1) A daughter-in-law has no obligation to her in-laws (looking after them, staying with them etc) but if they ask her to cook, make tea, clean etc for them and the in-laws are young and capable of doing it themselves can the daughter in-law refuse to do it? Or, as they are her elders as well as her in-laws does she have to obey their request 2) My parents, my in-laws & husband all just put my 5 month old son in front of the TV (even when he’s asleep) even though I have expressed that it is not Islamic but they take no notice. I have tried explaining my reasons politely. How do I stop them from introducing haraam things to him for e.g. TV, celebrating birthdays, putting music on to make him quiet etc. they say these things will do him no harm as he is young. Please advice me how to resolve this issue as I am trying to cut these haraam activities from my life and want to bring up my children the right way. 3) I am also trying to stop backbiting. However if I am in company (parents, my in-laws, family and close friends) and they are talking about someone what should I do. Should I say something, try to change the subject or just leave the room? Is there a different way to react if the company is older or younger? Please advice me on this. JazakAllah may Allah bless you all for your help.
1. A woman’s obligation is toward her husband. However, in order to promote love and understanding between them, it is advisable for each spouse to treat the others parents and close relatives as they would their own. Failure to do so often results in marital tension and usually leads to a breakdown. Since you are living with your in-laws, it would make your lives easier if you assisted in the housework. If you are unable to manage or do not wish to do so or are unable to co-exist peacefully, try to influence your husband to provide separate arrangements (semi detached flat, your own section, separate kitchen or another home entirely). This would be better for the marriage in the long term.
2. The most effective way to put and end to these practices is to change the environment of the home. This is not possible without an effort to bring Deen into the home. We advise you to immediately begin Ta’leem. Read everyday a portion from Fadhaa’ile A’amaal of Sheikh Zakariyyah (R.A).-(see www.alinaam.org.za ) Start with a small portion and increase this slowly. You will be amazed at the change this ‘amal will bring in a short period. Be firm and adamant about your principles, though always polite. As long as your stance is on Haq (truth), the help of Allah will be with you. Also, make Dua and ask of Allah that he assist you.
3. The best thing to do on such occasion is to leave the room immediately by making some excuse. You may return once the subjest has changed. In time, the company will come to realise the reason and will cause them to desist. In the Quran, Allah has taught the ettiquette when undesirable talk is going on: “It has been revealed in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being rejected and ridiculed, the sit not in their company until they change their subject, otherwise then you would be like them (by sanctioning such talk with your presence)…..(Surah Nisaa’ Verse No. 140)
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Bilaal Cassim
CHECKED & APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai