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Mother In-Law & Household Affairs

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com

I am married for 3 years now, and have had no problems. Recently we have moved into a new house. The house is extremely close to my mother in-law’s house. I had noticed that my mother in law would come in the day and see to it that the house is clean. We had no issues about it and thank her allot but things changed yesterday.

I had arrange for new carpets to be put into two of my rooms, After coming from work when entering my house I had found that all my furniture from my two rooms where put in my lounge, I got upset because the carpet was only going to be installed a day later. I had called my maid and gardener and asked them to please put the furniture back in the rooms as the carpet company would remove the furniture the day they are doing the job. My mother in law was around and she told them not to do it. I became upset and approached my wife ,she then started crying and said that her mother is only trying to help us, But my argument is that when people come home after a full days of work all they want to do is relax and not be in any inconvenience. That’s why I pay the carpet company for. Am I being childish? Or is my mother in law just doing things she should not be doing?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

According to Shariah, when two people get married, then only they are married and not the family members of each of the spouse. As such, the family members of the spouses should not interfere with the household affairs of the couple.

The house is the domain of the husband (and also the wife). The husband’s mother in-law has no right to interfere with domestic affairs. She should let her daughter and her husband get on with their own lives and let them decide what is best for them.

Your wife (and her daughter) should explain to her mother that, it is inappropriate for her to intervene in the household affairs. It is the husband’s right (along with the wife) to decide what they want in their home. She (your wife) will have to set firmer boundaries for her mother.

However, it should be remembered that this should be done in a kind, gentle and polite manner. Your wife must at all times keep her respect for her mother, and also you should not disrespect her. Explain to her in a gentle manner or try using the intermediary of someone whom she respects, and hopefully she will get the message.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

This answer was collected from Daruliftaa.com, which is headed by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. He’s based in the United Kingdom.

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