Fatwa ID: 05392
Answered by: Mufti Muhammad Adnan
I am the younger sister in a family of two girls. My sister got married about 15 years back and I was still at home with my parents. However, I got married about 5 years ago and I still feel this internal pressure to be there for my parents and I get pressure from my husband because he does not like it. In Islam, they say it is a blessing to have girls but in every marriage course, they fail to mention anything about having only girls and they only mention that it is the son’s responsibility to take care of his parents so where is the blessing? My husband’s parents have four sons, two of which are still at home yet he is still angry that he can’t be there for his parents and he gets upset when I try to be there for my parents. He travels for work so he has a busy schedule and I visit my family while he is gone because I don’t like to be alone and on the other days he wants to take the kids and leave me while he goes to visit his parents or he says he needs a social life so he wants to spend time with his cousins and friends.
Are there any rights for me as a daughter in a family of no sons? And I know it is my husband’s right to visit his parents but does he need to take the kids? How much time does he get to spend out while I have to stay at home with or without the kids?
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
The Sharia in some instances does not stipulate every minute detail specific to every circumstance and situation and gives general guidelines. The reason for this is because as Muslims we should cooperate and understand with each other when we form a bond of marriage. This leeway and openness in some issues are to allow us to come to mutual agreements in these particular circumstances. Sometimes it is important to set and communicate with each other and maybe elders in the family and involve local scholars to arbitrate so an agreement can be reached. In this scenario, it would be advisable for you and your husband to sit with each other and maybe with arbitrators and agree on how and when both can fulfill the rights of each other as well as your respective parents and your children.
Coming to your questions, the fact that a woman is responsible for looking after her husband and children does not absolve her of responsibility toward her own parents, particularly if she has no brother. The reason why the emphasis is placed on sons looking after their parents is that males are viewed as having a certain amount of qawwamah, or financial obligation, in comparison to women. A woman can visit her parents once a week if her parents cannot visit her.
Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states: “The husband should not prevent his wife from leaving to visit her parents once a week if they are not able to visit her…It is related from Imam Abu Yusuf that her leaving to visit her parents is pre-conditional to them being unable to visit her.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 2/664). In regards to the children, they should not be prevented from going to the houses of either in-laws as this would be similar to assist in the cutting of family ties.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Muhammad Adnan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham