What does a woman consider first: Duty to parents or obedience to the husband? And can he prevent her from seeing her parents?

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The Shariah proves the obligation of being dutiful to parents and being good to them, especially if they are old. Allah (the Most High) stated:

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” (Al-Isrā’: 23)

It is authentically reported that a man came to the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) and asked: “O Allah’s Messenger, who from the people has the greatest right to my companionship?” He (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He answered: “Your father.” (Bukhāri, 5971, Muslim, 2548)

So the woman must be kind and dutiful to her parents, her mother first, then her father AND she must (at the same time) obey her husband in that which is good (i.e. that which does not oppose the Shariah) and live with him in a good manner.

It is not allowed for the husband to prevent his wife from visiting her parents because being dutiful and good to parents is an obligation in the Shariah.

The wife is allowed to spend her wealth on her own parents because keeping ties with parents is a religious obligation, so she should be kind to her parents―and she is allowed to send them what she chooses from her wealth. As for sending the wealth of her husband to them, then that is not allowed except with his permission.

See, Al-Jāmi’ fī Fiqhil-‘Allāmah Ibn Bāz (p. 1166), slightly adapted.

Maintaining the rights of those whom we love and are bound to require a careful balance that comes with knowledge, experience, wisdom and asking those who are older and wiser.

2 Comments

  1. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    حياك الله يا أستاذنا

    Jazaakum Allaahu khair for yet another insightful and beneficial article, Allaahumma baarik.

    Could you please clarify for us, when marrying one’s daughter to a man, is it correct that the custody of her passes from her father to her husband? Also, once he takes her from the house, is it his decision as to when she sees her family? How do her obligations to her parents, on a reasonable basis, continue?

    This website is a gem, jazaakum Allaahu khair!!

    • Wa-alaikumus-salām-wa-rahmatullāhi-wa-barakātuhu,

      The woman, once married, obeys her husband as her primary duty is to him. She obeys her mother and father also in that which does not lead to disobedience to Allah. She cannot be prevented from visiting her parents (or siblings) in a manner that is reasonable which does not cause her to neglect her household duties and duties to her husband and children. The origin of the mother/wife is that she is occupied with household affairs. If they are in order and she wishes to visit her parents from time to time, her husband must not forbid her. If he continues to forbid her for no valid reason, she should complain to his parents and her parents, and if that fails, she should seek a ruling from a person of knowledge that will allow her to visit them. It is important she goes through these stages because he may have a valid reason for limiting visitations such as: they throw doubts into her mind concerning the religion, they drink and take drugs in front of her and the children, they play music, watch movies and music videos in from of her and the children, they feed pork products to his children, etc.

      Abu Khadeejah.

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