Marital problems because of living with in-laws
Fatwa No: 361048

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Salaam. Brothers and Sisters, I am looking for some advice, as I am really stressed and depressed. I got married a year ago, and before the completion of our one-year-anniversary, we are heading for a divorce. My husband initially lied to me about his salary, his savings, etc. When he married me, he was also indebted. His parents are wealthy though, and we have been living with them, and it really upsets me that he does not have the means to provide for me. When we were having this discussion, his parents always told him that marriage is a partnership and that it is not just the man's responsibility to provide. I helped him find a new job with a better salary, and I have also started working now, and we could both live in a rented accommodation, but he does not want to move out. I have issues with his family in that they are always telling him that I do not love him and will leave him. I come from a slightly modern family, and they are quite traditional, so we are struggling to develop that bond. My father-in-law expects me to be subservenant to my husband, but I, as a women, always voice my own opinions too. I am constantly going to my mums because we have fights everyday. I feel my husband has changed so much, and he is not the polite and caring husband he once was. My fault in all of this is that I have always told him that if he cannot solve our differences, we will divorce. Now he also uses that against me and has told his parents. His parents have told him that I am emotionally bullying him and threatening him, but I by no means intend to do any of that. I do love my husband, but I do not think that I can live with his parents, because I cannot adapt to their lifestyle. Please advise as to what I can do. As it stands, he has asked for a time-out so that we can both think about what we want. Please advise as to what I can do.


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

First of all, we ask Allah to relieve you from your distress, make for you a way out of your difficulty, reconcile between you and your husband, and make you both happy with each other, as Allah is the All-Hearer and He answers supplications.

Moreover, we advise you to earnestly supplicate Allah in all your affairs, as He answers the supplication of a person in distress and removes harm. Indeed, Allah likes to be asked, and when He is asked, He answers the supplication with His permission.

There is no doubt that it is your right as a wife to be in an accommodation independent from the family of your husband; you are not obliged to live with his parents, let alone others. In this regard, please refer to fatwa 84608. We recommend that you have a discussion with your husband in a calm and respectful manner and try to reach an understanding. You may seek the help of rational and wise people if necessary.

The husband is obliged to spend on his wife, and she is not obliged to spend on herself, even if she is rich. Yes, if she volunteers to do so, then that is good and may indicate her honorable descent and her keenness on having good relations with her husband. If the husband does not have money, then he must seek to earn and not live as a burden on people. Ibn Muflih said in Al-Aadaab Ash-Shar'iyyah, "A person who has no money to spend on himself and his dependents is obliged to earn money, and he gives precedence to earning to spend on his dependents over every voluntary act of worship..."

We have to stress that spouses should avoid resorting to divorce as it has bad effects, especially if the spouses are blessed with children. It is for this reason that some scholars are of the view that divorce is banned in principle and that one does not resort to it unless he predominantly thinks that it serves an interest. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 86307.

Finally, we would like to point out two matters:

1- There is no harm in living a modern life and benefiting from its good aspects. Allah says (what means): {Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?"...} [Quran 7:32] But a Muslim must be careful not to let this life lead him to commit Shariah violations, like some people who are lured by this worldly life and its pleasures, especially those who live in material societies.

2- A woman should not go out of her home frequently, as it is better for her to stay in her home. She should not go out except in case of necessity. Allah says (what means): {And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance.} [Quran 33:33] Also, it is not permissible for her to go out without her husband's permission except for a legitimate reason. Mere quarreling with her husband does not permit her to leave the house without her husband's permission.

Allah knows best.

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