Fatwa ID: 01628
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Assalam u Alaykum
My question is regarding the rights of stepmother in Islam. I was 12 and a half-years-old when my mother died. Thereafter, my father married another woman. 15 years have been passed since then. We never lived happily but my father always wished that we considered her as a real mother and respect and obey her as a real mother.
Please could you tell me the status and rights of stepmother in Islam?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Molana Ashraf Ali Thanwi in his book 'Rights in Islam' has written the rights our parents have over us:
1. You should not cause them any harm even if they commit any excesses.
2. Respect and honour them in your speech and dealings with them.
3. Obey them in permissible acts.
4. If they are in need of money, assist them even if they are non-Muslims.
5. The following rights are due to parents after their death:
(a) Continue making duas of forgiveness and mercy for them. Continue sending rewards to them in the form of optional acts of worship and charity on their behalf.
(b) Meet their friends and relatives in a friendly way and also assist them wherever possible.
(c) If you have the finances, fulfil their unpaid debts and the permissible bequests that they have made.
(d) When they pass away, abstain from crying and wailing aloud or else their souls will be troubled.
6. According to the Shariah, the rights of the paternal and maternal grandparents are similar to those of the parents and they should be regarded as such.
7. Similarly, the rights of the maternal and paternal uncles and aunts are similar to those of the parents. This has been deduced from the hadith where the Prophet of Allah said: "The maternal aunt has the status of one’s mother." (Sunan Tirmizi)
A stepmother can never take the place of a mother, but as she is the wife of your father, an associate with your father, an equal amount of respect and honour should be shown to her as shown to one's own mother. Under no circumstances should she be disrespected because this will cause hurt to your father.
The Prophet of Allah said:
“One of the best acts of dutifulness is a man’s kind treatment of the loved ones of his father.” (Sahih Muslim)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham