There are many cases when a son who is even after marriage, pay great respect for his parents and decides to stay with his parents to do khidmat and be with them always incase they need help. But the problem that arises sometimes is that there is ongoing tension and conflict between my wife and my mother. Its been more than 3 years we are married but this has never improved. My mother cries alot and my wife likewise cries alot. I am caught in between. My wife at times suggests that we move out. But I am guilty that I will not be able to provide full-time khidmat to my parents as they are growing old (i love and respect them alot). My wife has been patient alot but it is bad to see her crying all the time. My mother has alot of expectations from my wife, but my wife due to her commitment with our children is busy and not able to look after each and single expectations of my mother. I do not say much to my mother because she thinks i am taking my wife's side and I do not want to make her feel like that. Please advice, your advise will help me make a decision.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Jazakallah for writing to us.
Indeed Islam has placed enormous emphasis on extending kindness to one’s parents, treating them with utmost respect and compassion, serving them to the best of one’s ability and staying away from causing the smallest discomfort and grief to them. The verses of the Quran and the ahaadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) are more than numerous in this regards. Below we have mentioned only a few as a way of demonstration:
وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وََلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا (23) وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا (24)
Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but HIM, and that you show kindness to parents. If one or both of them attain old age with you, never say to them as much as ‘uff’ nor reproach them, but always address them with kind speech. And lower for them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, `My Lord, have mercy on them as they cherished me in childhood.' (Quran 17:23-24)
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا
We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. (Quran 46:15)
Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whenever a dutiful son looks towards his parents with mercy Allah Ta’ala writes for him (the reward of) an accepted Hajj.” They (i.e. the sahabah [radiyallahu anhum]) said, “Even if he looks a hundred times everyday?” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Yes! Allah is the greatest and the noblest (i.e. His bounties have no limitations)” (Baihaqi; Mirqaatul Mafaatih: 8/678)
Abu Umamah (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that one man said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the right of the parents on a person?” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “They (i.e. the parents) are either your paradise or your hellfire. (i.e. by serving them you will attain paradise; and by being unkind and disobedient to them, you will attain hellfire.)”(Ibn Maajah; Mirqaatul Mafaatih: 8/677)
Mu’awiyah bin Jaahima (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Jaahimah (Radiyallahu Anhu) came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I made intention of going out in the path of Allah (ghazwa) and I came to consult you (in this regards).” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Do you have a mother?” He said, “Yes” The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam then said, “Go stick with her (and serve her to the best of your ability); indeed paradise (jannat) is near her feet” (Musnad Ahmad, Nasaa’i, Baihaqi; Mirqaatul Mafatih: 8/676)
From the above one can gauge the emphasis Islam has placed on being kind and dutiful to one’s parents.
At the same time, Islam has placed so much emphasis on treating one’s wife with kindness, compassion, gentleness and mercy. Consider the following two ahaadith:
Aisha (Radiyallaahu anha) narrates that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Indeed the believers with the most complete Iman (faith) are those of them who have the best character and those of them who are the kindest to their wife.” (Tirmizi; Mirqaatul Mafatih: 6/406)
Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The believers with the most perfect Iman are those of them who have the best character. And the best of them are the best to their wives.” (Tirmizi; Abu Dawud; Mirqatul Mafatih: 6/406)
Mashallah, your love for your parents and your concern of doing khidmat of them is highly commendable. Similarly, your concern for the happiness of your wife and your understanding of her situation is also highly praiseworthy.
The tension between wife and her mother in-law is not a new story, it is an old saga. Generally, the fault is not from one side; rather there are shortcomings from both sides. And always, the husband (son) is stuck in the middle.
One thing that is of vital importance and that many people are unaware of is that according to Islamic teachings, serving the parents is the duty and responsibility of the son, not the daughter in-law. Yes, if the daughter in-law out of her kindness and generosity and out of her own free will serves her parents in-law, she will be eligible for huge rewards in the hereafter. Nonetheless, the husband does not have the right to force his wife to serve his parents.
(Aap Ke Masa’il: 5/169)
After pondering over your situation, our advice to you is that you move out with your wife and live somewhere close to your parents. This way, the tension between your wife and mother will inshallah vanish and you will be close enough to visit, serve and take care of your parents on a daily basis. Do not feel guilty about moving out, as your intention is only to make your parents happier and to serve them in a better way and in a friendlier environment.
Make dua to Allah and kindly, gently and with compassion and wisdom explain to your mother that you are taking this step for the good of everyone.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia
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