Your Husband Must Provide You With a Separate Accommodation
Fatwa No: 413536

  • Fatwa Date:23-2-2020 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 29, 1441
  • Rating:

Question

Assalamualaikum, I am married to my husband for 6 years. We have one child. My husband is overall a good Muslim, prays, stays away from major sins, works hard to provide basic necessities. However he forces me to live with his mother and father. Over time I have come to feel very depressed due to this. His parents can be very critical of me and do not let me run household as I please. I have one small bedroom and bathroom which also leaves me no privacy. I cannot eat dinner alone as I must eat with them. Sometimes the harsh critical things are too much and I need some time alone. His mother is also very critical of me in the kitchen and comments in a mean way. She also likes to control the kitchen and I must explain to her before I cook for my own son. I feel as I am living like a guest. All the furniture is according to her wishes. I have attempted to talk to my husband and his parents.My husband states that this is how it is and I must live with it. His parents say that this is their culture. I have told her how her words hurt me and her behavior will only change for a short time before it reverts back. i have asked for a small place near or next to his parents so we may serve them and he may be there as well, but so I also get my privacy. But he will not listen or oblige. I have tried to have Sabr and make dua but I find myself constantly feeling depressed, crying. I once had an argument with his mom as she was degrading me and I was then told to leave the house for being insubordinate. My husband did not and would not stand up for me. We both have money and can afford another small apt to rent. I have another baby on the way and will need more privacy due to breastfeeding and hormone changes. . I do not feel comfortable with his parents constantly around. I am willing to be kind and serve His parents and I only ask for separate lodging. I also feel I can be told to leave anytime if I talk back. I’ve thought about getting my own place. What should I do?

Answer

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.

It is your right over your husband that you be in a separate residence where you are spared any inconvenience, even if a rental. You are not obliged under the Sharee‘ah to live with his family, whether his parents or other relatives, in the same house, unless you willingly accept that. The Maaliki scholar Khaleel, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said in his Mukhtasar: “She (the wife) has the right to refuse to live with his relatives.” [End of Quote]

As for your husband’s statement: “This is how it is and you have to accept it,” if he means that it is a religious obligation on you, then this is incorrect.

It is indeed bad behavior on part of the in-laws to mistreat their son’s wife, hurt her, and cause her such inconvenience. It is the right of a wife over her husband that he protects her from the harm of his parents, along with taking into account the status of his parents and the obligation to show respect to them and honor them. However, it is not permissible for him, under any case, to wrong his wife in order to please his parents or under the pretext of showing dutifulness to them by doing so.

Our advice to you is to supplicate Allah, The Exalted, frequently to relieve your distress and make for you a way out of your difficulties. You should also keenly adhere to patience and recite Thikr abundantly to protect yourself from the evil effects of depression and stress. Definitely, Thikr (remembrance of Allah) reassures the hearts and relieves distress; Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured."} [Quran 13:28]

You should also seek the mediation of some righteous people to discuss a suitable solution with your husband, or you may try discussing it yourself with him, even if it would entail buying a separate house with your own money or jointly with your husband. If this happens, then all praise be to Allah; otherwise you have the right to demand a suitable accommodation, which Allah, The Exalted, obliges your husband to provide for you.

For more benefit that a wife is entitled to have a separate accommodation and that she is not obliged to live with her in-laws, please refer to Fataawa 253297, 88654, 384583, 297622, 189065, and 137042.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa