We are living in a society where the man`s responsibilities are to earn while the wife shoulder`s the responsibility of the household
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
We are living in a society where the man`s responsibilities are to earn while the wife shoulder`s the responsibility of the household. This happens in most middle class families.
Now if the wife refuses to take care of husbands parents saying that it is not her duty as per Islam and husband does not have time to do the same as he is working ouside the home.
What should the man do? He dosent even have enough resources to arrange/pay for help/servants.
Please try to give an early response to my queries, and take into account both situations separately where the husband`s parents are cruel or kind to the wife.
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Wifes responsibilities to in laws
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 34:
34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard (their modesty and chastity, the honor and property of their husband, etc.)
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 286 Narrated by Umm Salamah
The Prophet (saws) said: If a woman dies
while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3272 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
When Allah's Messenger (saws) was asked which woman was best he replied, "The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves."
In light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, the wife has absolutely no duty and responsibility laid upon her by Islam towards her husbands family or in-laws, including the husbands parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc. The responsibility and duty that Islam has laid upon the believing wife is only towards making sure that her husband is pleased and satisfied with her in every aspect of her life!
Thus, in essence, if a believing woman worships Allah
Subhanah as He Alone deserves to be worshipped, preserves her chastity, and
strives to the best of her ability to please her husband, the Messenger of
Allah (saws) declared that she will be given the honor to enter the
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3254 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When a
woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her
chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of
Having said that she has absolutely no responsibility towards her husbands family, does not in any way mean or imply that she is allowed to be rude, or disrespectful, or dishonor them in any way. She must at all times strive to develop cordial relations with her in-laws.
But if the believing woman does, of her own free will, serve the parents or family of her husband, she would be doing a deed of ehsaan, a deed which would be over and above her duties and responsibilities; and Allah Subhanah has time and again declared in the Glorious Quran that He absolutely loves those believers who do ehsaan or deeds which are over and above their role of duty and responsibility.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 134 (part):
134 . for Allah loves the muhsineen (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 148:
148 And Allah gave them a reward in this world and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah loves the muhsineen (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 195 (part):
195 and do ehsaan; for Allah loves the muhsineen (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 93 (part):
93 .. For Allah loves the muhsineen (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).
Your Question: Now if the wife refuses to take care of husbands parents saying that it is not her duty as per Islam and husband does not have time to do the same as he is working ouside the home.
What should the man do?He dosent even have enough resources to arrange/pay for help/servants.
Dear and beloved brother in Islam, regardless of whether the in-laws are kind or cruel, the wife is not obliged and it is not within her prescribed obligatory duties and responsibilities in Islam to take care of the husbands parents or her in-laws, if she does not wish to do so. But if the wife, of her own will and choice, wishes to serve the in-laws, then she would be doing deeds over and above her duties or ehsaan, and the husband and the in-laws should appreciate and be grateful for her gesture and services.
It is the sole responsibility of the husband to take care and provide for his parents, and if his wife exercises her option of not serving his parents she would be absolutely blameless in the Sight of Shariah, and the husband does not have the resources to provide a servant, then he himself must do the chores in the service and to the complete satisfaction of his parents.
If the relationship between the wife and the in-laws are strained for any reason, the wife in Islam is well within her rights to demand that her husband provide her with a separate accommodation so that she may live separate from her in-laws; and if the husband has the means he must strive to fulfill this lawful demand of his wife. The right which Islam does not give the wife is that she demand that the husband leave his parents or their service and come live with her in her separate accommodation. The husband may very well chose to live with and serve his parents and visit his wife in her separate accommodation and fulfill his prescribed rights towards her.
One cannot take away the right due to ones parents and give them to their wives, nor can one take away the rights of the wives and give them to his parents! There should be a proper balance, and a believer, who indeed fears Allah and the Last Day, should give each party its rights in full without effecting the rights of the other.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,