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Is My Husband Wrong to Make Me Live in His Parent’s Basement?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I told my husband I wanted my place for privacy and peace of mind. We live in his parent’s basement with our bedroom and bathroom and share their kitchen and living room. He says this is sufficient accommodation after I told him I have a right to a particular place. I feel so betrayed because he said before marriage that we’ll live separately & now he’s making me live like this, which is problematic. Is he fulfilling my rights, or is he wrong in front of Allah Most High for this?

Answer

Thank you for your question. You have a right to more privacy than this, such as a separate kitchen, and you should ask that he fulfill this right with tact and patience.

Newly Married

In the beginning, newlywed life can be bliss, but slowly, a couple realizes all the realities of married life. Living with your in-laws is one of these realities, and I am reasonably sure he will change his mind over time. I don’t think you should worry, and I believe that instead of demanding to leave, you should discuss with him a plan to go eventually. Naturally, as your family grows, staying in that small space will be impossible.

Tact

Deal with him with tact and wisdom, and don’t try to push him around or make demands. Men resent this and see it as nagging. I recommend you drop the topic for a while and try to make the best of your situation. Take advantage of being there by learning recipes with your mother-in-law and tips on how to run a home. Your good character and patience will not go unrewarded nor unappreciated. When you eventually do move out, your in-laws should miss you!

Resources

Please look at these books, courses, and other valuable tips below to help you better bond and communicate with your husband. Focus on tightening your relationship right now, not where you live. All else will fall into place by the grace of Allah Most High. Ask Allah Most High to help you manage your current situation and turn to Him when stressed out.

Here is a list of a few seekersguidance courses on marriage:

Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
40 Hadiths on Successful Marriage: Key Teachings of the Prophet on Beautiful, Loving, Caring Married Life

Here is the list of some readings:

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
Having to Live With My In-Laws Is Difficult. What Do I Do?
Living with My Mother-In-Law Is Challenging. What Do I Do?
In-Laws Leaving Me No Privacy: What is the Proper Response?
Living With Disrespectful and Overbearing In-Laws

Here is the prayer for need:

Istikhara – a Powerful Prayer When in Need of Guidance

May Allah give you a home in the best abode, the best of this world, and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later 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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