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Am I a disbeliever for questioning the right of woman to meet her parents?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca

Question

I am very stressed, and no longer know that difference between wrong and right.

A shiekh recently accused me of no longer being a muslim and that I am arguing against Allah’s rules. This is just because I asked him a question of what he keeps on claiming. He always says that if a man prevents his wife from seeing her parents, regardless of the reason, she has no choice but to obey him. I always believed that visiting out parents is a must in Islam and ordered by Allah, as a result what he said shocked me.

So, I asked him why is that so and isn’t visiting parents a basic need and we must visit our parents and if he stops her from visiting them just to cause harm, isn’t that unfair that just because she is a woman she has to accept the harm, especially since Allah ordered us to keep in visit parents and Allah forbade oppression for himself. He then started comparing me to how the devil refused to prostrate to Prophet Adam and that my fate is like that of the devil and that I am arguing against Allah’s rules, therefore I am annulling my Islam. I am shocked, where did Allah or the Prophet say that a woman must accept harm and abuse and if she is prevented from her parents she needs to accept?

Also, Allah never forces people to accept oppression or gives others rights to oppress others, while obliging the other to accept the oppression. Is what he said true? so if a woman is prevented from her parents for no reason she must comply? Am I actually a disbeliever and arguing against Allah’s rule and I am like the devil?

Answer:

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

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There are two aspects in your question that needs to be addressed.

  1. Right of a wife to meet with her parents.

Islam affords a sharʿī right to meet with her parents once a week provided that they live in the same city within a safr distance. If so, the husband does not have the right to stop her from meeting the parents. However, if they live in another city, then the wife needs the husband’s permission along with a mahram to travel to the parents’ place.

Similarly, the arrangement could be for the parents to come and meet the wife at the husbands place. However, in this case, if the parents wish to stay at son-in-law’s house, then they need his permission.

The above is for her parents. If she wishes to meet her other relatives then she has the right of visit once a year. [1]

These right of visitation or meeting with family members is when there is no fear of fitna or corruption from such visits. In some instances, the relatives or parents (due to different religion or corrupt mindsets) may influence the wife away from her balanced religious decorum. If the husband has such a fear, then he should arrange that the parents meet the wife at his place in his presence so that she is not deprived of her right to meet the parents, as well as due care is taken to not harm religiosity.

  1. Scholars response to your question

The second aspect in your question is in regard to the behaviour of the scholar who answered you, or rather lacked to answer you.

It is irresponsible of the Sheikh to answer you in the manner he has done and to compare your inquiry to kufr of Shaitān. There are nuances in Islamic jurisprudence, and if someone does not understand a fiqhi issue, we expect the ʿulamāʾ to try and explain the matters to the best of their ability. If we are not able to satisfactorily explain the matter, then perhaps the questioner will get sharh al sadr (heartly satisfaction) from another scholar.

Keep in mind that just as laymen need to mature and grow in understanding their religion and its nuances, scholars also need their time to learn and mature in their own manners. Make duʿāʾ for the sheikh and maintain civility when you talk to him.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
www.fatwa.ca

 

[1]
الفتاوى الهندية – دار الفكر (1/ 556)

وإذا أراد الزوج أن يمنع أباها، أو أمها، أو أحدا من أهلها من الدخول عليه في منزله اختلفوا في ذلك قال بعضهم: لا يمنع من الأبوين من الدخول عليها للزيارة في كل جمعة، وإنما يمنعهم من الكينونة عندها، وبه أخذ مشايخنا – رحمهم الله تعالى -، وعليه الفتوى كذا في فتاوى قاضي خان وقيل: لا يمنعها من الخروج إلى الوالدين في كل جمعة مرة، وعليه الفتوى كذا في غاية السروجي وهل يمنع غير الأبوين عن الزيارة في كل شهر، وقال مشايخ بلخ في كل سنة وعليه الفتوى، وكذا لو أرادت المرأة أن تخرج لزيارة المحارم كالخالة والعمة والأخت فهو على هذه الأقاويل كذا في فتاوى قاضي خان وليس للزوج أن يمنع والديها وولدها من غيره وأهلها من النظر إليها وكلامها في أي وقت اختاروا هكذا في الهداية.

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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