Do I have to look after my mother-in-law?

Do I have to look after my mother-in-law? Can my husband oblige me to look after her?

Your husband does not have to live with his mother, but he has to look after her and take care of her. Supplying the parents with every need of them is children’s duty. Treating the parents in a good manner is the first advice in Qur’an after believing in Allah. The Glorified Allah commands:

Your Lord decrees not to worship any but Him and to be good to your parents; if one or both of them reach the old age with you, do not even say to them ‘Uff!’ and do not turn a hair on them. Speak to them kindly. Take them under your wing with humbleness and compassion. Say: ‘My Lord, show them mercy as they nurtured me when I was small.’ Your Lord is best aware of what is in your hearts. If you are righteous, He will indeed forgive those who relent and revert.” (Al-Isra’/ Children of Israel 17/23-25)

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge of, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn to Me. Then to Me is your ultimate return, and I will inform you about what you have been doing.” (Al-Luqman 31/14-15)

You should treat your husband with sympathy and understanding. There will surely be problems in the family if one of the spouses is unhappy, you should know that. Put yourself in his shoes. What would you do to your mother? Leave her in the street? How would you like to be treated?

You should try to cooperate. He should think on how he can treat his parents and you should think on how you can treat your parents-in-law in the best manner. You don’t have to live in the same house. If you treat them well, help them for the sake of pleasing Allah, He will grant you a peaceful home and a peaceful marriage in this world and the gardens of eternity in the hereafter.

Please click the link below for further information on the issue of looking after parents-in-law:

http://www.islamandquran.org/fatwas/should-a-bride-look-after-her-parents-in-law.html

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Date: Jul 13, 2011