Where should the wife stay when husband is away?

If husband is out of country, then where the wife should live? With in-laws or with her own family? Is it compulsory to live with in-laws? Provide me a proper answer with reference to Islamic resources, please.

The woman can stay wherever it is appropriate for her. She can stay in her own house as well as her own mother’s and father’s house.

If the husband requires her to stay with her parents-in-law rather than in her own house while he is away and he has a reasonable cause for it (like living in an insecure neighborhood or being in danger somehow), it would be proper for her to listen to her husband in terms of respect and avoiding suspicions. Though she cannot be forced to it. The security concerns would be similarly eliminated if she stays with her own family in her husband’s absence.

There are further concerns when the woman stays with in-laws and her brothers-in-law (or other male members of the family) are living together with her in-laws and have reached puberty. In this case, it is not permissible for her to be alone with one of them while the others are away. She should always be covered around them.

The Messenger of Allah said:
“I forbid you to be alone with women.”
A man asked:
“What about the relatives of her husband?”
Messenger of Allah replied:
“Being alone with them is like death!” (Bukhari, Marriage 112; Muslim, Greetings 8 (2171))

If the woman stays in her own house, she cannot let an adult man enter her house while there is no one else around.

The Messenger of Allah said:
“After this day, no man should enter the house of another person in his absence (when his wife is home), but only when he is accompanied by one person or two.” (Muslim, Greetings 8 (2173).”

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Date: Dec 26, 2012