Family problems

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za
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Q: My mother wants to leave her husband’s house and stay in a rental house, because she is fed up with hardship and hard luck though they (mum and dad) are hardworking, investing and striving, yet still no change.

My grandfather married four wives, but it is just the three family’s that are living in the same place (compound). My grandfather had passed away. My father is the eldest son of the three family’s, he wants to share the compound (land) into four (four wives) because the last last wife’s children are claiming authority over the place and are not in favour of the share though the other parties have agreed to the share.

The compound is so dirty, meaning the black magic, witch, sorcerer’s work, nuts had been buried in the compound from all the three parties. There is now hatred, envy, bad heart and fighting especially between my father and the last wife’s family. Due to all this and more, for 21 years now.

Let me outline my mother’s point for her leaving the house.

– recently, her son (my younger brother) passed away. An old woman (a neighbour) had told her that she (old woman) dreamt her (my mother’s) dead son saying she should leave the house. I have two brothers, but it is now me and my youngest brother

– Lack of happiness, love, comfort in the compound and even from her husband

– jealousy and evil eye

– her dreams are mix up and frightening

– because of the fighting from the last wife’s party.

– No respect for her husband (the eldest son) and it seems black magic is used on him for no prosperity, no growth…

– the compound is not comfortable, it is filthy, demoted, rats every where and the house had wearied out

– And the mother (my grandmother) of her husband had once told her that if her son (my dad) is continuing to stay there, he will not prosper. My mum has been persuading dad to find somewhere for them to stay while he is processing the sharing of the place. But my dad is firm in not leaving his father’s house because it is an expense under rental, but my mother’s elder sister (staying in America) will pay the rent for a year and perhaps the following years. My dad said he didn’t see anything that should make her leave because he provides the basic needs, shelter (worn out zinc house).

– Mum wants her and dad to transfer to the rented house by the end of the month but because mum’s sister is paying the rent is another reason for him not to leave. My mum want to take my youngest brother (9 years old) with her but dad refute this, and said she can go, with the two girls (another elder sister’s daughters, she is dead now) she is taking care of.

We are Muslims with little Islamic knowledge. The rented house can be another home for him where he can drive to, (own a mini van), rest, spend the night(s) if he doesn’t want to leave his father’s house. To me if she continue to stay there she will become sick because with all her thoughts about the evil eye, malice, envy, backbiting, abusing and insulting noisily, no respect from the children, no control, no regards for her husband (as the eldest son). The compound is physically, morally, emotionally and spiritually abnormal/unclean/unfit. She has made up her mind and psychologically it will affect her negatively if she continue to stay with him. My dad did not want to repair or develop his apartment because the compound is about to be shared/divided, then he can develop a structure on his own part. Does she has the right in Islam to leave though my father had permitted her but he is angry? 


A: If it is for the better interest of the family and she has obtained your father’s permission it is permissible for her to leave.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.