Question: Should a woman look after her parents-in-law?
Either a man or a woman should visit his/her parents, take care of them and treat them humbly. It is a duty for everyone.
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.” (Al-Isra’ / The Night Journey 17:23-24)
A woman does not have to look after her parents-in-law. There is no such order. But one of the duties of a woman is to treat her husband well. A woman that is not treating her parents-in-law well is also a woman not treating her husband well. Besides, looking after the old ones is one of the nicest behaviors.
The Messenger of Allah says:
“He, who does not show mercy to the young and respect to the elder, is not one of us.” (Tirmidhi, Birr/Goodness, 15; Abu Dawud, Adab/Manners, 58; Musnad, 1/257)
“He, who shows mercy, sees mercy from Allah. (So) Show mercy to those on the ground and you will see mercy from the heavens.” (Abu Dawud, Adab/Manners, 58)
Women should also think about themselves and their parents. How would they like to be treated by their spouses, they should treat their parents-in-law that way.
In this respect, for the women to look after their parents-in-law is a very nice deed and they will surely be rewarded for this. But as we said, there is no obligation on this issue. The ones that should look after his/her parents are primarily the children. Therefore the men shouldn’t force their wives for this and try to take care of things themselves while appreciating the help and devotion of their wives.