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How Should I Approach My Messy and Untidy In-Laws?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

How Should I Approach My Messy and Untidy In-Laws?


I currently live with my in-laws and struggle with how unclean they are. The house is continuously cluttered and messy. I do not mind cleaning at all; however, with my other responsibilities, it is not always possible for it to be me who cleans. How am I supposed to approach this in a manner without hurting anyone’s feelings or causing issues?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.  I empathize with the issue of having unclean people around you. It is frustrating, and according to what I was taught during my time in the Middle East, a mess attracts jinn into the home.


Unfortunately, this will be a very sensitive issue, and I don’t think you can or should address it directly with them. Stick to a manageable routine of cleaning and tidying up because you would have been doing some, anyways, if you were in your own place, and your reward will be tremendous. Try to involve your husband in helping you, as that is a good lifelong habit, and definitely your children, if you have any. Never clean more than you are able to. You are clearly a blessing to this house, and after some time, they will appreciate it and learn from you by the grace of Allah.


Gently suggest to your husband that he talk to his parents about the mess. He should always address problems with his parents, and you address problems with your parents. He doesn’t need to tell them to clean, but he should tell them that you are getting overwhelmed and that he is worried about you. Tell him to tell them that you are cleaning too much and that he wants you to slow down and spend more time with him as his wife. He should suggest a cleaning lady come once a week and the cost be shared.

Ask Allah

As with any problem with people, ask Allah, fulfill your duties to your Lord and to your husband first, and have patience and kindness with the rest. Consider these two important hadith:

“Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.” [Ibn Maja]

“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Maja]

Please see this inspiring answer as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.


This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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