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Parental Rights in Marriage: Navigating Family Expectations and Autonomy

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I just want to know what are the rights of the parents taking into consideration the following scenario:

I am 27 years and am currently staying with my parents, and have been staying with them since I came back from university. I have been going to see prospective spouses for the last 5 years, and my parents have insisted that I stay with them (even though I had three sister staying in the same house with us then , now they are all gone) after I get married, I did tell them that it is her right to have her own place, but they refused to listen, and my father is very temperamental, so I couldn’t even say anything otherwise he’ll bring the whole roof down. So for the last five years I had to ask the girls if they are prepared to stay with the in-laws. And we did propose for a few girls but they all said no. Anyway this year we went to see a girl, and she wanted her own place, so now My father agreed, but he said that she must stay with us for a while, and the girl also agreed. Then there were some issues that came up and my parents were feeling that the girls family is making all
the decisions and so we decided to delay the nikaah a bit so that we could discuss the issues. But when my father phoned he was very abrupt, and started saying things he should, he told them that the girls father is not supposed to speak to me and he should discuss issues with my father and that the girl must not come here and upset our lives and some other stuff. And so the girls side called it off. I was extremely upset, because he was making all the decisions for me and that I have no say in anything, My father is very hot tempered and if I disagree with what he says, he will starting shouting me. So I did write him a letter explaining all my grievances, and he agreed with some of them, but after that he starting complaining to my mother that I am blaming him for. In the letter I also told him that I want to stay on my own from the beginning, and I even threatened pack up and leave them if they continue to make decisions for me and force they views on me. But I don’t know if he going to change his ways.

Anyway I need to know what I should do now, and what exactly are my parents rights on me. If I get married and stay on my own, they still want us to come and have supper with them. Also if I stay on my own how often should I come and visit them, and how much of time I should spend with them, and how much time should I spend with my wife. Also should me and my wife have supper with them everyday?


A: Respect them and show kindness to them. Don’t pay attention to their harshness. It is better if you all can mutually agree upon the times. However, if your future wife is not comfortable with frequent visits then you may visit them without imposing upon her.

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

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا ﴿الإسراء: ٢٣﴾

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.

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