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Rights of Non-Muslim Mothers

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Category: Culture & Community
Forum Name: Family Matter
Forum Discription: Discuss Family Issues
Printed Date: 20 May 2018 at 6:08pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.04 -

Topic: Rights of Non-Muslim Mothers
Posted By: OmAbdullah
Subject: Rights of Non-Muslim Mothers
Date Posted: 25 September 2008 at 7:05am
Assalamu Alaikum,
I would appreciate some input on an issue that is causing a great deal of strife in my marriage right now.

My family - Mother, sister, brother - are practicing Christians. I converted to Islam, married and moved to Saudi Arabia more than 30 years ago. My mother wasn't happy with my decision, but she respected my right to do so. My husband took me to visit them in 1985 when my father was very ill. And he told me then that it would be the last time. I have been patient, tried to obey my husband and not nag, but this separation from my family, my mother in particular has been tearing me apart. Now she is 80 years old, in a nursing home and in failing health.

I asked my husband again to allow me to go to visit her as she is asking for me daily. His belief is that it is haraam for me to have any feelings of love or respect for my Christian family. He says if I express love for her that it is kufr on my part. He says I can write her letters, send occasional gifts, but she does not deserve the effort it would take for me to travel to the US and visit her. Now my situation is that we have the financial ability to pay for the trip, I have adult sons to provide mahram to accompany me, I have my sister's home to stay in, and I believe my faith is strong enough to sustain me in a non-Muslim country, insha'Allah. My family there are not fighting me or trying to undermine my religion.

The biggest question in my mind is, how correct is his belief that it is haraam for me to have any feelings for my mother? How can a daughter turn off her love for her own mother, who, although she has not accepted Islam for herself, raised me well and taught me to have an open mind.

His arguments befuddle me, because I don't know how to answer him with my head and not my heart.
Thank you in advance.

Om Abdullah

Posted By: Hayfa
Date Posted: 25 September 2008 at 8:35pm
Asalam Alaikum,
Of course we can love people who are our family, especially our parents. And it is wrong to not allow family to not see each other, especially your parents, unless they are actively undermining you.
There is a great piece, somewhere on this board, of someone whose mom accepted Islam on their death bed! CAn you imagine... I think it is this board.
Also, having been born not into a Muslim world, Allah did this. And you know.. this is part of dawah.. we show love and kindness. We show tem the truth.  To not love what Allah has created?? Not sure about this. 
Your mom is a human being.  Has she actively sought to sto you from being a Muslim? I think you need to readch a scholar.
My mom was sick and I was happy to help take care of her the last two months. We have obligations to our parents.
5.5 billion people are NOT born into Islam. Who really knows what is in their hearts. Born Muslims do not "Get it." We have different challenges.. we don't disown our relatives.. I think you can find it in the Sunnah, the Prophet never disowned his family who did not accept Islam. He in fact had advisors who will nonMuslim. What we cannot do is pray for them after their passing.. I believe.
Is there not an obligation that you have to try and bring her to Islam? That you show her the true beauty of Islam?   
i think you will find it in the model of the Prophet. Wish I could help you more.. My Duas for you..

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi

Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 26 September 2008 at 9:00am

“It is unlawful for a Muslim husband to prevent his wife from visiting her Christian parents because, as a Muslim, she is commanded to be devoted and of good company to them. Indeed, this matter was mentioned immediately after the command to worship Allah Almighty alone and none other. Almighty Allah says: "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and that you be dutiful to your parents." (al-Isra': 23) This verse clearly affirms that the greatest right of human beings after the right of Allah is that of the parents.

Islam did not prevent Muslims from being dutiful to their non-Muslim parents even if they practiced polytheism (shirk). Islam did not prevent Muslims from doing so even if the parents tried to force their children to leave Islam and enter into ignorance and shirk. Allah says: "And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years - give thanks to Me and to your parents; unto Me is the final destination. But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly…" (Luqman: 13-14) In this verse, Allah orders that their call to polytheism be rejected, but also orders that one behave kindly with his or her parents at all times.

It is also narrated that Asma', the daughter of Abu Bakr, came to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and asked him, “O Messenger of Allah! My mother has come to visit me and she is a mushrik (polytheist); shall I make contact with her, be kind to her and give her some money?” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Yes. Be dutiful to your mother." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim) Some scholars said that this incident was the reason for the revelation of the Qur'anic verse: "Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily Allah loves those who deal with equity." (Al-Mumtahanah: 8)

Islam also decreed that the non-Muslim parents actually receive a bequest (by will) from their Muslim children, as appears from the verse: "It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. This is a duty upon the pious." (Al-Baqarah: 180)

It is well known that a bequest cannot be made for the Muslim parents, because they are actual inheritors and an inheritor must not be left a bequest. Therefore, the reference in this verse is to the non-Muslim parents and next of kin, because their status as non-Muslims does not annul their status nor their rights as parents or relatives. Allah Almighty says: "And fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual rights and do not sever the relations of the wombs." (An-Nisa': 1)

Islam considered relationship by marriages one of two natural forms of relationship between people, the other being natural blood relationships. Allah says: "And it is He Who created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood and kindred by marriage…" (Al-Furqan: 54)

Thus, it would be unlawful to reject or disregard such an instinctive relationship. It is upon the husband to strengthen his ties with his wife's relatives, particularly her parents. He must do his best to be good to them and to become close to them, even if they are non-Muslims, as this will make him in a position to bring them closer to Islam. Indeed, Islam spread by virtue of good manners and dealings with others. A husband must never prevent his wife from being good to her parents, whether they are Muslims or otherwise. In fact, he must encourage her to visit them and should accompany her as well as invite them to visit his house, as all this fulfils the requirements of kinship decreed by Allah. The husband must also remember that his wife's parents are his children's grandparents, and her brothers and sisters are their uncles and aunts, and that all of them have rights of kinship.

We often see the effects of good manners and behavior on others. Indeed, many embraced Islam simply because of the beautiful way in which true Muslims treated them. Unfortunately, we also see how ill-treatment and bad manners cause people to hate Islam and Muslims. Great reward will come to him or her who causes good and prevents evil, and great punishment will come to him or her who causes evil and prevents good.”    Council for Fatwa and Research


Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 26 September 2008 at 9:40am

How is it that Allah, Most High, the Just and Merciful, would allow a Muslim man to marry and non-Muslim woman yet not allow a Muslim woman to visit her own non-Muslim mother?!!!


Ibn Nujaym (Hanafi) said: If her father is chronically ill, for example, and he needs her to serve him, and the husband prevents her from looking after him, then she should disobey him, whether the father is a Muslim or a kaafir. This is what it says in Fath al-Qadeer. From what we have mentioned it may be understood that she may go out to visit her parents and mahrams, and according to the correct view she may go out to visit her parents once a week with or without his permission, and to visit her mahrams once a year with or without his permission.

Posted By: OmAbdullah
Date Posted: 26 September 2008 at 6:40pm
Assalamu Alaikum
Thank you very much for your replies. It comforts me, even if my husband is not convinced.
Wa Assalaam.
Om Abdullah

Posted By: Hayfa
Date Posted: 26 September 2008 at 8:53pm
Thank you Abuayisha...

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi

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