“We are a young Muslim family and we’ve just settled down in the US this last 4 years. My wife and her family have been here from the last 15 years and we moved closer to their home to make it easy and convenient for both us and them. And there started the problem…”
We are a young Muslim family and we’ve just settled down in the US this last 4 years. My wife and her family have been here from the last 15 years and we moved closer to their home to make it easy and convenient for both us and them.
Around 2 years before, my brother in law and his wife who had been living with his parents decided to move along alone with their life and abandon his parents. With no substantial income and resources they had no choice or alternatives.
Learning of their problem and limitations my wife and I decided to take them into our home and ever since have been living together. Its been a difficult time but we somehow have managed to live together for 2 years now.
But knowing a person and living with one are 2 totally different things and I learnt this lesson the hard way. My In-laws are least Islamic and spend way too much time watching television and doing phone calls among other things. They also do not understand the concept of leaving space for others and occupy the main living area watching TV the whole day! I shared my discomfort with my wife and asked her to talk to them to get a little Islamic and remember Allah, engaging a bit more in Salah (prayer) and Dhikr (remembrance of Allah). But to no avail.
Also, since they live in my house, they have maintained all household work, baby sitting my kid, cooking etc. It sure makes life easy for me and my wife as we both are working professionals and appreciate everything they do for us. But I don’t think I would subject my own parents to do that for me and have disclosed this to my wife.
2 weeks ago I had a chat with them and asked them to plan something for themselves in their home country (India) as think they would have an easier and better life not subject to any favors and gratitude from others. My wife & I do agree to provide them all financial support and also arrange for a house in India. But her parents did not agree and think they want to remain in my house indefinitely.
Now comes my question: Does this constitute to a right and justified decision in the eyes of Allah? Do you think I’m thinking the right way to let them live a more dignified and relaxing life in the comfort of their own home?
I need to answer this to myself and Allah before I move forward with this decision. I hope you can guide me through the guidelines of Islam and the Prophet’s teachings.
Thank you brothers and sisters.Allah Hafiz.
Answer offered by Dr. Farooq Hassan Ph.D. in Islamic Studies (Usul-ul-Fiqh),University of Karachi Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Ethical Behavior in Humanities Department – N.E.D. University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi. Dear brother, Assalamualaikum.. Thank you for consulting The Muslim Tribune for this issue. According to Shariah, a husband is not bound for livelihood of father and mother in laws. If they are disabled, needy, have no other resources to support themselves, in that case being relative and on humanitarian grounds it becomes obligatory on spouse to support them according to his financial capabilities. Such help can also be extended to them by keeping them near or far away. Husband is responsible for accommodation and livelihood of the wife and children not for father and mother in laws. On the Day of Judgment husband will be asked for wife and children. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Behold! Every one of you is a guardian and every one of you is responsible for his subject. So the Sultan who rules the people is a guard and responsible for his subject. And the husband is the custodian of the member of the household and is responsible for his subject. And the wife is the custodian of the house of her husband and of his children and is responsible for them. And the slave of a man is the custodian of the wealth of his master and is responsible for it. Beware! Every one of you is guardian and every one of you is responsible for his subject” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
Early life of children is very much sensitive and important for physical, educational, religious, spiritual, moral and psychological growth and health. Therefore, negligence can create problems in the future.
However, it is difficult but not impossible to change the lifestyle of people of senior ages. I will advise you on that until you get proper solution of this issue. Attempt can be made for guiding them on the right path in the most courteous way and manner. You will be rewarded by Allah for this virtuous effort. Allah changes hearts of people.
While talking to in-laws give them more options and try to accommodate them on the following:
1. Make them understand in the most courteous manner to change their present life style which may be is the cause of tension. If the In-laws are mending themselves it will be a great chance to serve them whole heartedly. 2. If the In-laws wish, they can go to any of their sons where they would be financially helped. 3. They may have another accommodation for which they will be supported upto a reasonable extent. 4. In America there are many Islamic centers which provide free counseling. They can obtain options which will be more appropriate and beneficial according to their circumstances.
May Allah guide us towards the right path.
Wassalaam Dr. Farooq Hassan Ph.D. in Islamic Studies (Usul-ul-Fiqh),University of Karachi Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Ethical Behavior in Humanities Department – N.E.D. University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi.Posted on December 24, 2011 Send your counseling questions via e-mail to: counselor @ muslimtribune .org