Q: Before my husband and I made nikaah, we discussed financial issues like whether I would need to work, if we would be a 2 income household, the rental and expenses we would need to pay, etc. He told me confidently that I can work if I wanted to although not necessary. (I work for my father in a secluded office) and that he would give me money for the household expenses such as fuel, groceries, etc. He also told me that we would be living in a flat that his parents owned and that there would be no need to pay rental.
A week before the nikaah, his parents had told him that the flat did not belong to them and that we must move into a flat and pay a ridiculous amount of rental for it in a complex that they also live in. My parents in law are very well off alhumdulillah, my husband has 2 sisters, both of which are married and both of which dont pay any rental and in fact live in luxury homes provided by his parents. Their families live off from my father in law. I am not comparing myself to them because I feel that we both need to work hard for what we earn.
Recently I fell pregnant. I had to cut down on my job owing to complications. There was a rental increase and therefore I get no money from my husband to cover household expenses. We decided to speak to my parents in law regarding this and they forbade us from moving away into a cheaper rental flat as they hinted at the fact that we are ungrateful (even though we dont take money from them) and that it is my husbands duty to look after them.
I will never question our duty to our parents, no amount of what we do will ever be enough for them. However, does duty only fall upon the son or is it all the siblings responsibility? Do we have the right to move out as it is hurting our relationship by creating a conflict between us as husband and wife? Please keep in mind that his mother asks our front guard when I enter and leave my house, her maid sometimes enters my house when I’m not there, she stores all her unwanted goods in my garage and doesn’t treat me very well and sometimes has nasty things to say to me and this makes me very bitter towards my husband as well. What can I do moving forward?
A: If it is difficult to maintain that standard then it is permissible to move out.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)