Wife not obliged to spend on mother-in-law or live with her
Fatwa No: 331384

Question

Assalaamu alaykum Shaykh. I have a problem and need your advice. I and my small children have made Hijrah (emigration) to Morocco. My husband will not be able to join us for maybe two years, so he is currently in Sweden. My mother-in-law lives in france with her husband, but ever since I and my children moved to Morocco, she has been here with us for nine months. She refuses to go back to France. Not only that, but she does not like me or my children and treats us in a bad way. She insults me, screams at me, lies about me, talks bad about me to others, and uses me in diffrent ways. All this has caused me to cry every day, and I call my husband crying, but he says that he cannot do anything about it because she does not want to go back. Besides all this, I am paying for everything in the home; water, electricity, internet, everything. The first five months, I was paying for all the food too. She gets money from her sons but never once told me that she can pay for something in the home. She almost never even buys milk for herself or bread or anything, but I do it. She is out almost every day for many hours but does not buy anything for herself. I need your advice because I feel like I do not want to be married any longer because I cannot live with my mother-in-law anymore. I and my husband have been experiencing problems in our marriage for many years because we always fight about her. The people in Morroco lives by their culture, not according to Islam, and so does my husband's family, even though they live in Europe. All this is too much for me. I feel like opressed living this situation. Please answer in private so that I can show my husband and his family the answer. May Allah bless you, and have a blessed Ramadan.

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.

You are not obliged to spend from your own money on your mother-in-law or even on the household, and you are not obliged to serve her or to accept to live with her in the same house. If you do anything of this, then it is a donation from you and an act of goodness for which you are praised.

For more benefit, please refer to fataawa 84909, 168559 and 84608.

Hence, we recommend that you try to reach a mutual understanding with your husband and explain these matters and that you are harmed by this situation to him. If this is of no benefit, then you should balance the disadvantages of divorce and the disadvantages of staying married to your husband in those conditions and then choose the lesser of the two evils.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 137042.

Allaah knows best.

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