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I’m having issues with my mother-in-law and that is impacting my relationship with my husband?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

…. months ago my parents pretty much emotionally blackmailed me into a marriage I wasn’t the least bit interested in.

 

We were allowed to have one face to face skype video call before our marriage. And in that hour long conversation I had pretty much gauged it all. 

 

My husband’s ideals, thoughts & future aspirations in life seemed to be polar opposites to that of mine.  Naturally I objected to the union but as was Allah’s will, we were married in November,  2013. Despite my initial reluctance,  I found him to be a really sweet guy and Alhamdulillah Allah made me realise that he knows better than us that which is good for us and had found me the perfect husband.

 

Despite our differences I was very happy with my husband and our married life and for a while all was well. However as time passed, I realised my mother in law couldn’t stand me. She is extremely possessive of my husband and tries to control both his and my life. I do not even have the liberty to gift my husband a shirt of my choice.  And when I made the mistake of doing so, all hell broke loose. She constantly both directly and indirectly abuses and insults me and my family and berates me for not bringing in enough dowry with me (Gold ornaments for my sister-in-law, diamond & platinum ring for my husband etc etc). She even criticises the gifts I bought for my sister in law and cousins in law cuz they weren’t expensive enough.

 

 

She is extremely manipulative and my husband being the dutiful son he is, doesn’t see any of this and how much pain and distress his mother is causing me. She even called my mother and demanded several things including money, gifts etc as well as insulted her and complained about my Akhlaaq and pardah. And because of all this now my relationship with my husband is strained. She even arranged for a “taweez” (enchantment) to be placed on him so as to sour our relationship and separate us. And ever since that my loving and amazing husband has changed drastically.

 

 He never understands my feelings and just blames me for so and so. I understandt that it is not his fault, its just the influence of the enchantment,  as I have seenhim in the earlier days of our marriage.  He was the nicest of guys. But now he is so ill tempered and blindly sides with his mother who just cant see the two of us happy together and even placed an enchantment on her own son to make him hate his wife !!!. I understand that my husband is her beloved son , someone she gave lots of time and effort to raise so naturally she might be jealous of the new woman in his life … but isn’t this a little too much ?.

 

I have done lots of amal to counter the taweez and Alhamdulillah it was lifted and we reunited in April and were very happy together once again. However she started acting up again and made my life a living hell once again. I sensed some changes in my husband again and found out via an Aalim that he was affected by the enchantment yet again.

 

 

I requested him to provide me with separate accommodation but time and again he refused. He insists that I live in his parents house, where I have zero privacy or freedom. My parents wouldn’t take me away from his house at first because they couldn’t believe all the complaints I made about my Mother in law as they thought how can a muslimah conduct such zulm on anothet muslimah, surely I must be exaggerating ! Seeing no other way to convinvce  my parents of my plight, I recorded and taped a rant of my mother in law where she insulted and abused me and my family and sent it to my parents and guardians.  They were enraged and came to pick me up from my husbands house.

 

My husband feels extremely wronged as I left his house without his permission for the secomd time (I had gone off to my parents once b efore) and complained about him and insulted him by complaining to my parents about him and his family. He also feels violated as I taped his mothers rant for my family to hear.

 

 

And now the situation has come to a pass where my Parents are taking me to their home in dubai with them and I refused to return unless my husband arranges for a separate accommodation for the two of us,  away from my mother in law. My husband refused, saying he will never do that. And now we are living separately. He said he won’t divorce me but will wait for four months to pass after which our marriage will automatically be declared null and void. 

 

I really really like my husband and want to save our marriage but his mother is too overbearing and intolerable. I am not even having kids for fear of her interference in my child rearing. Please advice in light of Islamic rulings and fiqh.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Jazak-Allah Khairan for taking the time to write your concerns and seeking advice in light of Islamic rulings.

It is evident that you are facing a very difficult test while you have barely begun your marital life. Turn to Allah and seek forgiveness for all your sins and pledge to do your best to fulfill all your religious responsibilities and obligations. Attract the Mercy of Allah by mentioning your weakness and beg His Help in resolving these issues you are facing.

Then sit down by yourself and with an open mind and without any bias try to evaluate if there was any action on your part at all that would have led to your mother-in-law going so far as to not want her beloved son to enjoy a normal marital life.

You have mentioned certain actions (leaving home without permission, recording his mother secretly) that while we understand were done in the heat of the moment, nevertheless, cannot be condoned. It would have been better, if you had made him aware that the situation is so difficult for you that you need to go, instead of leaving without his permission. While we acknowledge that often, cultural perceptions about the wife’s place in a shared home are not valid from an Islamic standpoint, how a wife deals and works to resolve these issues have an effect on the success of her marriage.

You are a newlywed, wed for only seven months, you need to stay patient and seek out other ways to resolve the situation you have with your husband until a solution can be found. When the husband, especially one who is dutiful to his parents is placed in a tug-of-war between his wife and his mother, that is the beginning of the end of a successful, loving relationship.

The first thing you need to do is apologize to your husband for those actions that were unbecoming of you and return at your earliest convenience. Secondly, you should seek the advice of local ulama (those that are experienced in dealing with marital issues) and seek a compromise solution.

Over time the husband can be convinced of having a home very close to the parents so that he can continue to serve them and you can have your own space, which we agree is necessary in your case to avoid future confrontations. However, this will take time, especially in your cultural environment where it may be seen as taboo to have the son seek separate living arrangements.

You have to win over your husband by gaining his love and confidence. Since you need time to figure out a solution, do your best to ignore any issues with your mother-in-law while you seek out a compromise that is acceptable to you and your husband.

Time and again, you have praised your husband and when there is love from both sides then all problems can be surmountable no matter how big they seem, by the Will of Allah. Do not give up so easily. Resolve to save your marriage, especially since you really like your husband and want to save this marriage.

Finally, the statement of your husband that the marriage will automatically dissolve after four months is not correct, unless he swore an oath (ila’) not to have marital relations (intercourse) with you. In that case, at the end of four months an irrevocable divorce will take place. However, if he did not take an oath, no divorce will take place and you will remain husband and wife.

Sohail ibn Arif,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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

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