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Respect for In Laws

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askmufti.co.za

Q: Is it wrong for my husband not address my parents by their names or even call them “mommy” or “daddy”? My parents feel my husband disrespects them most of the time and his heart will not change towards them. He always puts his family (my in laws) first e.g. wanting them to come for supper, iftaar, etc. and never asks me if I want to invite my family over to our house. Can you shed some light on this matter. What are the rights of a husband towards his in laws?

A. Many people are under the misconception that the in-laws do not need to be honoured and respected. At times the husband treats his in-laws with disdain and at times the wife does the same. Both are in grave error. The Qur’aan and Hadeeth instruct us to treat relatives with kindness, not to break family ties and to assist them when possible. People erroneously think that this only applies to one’s personal and immediate family. In the Tafseer of the Qur’aan ‘Roohul Ma’aani’ V3 P404 and in the commentary of the famous Hadeeth compilation Abu Dawood called ‘Aunul Ma’bood’ V5 P73 it is clearly mentioned that relatives include the in-laws. A person will treat his father in-law just as he treats his own father, his mother in-law as he treats his own mother, and so forth.

If the husband treats his in-laws with dignity and respect and the wife her in-laws, a lot of marital strife will disappear and there will be more harmony and unity all round.

The husband and wife should sit down and discuss the matter and come to an amicable solution and arrangement.

May Allah Ta’aala grant you both ease and harmony, Aameen.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

This answer was collected from AskMufti.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Siraj Desai of Darul-Uloom Abubakr, South Africa.

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