Protecting Wife and Children from Bad Family Influences
Fatwa No: 81568

Question

I married about 7 years ago. I found my wife to be a very good wife and mother except when I am honored by a visit from my mother in-law. My wife and I know very well that her mother's attitude with our children and neighbor is causing us a lot of problems, still I am reluctant to accept this bad attitude for my wife's sake. Our serious problem started about 6 months ago when my wife asked me to spend a few days at her mother's house just as her sister, who would leave her husband at any time she likes to stay with her mother for no valid reason except to have a change in her life style! I tried with my wife in every possible way, but I found her brain washed by her mother, that her sister has a stronger personality (with her husband) than my wife. In order for my wife to prove the opposite to them, one day she insisted that she will do as her sister and go from time to time to spend some days at her mother's house. The discussion got very serious and I had to tell her IF YOU GO TO YOUR MOTHER'S HOUSE YOU ARE DIVORCED. I know that was wrong but I wanted to protect my wife and children from the bad attitude of my month-in-law. Unfortunately, when my mother-in-law heard of this situation she started again with my wife, ordering her to come to her house even if she will be divorced, as she believes that I will take my wife back because of my children. I forgot to mention that I am very kind to my mother-in-law and I used to send my wife and children to visit her once a week and she is also visiting us once a week. Please advise me what to do to protect my family, and what I can do if my wife gets weak and listens to her mother. Will she be divorced then? Is there any way to avoid this problem except allowing my wife to stay at her mother's house? Your urgent reply will be highly appreciated.

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.

You must converse with your wife, exhort her in a good manner, and explain to her that Allah has imposed on her to obey her husband, especially in those matters related to protecting her and their children's conduct. She should follow her husband's orders to keep herself and their children away from those bad things, which you mentioned in your question. There is no contradiction between being faithful to her mother and to be obedient to her husband. But one should not obey anyone against Allah's Orders. If she follows your advice and your instructions, then there is no problem. That is what we pray for to Almighty Allah. If she does not pay attention to your advice, then you must stop her from going to a person who can spoil her character and that of her children. If you intended from your saying a conditional divorce, then your wife would be divorced, if she went to her mother's house. But if you did not intend a conditional divorce and you meant an oath only and to threaten her, then the scholars differed on this issue. Some of them consider it a divorce, consequently she will be divorced. Some of them consider it an oath, so an expiation of oath would be obligatory if she went to her mother's house.

In the case of her going to her mother's house, we advise you to consult the Islamic court in your country and follow its decision. If you wish your wife and your family to be good for you and to obey you, you must obey your Lord and stick to the right path. Try your best to be a good example for your wife and children. Do not expect your wife and children's obedience while you are disobeying your Lord. Some righteous predecessors said: “Indeed I feel the effects of sins in the manners of my wife and my animal.

For more benefit on conditional divorce, please refer to Fatwa 373048, 370447, 355693, 352696, and 328318.

Allah knows best.

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