Problems caused by husband providing for his mother and married sisters
Fatwa No: 283828

  • Fatwa Date:10-2-2015 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 21, 1436
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Question

Assalam Alykum, My question is regarding my stand in the family as per Islam. I am a married female with 1 year old son. We live in joint family which comprises of my parents in law, two sisters in laws (one is married but her husband stays outside & one sister in law and her husband) Alhamdulillah, my in-laws are nice with me but recently my dad in law passed away so all the responsibilities has been shouldered by my husband; financially as well as emotionally. My question is what is my stand as per Islam? I would like to move out and live independently but does not want to hurt the family feelings or my husband esp. when my dad in law is no more. I want to take my mother in law with me as she is our responsibility but she wants both sisters & their husband also to stay with us. My sis in law’s husband stays with us and I have to be really conscious all the time about my dressing etc. Other sister in law also stays with us as she cannot go back to her husband. I and my husband both are working in order to cater the needs of the family as nobody else shares financially. Being a mother, I have to think of my son’s future also as education is very costly here and this results in fights with my husband now as he has no savings for our son. It is not the responsibility of my husband to take care of the married sisters also but my inlaws doesn’t understand this. Please help me in light of Islam of what my stand is and how to deal with this situation. Jazak Allah.

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, is His slave and Messenger.

One of your rights as a wife is to have a separate residence instead of living with your in-laws. Please refer to Fatwa 84608. You can discuss with your husband about moving into a bigger house where you would have a separate section for yourself, or about him living in one house and his mother and sisters in a another house nearby so that he would be able to take care of them accordingly.

It is the duty of the husband to provide for his wife and children according to what meets their needs. The obligation to sustain them is given precedence to providing for his mother. It should be noted, however, that the son is obliged to provide for his mother if she needs financial support. Please refer to Fatwa 270145.

Also, if the husband fulfills the financial rights of his wife and children, then he has the right to support whichever of his relatives he wishes. If the sister has no one to support her financially and no wealth by which she can provide for herself, then her brother is obliged to provide for her according to some scholars. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 263056.

On the other hand, there is no harm in advising your husband to save money. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to Sa‘d  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him: "It is better to leave your heirs free of need than to leave them poor, begging from people."

If he refuses to do so, you are advised not to allow this to come between you and your husband. Perhaps because of his generosity and support of his family, Allaah will generously reward and compensate him. Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers."} [Quran 34:39]

Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Charity never decreases wealth." [Muslim] Allaah may also reward him for his dutifulness towards his family by protecting his children when he has passed on. Allaah says (what means): {And let those [executors and guardians] fear [injustice] as if they [themselves] had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allaah and speak words of appropriate justice.} [Quran 4:9]

This was evident in the story of the two young boys mentioned in Soorah Al-Kahf (chapter 18). Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience."} [Quran 18:82]

Allaah Knows best.

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