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Duties of wife towards in laws

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Scholar,




May Allah subhanatawla reward you the best for guiding all of us as per Quran and Hadith.


I have a situation that I shall explain in short, please guide me as per Quran and hadith.


I have on old mother and mentally handicapped sister. My wife before marriage had promised me to take care of both of them. But my mother is some not satisfied with any one either her own daughters or any  working maid. She always keeps pointing mistakes. Hence no maid want to do her job though what I offer them to pay in turn. Similar case is with my sisters. My mother has to take care of my elder mentally retired sister as if she is like 6 months baby. They both stays with me. But now my wife and my mother are not speaking to each other. The problem is she is not keeping well and in my absence there are no one who can talk to her and check out her basic needs like glass of water while she is praying and/or coughing and ask for tea/server food. I come home and cook her dinner but not every day I miss out few days as I might be tired of my own work. Noway days I little upset over the things that are happening. I just want to know during this stage what right do I have. I have requested many ways and many times to my wife to ignore everything and starting talking to her. I am very good with my in laws as well. And as far as I see I have left no room for my wife to complain with respect her rights over me. And she too feel the same. Please let me know what rights can I have and I am afraid if my mother expires in the similar situation what would happen to me or my relationship with my wife. Keeping maids will not solve the problem.


Allah hafiz.


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Duties of wife towards in laws

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 34:

34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard (their modesty and chastity, the honor and property of their husband, etc.)


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 286 Narrated by Umm Salamah

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter Paradise.’


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3272 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

When Allah's Messenger (saws) was asked which woman was best he replied, "The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves."


In light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, the wife has absolutely no duty or responsibility laid upon her by Islam towards her husband’s family or ‘in-laws’, including the husband’s parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc. The responsibility and duty that Islam has laid upon the believing wife is only towards making sure that her husband is pleased and satisfied with her in every aspect of her life!


Thus, in essence, if a believing woman worships Allah Subhanah as He Alone deserves to be worshipped, preserves her chastity, and strives to the best of her ability to please her husband, the Messenger of Allah (saws) declared that she will be given the honor to enter the Eternal Gardens of Paradise by the gates of her choice!


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3254 Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes."


Having said that she has absolutely no responsibility towards her husband’s family, does not in any way mean or imply that she is allowed to be rude, or disrespectful, or dishonor them in any way. She must at all times strive to develop cordial relations with her in-laws.


But if the believing woman does, of her own free will, serves the parents or family of her husband, she would be doing a deed of ‘ehsaan’, a deed which would be over and above her prescribed duties and responsibilities; and Allah Subhanah has time and again declared in the Glorious Quran that He absolutely loves those believers who do ‘ehsaan’ or deeds which are over and above their role of duty and responsibility.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 134 (part):

134 …. for Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 195 (part):

195 … and do ‘ehsaan’; for Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 93 (part):

93 ….. For Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).


The wife in Islam is absolutely under no obligation to take care or serve her husband’s parents or family; the duty and ultimate responsibility that the parents are served and well cared for is entirely upon the direct off-spring of the parents.


But if the wife, of her own will and choice, wishes to go over and above her prescribed duties and in her benevolence serves the parents and/or family members of her husband, she would be doing the extremely meritorious deed of ‘ehsaan’; and Allah Subhanah absolutely loves those who do ‘ehsaan’ or deeds over and above their prescribed duties.


If a husband is blessed with a wife who does ‘ehsaan’ and serves his parents, he should be extremely grateful and thankful to her for her superb gesture of benevolence and kindness.


Thus the serving of one’s in-laws would definitely be amongst the ‘Nafl’ (extra) or over and above one’s prescribed duties and responsibilities.


As the son, it is your obligation and your duty laid unto you by your Lord to take care and fulfill all the rights of your ailing mother. If your wife chooses not to serve your ailing mother, she is well within her rights to do so. Also, if your wife is not comfortable living with your ailing mother and sister, she is well within her rights in Islam to demand that you provide a separate accommodation for her….and if you have the means to fulfill this lawful demand of hers, you should strive your best to do so.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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