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Duties to Inlaws

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Category: Culture & Community
Forum Name: Groups – Women (Sisters)
Forum Discription: Groups – Women (Sisters)
Printed Date: 20 May 2018 at 4:47am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.04 -

Topic: Duties to Inlaws
Posted By: Jenni
Subject: Duties to Inlaws
Date Posted: 16 June 2005 at 9:45pm
Just wanted to know what you sisters think your duty to your Inlaws are. I have been reading that your only responsibility towards them is to be kind and hospitable but you don't have to care for and serve them because they are not your parents but your husbands. This seems to conflict with many cultural following in some Muslim coutries where they move the daughter in law in to the parents house and make her cook and clean for the whole family, her husbands brothers and parents ect.  Basically being a free maid. My mother in law is great, but when she stays with us I expect her to pitch in and she cleans her own bathroom and washes her own clothes and helps in the kitchen however  I have never asked her to give my kids a bath or change thier diapers. Just wondering how others handle it.

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 17 June 2005 at 1:41pm
No one has anything to say about how to relate with in laws? Talking to many of my Muslim sisters in person, they sure have alot to say. It seems like the problems with in laws cause huge dramas in families and the relationship between husband and wife. Like I said Mashalla my in laws are beautiful people however many friends have not had this experience.

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: ummziba
Date Posted: 17 June 2005 at 3:40pm

Assalamu alaikum Jenni,

Sorry, but my in-laws are non-Muslim, so what can I say.  I do not like them but I treat them with kindness and respect as that is what is expected from a Muslim.

My mother-in-law is extremely crude, swears like a sailor and loves to gossip.  I always find it awkward and difficult to visit with her.

My father-in-law is very helpful to my husband in fixing things around the house.  I always make sure I have some nice baking for him when he comes to help (his wife is diabetic and hardly ever bakes anymore).  He can be very cranky and loves to put down my husband, though, now in his old age, this happens less.

There was never any conflict for my husband between his parents and me because right from day one he has always understood that once married, his wife and kids come first, alhamdulillah for that!

My in-laws are a trial for me, for sure, but, like I said, I do try to be nice to please Allah.

I hope some others share their in-law stories for you.

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~

Posted By: Lehua
Date Posted: 04 July 2005 at 2:31am


I married my husband a little over four years ago and converted to Islam two and a half years ago.  Unfortunetly my Father in Law has passed before I was able to meet him, however we are very close to my Mother in Law.  Alhamdulillah, I am close enough to my Mother in Law to call her 'Mom', however it does become difficlut at times. She has never said this directly to me, but I feel that I am obligated to serve her when ever she comes over.  I try to be as hospitible as possible and bite me tongue every once in a while. 

Alhamdulillah that I am able to have a relationship with her, I have heard so many stories of family falling apart.

Insallah you will be able to have a close relationship with your mother in law.  Have you mentioned anything to your husband about this?  I have found that if I discuss something that bothered me, he is good mediator.

Posted By: MOCKBA
Date Posted: 04 July 2005 at 3:09am

What are the rights of the in-laws (the husband’s brothers and sisters) in Islam? Do the father- and mother-in-law have the right of obedience? Do they have the right to enter my room with or without permission? To what extent should I obey them with regard to my clothing, cooking, childcare, keeping house and going out of the house? Do they have the right to interfere in our marital life? Do they have any rights with regard to our work, where we live, education and the like? Do I have to ask their permission to visit my family? Do they have the right to know all the details about our life? Do I have to obey them and shake hands with my husband’s relatives? Do my husband and I have to attend weddings in which there are haraam things?.

Answer :
Praise be to Allaah.  

The wife does not have to obey anyone among her in-laws, whether that is her husband’s father, mother, brothers or sisters, in any matter, major or minor, unless they tell her to do something which is obligatory according to Islam, or forbid her to do something that is haraam. In such matters she has to obey, whether that comes from a relative or a stranger, an in-law or anyone else. 

With regard to the husband, she must obey him in matters that are right and proper, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means…”

[al-Nisa’ 4:34] 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, discussing some of the husband’s rights over his wife: 

Allaah has given the husband rights and commanded the wife to obey him; He has forbidden her to disobey him because of the fact that he excels her and maintains her. Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/493 

It is not permissible for any of your in-laws to enter your room without your permission, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them; that is better for you, in order that you may remember”

[al-Noor 24:27] 

If any of them enters your room with your permission but he is not one of your mahrams – such as your husband’s brother – then there has to be one of your mahrams present, so that there will be no haraam khulwah between you (i.e., being alone together). You must also observe full shar’i hijab, and be certain that there is no risk of falling into fitnah (temptation). 

Despite all these conditions, it is still better for him not to enter upon you in your room; this is purer for the heart and farthest removed from suspicion. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts”

[al-Ahzaab 33:53] 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar said, “What about the in-law, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “The in-law is death.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5232; Muslim, 2172. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to the Prophet’s words “The in-law is death,” what this means is that there is more fear with regard to him than anyone else, and evil is to be expected of him, and the fitnah (temptation) is greater because he is able to reach the woman and be alone with her without anyone denouncing that, unlike the case of one who is a stranger. What is meant by “in-law” (hamu) here is the relatives of the husband apart from his father/grandfather and sons/grandsons. Fathers/grandfathers and sons/grandsons are mahrams for his wife and it is permissible for them to be alone with her. The word “death” here does not refer to them. Rather what is meant is the brother, brother’s son, paternal uncle, cousin, etc, who are not mahrams. People are usually careless about this matter and a man may let his wife be alone with his brother. This is what is referred to by “death” and should be prevented more than her being alone with a stranger for the reasons mentioned above.  

They do not have the right to force you to do any of the things you mention, such as how to cook, how to dress or other things such as working and teaching etc, unless that is by way of advice and kind treatment, not by way of compulsion. 

It is not permissible for them to interfere in your and your husband’s private affairs, but if they convince your husband not to go out on trips and he tells you to stay in the house, then obey your husband, and be patient and seek reward. 

You do not have to ask permission from any of them to visit your family; that is not their right. You have to ask your husband’s permission, and if he gives you permission then you do not have to ask permission from any of them. 

They do not have the right to know the details of your life (you and your husband), and it is not permissible for your husband to tell them of any private or intimate matters between the two of you. 

Your husband has to honour his parents, and you should help him in that. You should not be the cause of a split between him and them. You will see the consequences of that in your children in sha Allah. 

Your husband’s visits to his parents should be on the basis of need. Something may happen to his parents which requires their son to visit them a great deal, such as sickness and the like. You husband has to pay attention to that. 

With regard to your serving them and doing housework, you are not obliged to do that, but if you do it as an act of kindness towards them, or to please your husband, that will be good and you will have the reward for that in sha Allaah.  This is something that will raise your status in the eyes of your husband and his family in this world, and will raise you in status in the Hereafter too, in sha Allah. 

With regard to your living separately, your husband has to ensure that you have a place where you can live separately, but there is nothing wrong with his parents living in the same place with you if the house is big enough, and if that will not cause you any harm.
With regard to your life being under scrutiny, his parents have no right to dominate your life. Try to communicate in a proper manner with your husband and reach an understanding. If he can resolve the matter, all well and good, otherwise there is nothing wrong with you speaking to his family in a wise and mature manner. If they do not respond and the situation continues as it is, then be patient and seek reward from Allaah. 

With regard to your shaking hands with men who are not your mahrams, this is haraam. There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator. For more information on the ruling on shaking hands with a non-mahram, see question no. - 21183

It is not permissible for your husband to go to wedding parties in which there is noise and sin. For more information see question no. - 10957


Our advice to husbands is that they should honour their parents with regard to that which is right and proper, but they should not obey them if they transgress the limits set by Allaah, or help them in wrongdoing, which includes mistreating their sons’ wives. They should discuss with them in a way that is better and not prevent them from obeying Allaah. They should be strong in adhering to the truth and confront those who stand in the way of their implementing the laws of Allaah in their homes, because the Muslim does not acknowledge any authority over him except the Qur’aan and Sunnah. They should also beware of those who call them to commit sin. 

If the husband thinks that the interests of sharee’ah dictate that he should keep his wife and his family apart, then there is nothing wrong with him doing that. 

We should be tolerant and be patient with one another, and we should not forget to be kind to one another. We should speak to one another in kindness and be patient,  and ward off evil with that which is better. We should speak well to the slaves of Allaah until we meet Allaah. 

Allaah is the One Whom we ask to set all our affairs straight. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A (


Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 05 July 2005 at 10:09am
I think Islamiccity needs to write an article about this subject because problems with inlaws especially in some countries were the families live together cause major marital and family strife. Many women leave thier husbands because of how they are treated by thier inlaws and because thier husbands do not defend them. If the husband and wife were left alone and the families just offered love and support they would be much better of. And let me just say that in Southeast Asia Pakistan, India ect. The majority of girls are initiated into the families and the mother in law and other family members are mean and harsh with her for the first few years. This is cruel and husbands need to tell thier parents when they are commiting a sin and they must defend thier wives.  And the wife should not be expected to cook for and serve his whole family, this is A HINDU custom that muslims are following!!!

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 05 July 2005 at 10:11am
And furthermore in southeast Asia they need to do away with getting a dowry and money from the girls family, this practice is disgusting!!!

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: herjihad
Date Posted: 06 July 2005 at 7:47pm


Some in-laws expect the girl to learn their way of doing everything, or provide a good excuse not to.  A way not to offend them is to find out excuses they accept and use them yourself for things instead of saying bluntly that you won't do things their way.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.

Posted By: Rose
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 7:17am

al salam 3olaikom


Who doesn't have problems? I am married and alhamdullah I have in-laws I call them my 2nd parents, All you need is respect. And yes I get into some problems and the only person I can talk to about it is my husband.

To make their daughter in-law a maid??? I don't think they consider her a part of the familly then... It is very nice to help out and make yourself at home, if I should say. I liked   MOCKBA's way of writing   .

It is a big issue and I know lots of women suffer from thier in-laws. All I could say is that I empasize the point that the husband plays the biggest role towards this.

Hope you all the best


A thorn defends the rose,harming only those who would steal the blossom

Posted By: amna_ali
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 8:44am


Jenni you are right there is both joined as well as seperate family system in PAkistan. There are certain pros and cons involved in both.

In a joint family system its more a mattre of give and take. In this system, I think in the beginning, more responsibility lies on the boy's parents to give some time to their daughter-in-law to adjust in an entirely differnt environment. Adjustment takes time. They must give her time to understand the family routine. Doaughter-in-law should also be prepared to face certain unexpected situations. Patience is required. One should not have high hopes. And its better to fulfil ones duties rather to tell others about theirs. Problems arise when both parties try to point out each others weaknesses.

Ours is a joint family system. And Alhumdolillah we are a happy family. Respect is the key factor of this contentment. My sisters-in-law really very good and of understanding nature. They respect my parents. They do all household works considering it their own home. I think good atmosphere at home more depends on mother-in-law in joint family systems. And alhumdolillah my mother never interfere in the personal matters of her son and daughter-in-law. She loves her daughters-in-law as she loves us. No difference. If she buys new clothes for me she never forgets to buy for my bhabhis(sister-in-law). There are some clashes but these are part of life. Mashallah we enjoy good family relationship.

You respect and in return you'll get respect. Allah's system is just. Good intentions always lead to good results.

May Allah keep us away from any ill-will.

Ma Salaam

Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. God is free of all wants and He is most forebearing. (Al baqra: 263)

Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 1:46pm
Salaam all, as I said in the beggining my in laws are nice and I care for them alot. However when they come and stay in my house I expect them to pitch in and help out. We have no maid like they do in Pakistan and I am not thier maid. One of my friends mother in laws does not even make her bed or clean her own bathroom when she comes and stays with her. I guess since I grew up in Utah I am used to everyone pitching in, even the old people and children. My grandmother is 76 and would never want to sit around and be served. My whole point in this thread is to state that families need to treat there daughter in laws better, she will Inshalla be with thier son long after they are gone. They should foster a loving relationship between husband and wife. Mother in laws need to be less nosey and remember that the daughter in law is her own person and does not need to just follow orders.

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: Khadija1021
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 6:12pm

Assalamu Alaikum,


I am currently not married, however, I have been in a marriage where my in-laws treated me as a maid.  It was so bad that I was lucky if they bothered to leave me anything to eat after I cooked and cleaned all day.  I was not allowed to eat with then.  I had to wait until they have “had their fill.”  I did laundry outside by hand in an old wringer washer as well…and not just my own.  What made this even worse is that I was not living with them.  I had merely gone to visit when my husband decided I should stay with them for a few months to get to know them better.  I had also given birth, by cesarean with major complication, only a month prior to that visit.  It was the worse three months of my life.  Later on, when I went to my mother-in-law to ask her for her help because he son was getting drunk and beating on me, she laughed in my face and said I would get used to it.


Some of you may be thinking that I must have married someone from a third world country; however, this is not the case.  Nor were they poor.  They lived right here in the United States.  The truth of the matter is that bad people are simply bad people.  And by the way, they were not Muslim…nor was I at the time.


Jenni, I would suggest that you simply not let any behavior you are not willing to live with to do continue for long…habits are hard to break, especially when there are others involved who are more than willing to have you continue.  Have you taken your mother-in-law on a tour of the house to show her where the cleaning suppliers are, where the washer/dryer is and where the dishwasher is?  Maybe if you point out these things to them in a pleasant way, she will get the hint that it is her responsibility to clean up after herself.




Say: 'My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur'an, 6:162)

Posted By: ZEA J
Date Posted: 02 August 2005 at 3:17pm
when i used to live with my in-laws they treated me as their maid.They criticized me no matter what i did.  even though my husband didn't know what his family  did to me i still blame him for every thing that happened to me,because he was not paying much atenssion , he had recently asked his family to apologize to me and they did,i have forgiven them, but, will never forget what they did to me.

"You will never attain piety and righteousness,(and eventually paradise)until you
spend of that which you love."(Al-Imran:92)

Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 02 August 2005 at 3:20pm
Zea, I am glad things are better. You should never allow your inlaws to mistreat you again. In islam it is not your dutie to serve and obey them. The marriage is between you and your husband. And a husband is responsible for making sure his family treats his wife well. I hope things continue to be good for you..

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: ummsaleh
Date Posted: 03 August 2005 at 12:06pm
I understand Jenni, I have other friends who are in your shoes. As for me Humdillah i was so lucky w/ my m-in-law. She was my second mother and she kept my marriage going and taught me patiences. We lost her last year and still miss her. We have other family member who bother us. I hate when they come to borrow money and then go buy the most expensive  in town and eat at the best resturants and then come back asking for more money because they will be kicked out of their house or lose their car. Another thread.......... It's nice to help, but i hate being taken advantaged of..I thought that taking a loan; meanings paying the person back....Not in our family

Lost somewhere in the Middle East.

Posted By: amah
Date Posted: 18 March 2006 at 10:07am
Assalaamu'alaikum Dear Sisters,

Just happened to discover this forum and just joined.........

My story  is not probably as sad as some of you....nevertheless, i am suffering stress at the hands of my in laws, would really like to have some advice from any of you. Insha Allah will post my problem sometime later........just came here to introduce myself.......


Posted By: Jenni
Date Posted: 18 March 2006 at 11:55am
I don't know why so many people are having these problems. I think the parents are way too involved!! They need to have thier own life and not be so involved with the kids when they marry. And the sister and brother in laws need to stay out of the marriage as well!!

You cant be a good muslim if you are not decent and have a cold heart. Be a decent and kind person and care for women and children and the elderly.

Posted By: Mishmish
Date Posted: 18 March 2006 at 12:15pm

Assalamu Alaikum:

Many of the Friday khutbahs here are about this problem and the problem of men not treating their wives well. The Imam keeps giving the lectures, so apparently they aren't working very well. It is hard to change custom, and some people have no reason to change if they are gaining from mistreatment.

I have not met my huband's parents, although from phone conversations and what he has told me, his father is very quiet and submissive and his mother is very domineering and would try to boss me around. I am just too old and tired to allow this though.

In my first marriage, my husband was not a good Muslim, his mother was wonderful. She came and stayed with us many times and was always very sweet and loving. It is because of her and her quiet patience that I first became truly curious about Islam. I remember seeing her praying and she would stay in sujjud forever. I often wondered how she raised three such manipulative sons.

My husband gets along very well with my family, even though they are not Muslims. But my family does not interfere in any way and basically they mind their own business. We do not live close to any of them, so we are not subjected to smoking or drinking or haraam behavior. We just talk to them on the phone and visit and it's very nice.

My good friend here has a serious in-law problem. When she first got married her father-in-law moved in and treated her like less than  a maid. The day after she gave birth he came into her room and demanded tea. The sad thing is, she made it. She was very young and madly in love with her husband and just didn't want any trouble. She is older now and puts her foot down more often, but still puts up with a lot.

I told her I would never allow my husband's family or my husband to treat me in this manner, and that she needs to stick up for herself because it was obvious no-one else would.

It's true what Dr. Phil says, we teach people how to treat us. Islamically this can be a little more tricky, but there is nothing in Islam that allows us to be treated badly. So, if your in-laws are doing so, it is because you let them. If you let them to keep your marriage, then maybe you should ask yourself: do you want to be married to a man who would allow his wife to be treated SO badly?


It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. (The Little Prince)

Posted By: amah
Date Posted: 18 March 2006 at 12:30pm
My husband masha allah is a wonderful person, Alhamdulillah....but with roses you always get thorns, thats my in laws!! 

Posted By: ak_m_f
Date Posted: 20 March 2006 at 12:15am
Originally posted by Jenni

I don't know why so many people are having these problems. I think the parents are way too involved!! They need to have thier own life and not be so involved with the kids when they marry. And the sister and brother in laws need to stay out of the marriage as well!!

maybe when parents become old they have nothing to do, so thats hwy they get involed in other peoples life ?

but whats the solution to this peoblem, jenni?

I mean most of the people here wouldn't throw them in the old houses.


Posted By: ak_m_f
Date Posted: 20 March 2006 at 12:18am
Originally posted by Mishmish

So, if your in-laws are doing so, it is because you let them. If you let them to keep your marriage, then maybe you should ask yourself: do you want to be married to a man who would allow his wife to be treated SO badly?


I agree, if your husbad dosnt gives 2 cents about you then why should you care?

This is what I think, I dont know any islamic ruling on this issue..


Posted By: herjihad
Date Posted: 20 March 2006 at 4:09am


Dear Sister Ahsi,

Forgive them and it will be easier for you.  Forgiveness is really hard, but the most important thing to make life easier between humans.  You will let go of your stress when you forgive them.  So if you are still stressed about it, maybe the forgiveness isn't complete and you need to pray more about it.

You aren't responsible for their deen.  Some people who learn about religion and find others who are "born" into it not practising feel that it is their duty to tell them every little thing that they are doing wrong.  When this happens people become bitter, angry and vengeful.

You can't change them, but you can change how you feel about them.  I am so sorry that you have found an in-law family that is not welcoming and loving to you.  In Shah Allah, you benefit from them somehow in the future, but for now, thank Allah, SWT, that you have your Islamicity Family to be there for you!  I would be glad to know you as many of us here would.  Pm us, Sister, and we will help you feel better about this situation.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.

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