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Does my husband have a right to neglect me and my child over his family? My husband is always worried about his family and siblings.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

He stresses so much that he takes his frustration out on me. He has even hit me over them. His family has called me names and he stood by watching. My question is, is my husband right in neglecting me and my child for his family? Do his responsibilities lie with them first??


Jazakallah for your question.

I empathise with you in your difficulties and dilemna in your marital home. My Du’as are with you that Allah will alleviate these painful times and shower your life with love, peace and affection, amen

At the outset, I wish to mention to you that you should not lose hope in Allah’s help and mercy. You are Allah’s creation, and we human beings are the most excellent of all Allah’s creations. He knows your needs and be rest assured that Allah has not forgotten you.

Alhamdulillah, you have thus far perservered through your difficulties with patience. Remember that Allah is close to you and may He reward you with the best from amongst all His infinite treasures, ameen.

Sister, I am sure you are feeling neglected and unwanted due to your husband’s lack of fulfilling his responsibilities towards you and your child.

The physical and emotional abuse you have experienced must have added to your grief and pain. Please dear sister, do not blame yourself or ever feel that you deserve this treatment. No woman deserves to be “physically and emotionally abused” by her husband or his family, no matter what reason they come up with.

Do not think or feel that you are unworthy of love, respect and affection. I am sure you are a loving mother and a fellow human being with a lot to give to those around you. It is because you are a selfless person that you have tolerated this situation you are presently in.

I would like to suggest that you should try to do things for yourself which give you comfort and joy. You could perhaps go for walks often with your little one and your friends. Meet with friends or family members who share similar hobbies and interests to yours and who care for you as you are. You can also find a lot of solace in turning to Allah with salaah whenever you can. It is a very fulfilling when one turns to Allah in times of need, especially at Tahajjud time when Allah Himself seeks out His creation who are in need of His help.

Also, do give special attention to your personal appearance, your child and your home. Try to make your surroundings as pleasant as you can. As I have already mentioned, you are special and you need to tell yourself daily, “I am special and worthy of being loved and cared for because I am Allah’s creation”.

Please do not for one moment think that you are the only one who is the cause of the problem. As you have mentioned, you have in laws who seem to lack Deeni knowledge as to how a daughter in law (and according to Islam, a sister-in-Islam) should be treated.

Yes, it is very sad that so many Muslims tend to neglect and overlook Allah’s injunctions about how we should conduct our relationships with others. We tend to pick and choose which commands we are going to observe and which ones we will discard.

Sometimes we totally neglect the most excellent examples set down by our beloved Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassalam). He gave us the best precepts as to how a husband and wife should live together. We ignore these rulings to our peril for we don’t realise how we are harming our own life in this world and the hereafter too. Allah can never be pleased when we hurt and harm others.

I would like you to think of a few important aspects and if you wish, feel free to write to me again and we can discuss them… (This is mainly to try and assist you to start empowering yourself).

1. What measures have you taken thus far with your husband personally in trying to help him to understand your point of view? 2. Have you made your personal feelings, fear, sorrow and pain known to him? 3. Have you spoken to him about your needs to be able to have a normal relationship with him as a wife (and as a mother of your child) without any interference from his family? 4. Have you spoken to any of your in laws about the above concerns? 5. Do you have feelings of anger towards your in laws, if so, how do you deal with these feelings? 6. You mention that your husband acts out of frustration. Are you aware of which types of situations/incidents cause him to act out of frustration? 7. How would you prefer him to act under these circumstances? 8. Please tell me what you would like to change what is happening to you at the moment and how you think you could go about bringing that change. (in other words, when you are faced with these situations where he acts out in frustration what do you think you could say or do that could help to bring about change in your husbands behaviour and how you react to it). 8. Would you say he has difficulty in asserting himself with his family? Could it be that this is why he places his “family” first as he is too afraid to tell them that he has responsibilities to his wife and child too? 9. How would you like to deal with his family when they abuse you? 10. If you had the chance what would you like to change in your relationship with them?

Please feel free to write again and Insha’allah we will try to work through this difficulty you are experiencing.

Once again, remember that you are special and a worthy person. My duas are with you and may Allah guide you, your husband and his family. May He also remove your difficulties, ameen.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Sister Fazila


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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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