Asalamwalikum , hope you are well. My sister has been married for a year now, and ever since the beginning her and her husband have always been in arguments , fights etc. They both have an 8month old girl now. He does not want to move out , meaning my sister lives with his parents, which is the main problem. The mother orders my sister about a lot , to clean the house, cook etc, when she is looking after her own baby at the same time also (her husband is a doctor, meaning hes only at home during late nights). I would say thats fair enough as the wife has duties, but that mother also has a duaghter of similar age, a son of her own too and she doesnt get ordered to do anthing. The husband himself is a nice guy but when the mum gets mad, she tells him to do bad things, such as one time she ordered him to cut my sisters hair off, and hit her many times etc. We called the police at that point so he hasnt done it since, but the mother threw my sister out the house now and said shes not welcome back. My sisters, living with us now. Obviously violence is not the answer, but we are desperately looking for a practical solution. Discussing it with them doesnt seem to be the answer anymore because problems keep happening over and over, and my own mother is becoming very scared for my sisters own life.
Jazakallah for writing to the institute regarding your sister’s marital problems. Please forgive me for the delay in responding to your mail. I ask you to allow me to respond to your mail at some length as the problems you mention are being experienced by many sisters in their marriages.
It is indeed very discouraging when one reads that a man is prepared to use his muscular and physical strength against a woman who has been given to him as wife by Allah Ta’ala’s decree. Nowhere in the teachings and examples of our beloved Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) have we come across an incident where he beat up or raised his voice against any of his wives. His wives were human and they did err and incur his disapproval. He did not resort to any form of violence against them, be it physical, emotional, financial, psychological or verbal. He left behind him the most excellent examples of how a wife should be treated by her husband. Allah Ta’ala sent him to this world to teach us how to conduct our lives. Muslim men are expected to, and should, follow his examples in the treatment of their wives. Instead, many Muslim men choose to ape the ‘Period of Ignorance’ or follow the fashion of being the man who can be most abusive/ most mean to his wife. Concerned people all over the world observed a week of protests and lectures etc which highlighted the plight of abused women and children.
To be honest, many Muslim men most probably take a top ten position in the “abusers” pole.They behave in the most distasteful manner when it comes to the treatment of their wives. They adopt the postures of being the powerful guys who are in control and who can get things done their way by beating up their wives. They do not care nor take heed that when they abuse their wives, they also abuse their little children. These innocent beings suffer a great deal as they watch and hear all, they experience their mother’s terror too, no matter how old or young they are. Let us take a look at what treatment the wives of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) received and shared with him.during their marriage with him. They lived a life of having domestic help from their husband in their home. He was caring, gentle, supportive, helpful, understanding, tolerant, forgiving, loving, amusing and with the ability to share with them unconditionally.
What do I read in your mail below? Your brother in law has been given the gift of higher education, knowledge and intelligence but he does not have the ability to use his training to deal with a simple issue in his marriage. He chooses a primitive method to deal with friction between his wife and mother. I am most certain that he did learn some psychology during his training as a doctor. He has either not learnt anything from that training or he lacks intelligence to be able to put his knowledge into practice. Human beings are bound to differ and have quarrels now and then. A great deal of effort is needed on all sides to deal with problems in an equitable way. No single person can always be right and the other person always wrong. A man has to obey his mother only as far as her instructions are in keeping with Sharia. If her requests are contrary to Sharia, he should disobey her. I do not think that this man is ignorant of this fact. He is totally out of line in beating up his wife on his mother’s orders. This is a sign of weakness and ignorance in his character and his mother will be held accountable for her actions too. A daughter in law is not meant to be punished by her mother in law. It is expected that a daughter in law will respect her husband’s mother, that she will assist him in fulfilling his mother’s rights over him and that they will live in harmony for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Likewise, the mother in law should remember that a daughter in law is gift from Allah Ta’ala to her son and as such she should treasure this daughter in law because she is Allah Ta’ala’s creation too. Hurting a fellow Muslim makes one liable and accountable to Allah Ta’ala.
Brother, you mention that your mother is concerned about your sister’s safety. Do not hesitate to call on the police and other related agencies in order to protect her. Any threat against her life or safety is illegal and should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. If Muslim men are not prepared to obey and abide by Allah Ta’ala’s laws, then they should face the wrath of the law of the land. If your sister is still prepared to meet with her husband and you fear for her safety then I suggest that you make sure she is always accompanied by one of her brothers. Allow me to suggest that you consult a learned person, a respected family person or an aalim or imam in your area to help resolve this matter as soon as possible, insha’allah. Your sister and her child are being traumatised and it is not emotionally healthy for them to go on being in this situation. Insha’allah these problems will be dealt with in an amicable way. May Allah Ta’ala guide and protect all married couples. Ameen.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
CHECKED & APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai