kindness with offense.

Verily, a husband is commanded to live with his wife on a footing of kindness; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {…And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allaah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19]

Indeed, when the husband threatens his wife with divorce if she does not do such-and-such, this contradicts the commandment of treating her kindly.

We advise you to adhere to patience and implore Allaah to rectify your affairs and bless your husband with sound judgment. You should kindly advise him and beware of letting this problem be a cause to marital discord and disputes between you, which may lead to the collapse of the family and children's loss.

Allaah Knows best.

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