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

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.

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