The Rights of In-Laws

Akhlaq & Spirituality, The way to a Happy Married Life, Women & Family / Friday, August 12th, 2011

Allah Ta’ala further states,

“….And O people! Fear that Allah by whose Name you demand your mutual rights.”

It is the Name of Allah that you use as an intermediary, as a means, as a lever to accrue the rights due to you. What does one say when a customer fails to pay for goods provided on credit? One tends to plead in Allah’s Name, saying,

“Please, for Allah’s sake, in the Name of Allah, I ask you to fulfill the debt you owe to me. Fear Allah and give me my due.”

Allah Ta’ala at this juncture is telling us to fulfill the rights of family and relatives, by remembering the Name of Allah we present for demanding our own rights. Fear the non-fulfillment, the usurpation and destruction of their rights. Ensure that you do not fall short in observing the due rights of wife and children, of blood ties. What is meant by, والرحم ? Most people understand the connotation of ارحم to mean only one’s parents, brothers and sisters, paternal and maternal grandparents etc. excluding the wife’s immediate family. This is why I am resorting to an explanation of this verse which has been given by Allama Aaloosi As-Sayyid Mahmood Baghdadi (rahmatullah alaihe) in his commentary, Roohul Ma’aani. I am also quoting the Arabic text so that the learned scholars can also appreciate and enjoy it. Meant by ,ارحم

“By blood relatives, are those who are directly related to one as well as those who are related through the wife.”

Among them are the mother and father of the wife who are termed as mother-in-law and father-in-law as well as her brothers who are called brother-in-law. The term used in Persian, Khusr means king while the Urdu term is Susar. The brother-in-law is called Nisbati Bhai or brother though the relationship of marriage. Commonly used is the term saalah which our Buzurgaan-e-Deen prevent us from using for it is akin to a term of vulgarity. Consider now the amount of respect one is taught for one’s in-laws.

Thus, meant by blood relatives are one’s own as well as the wife’s immediate family. If perchance they happen to be in a crisis, they go hungry while one fills his stomach, one will surely be questioned about it on the day of Qiyaamah. Given the means, one will, by serving one’s poor in-laws receive the same reward as serving one’s own parents. People are well aware of and readily fulfill parent’s rights and serve them with respect and honor.

Remember honoring the in-laws is just as meritorious as honoring one’s own parents.

Do not, over petty issues reign with an iron fist. If the mother-in-law happens to be ill, one’s wife is nursing her and tending to her needs and comfort, and she requests that one allow her to stay for a few days more, do not adopt a high-handed attitude and refuse. Do not become insulting and harsh by telling the mother-in-law, “After marriage your reign over your daughter has ended. Don’t you know what Allah states in the Qur’aan?” He says Men are in authority over women

Amazing how well you have memorized this verse as if you are Moulana of the age. “I am in authority.” Is this authority or mercilessness and unworthiness? Such a person’s character is mean and lowly. If one’s own parents were ill, how would one deal with them? Therefore, deal exactly the same manner as one would deal with one’s own parents. Display mercy. If need arises, cook your own food or eat out. Treat you mother-in-law in the same way as you would your own mother, have mercy! Cook your own food if your wife stays one more day with her mother to serve her, what harm will there be. What! Has the one who brought up her daughter for sixteen years, no more rights left after Nikah? This is against the spirit of mercifulness and is real hard heartedness. Rather, immediately say, “Yes, very well, keep her for four more days instead of two days. When you are better, I will take her back.”

Also, come back to ask about your mother-in-law’s welfare and help in serving her. She has given you her daughter, a piece of her heart, and you have attained her for nothing. You do not have mercy on her as you ought to have.

Amazingly enough, if your son-in-law troubles your daughter you run immediately to a Peer Saheb for taweez, to subject him to your daughter and that he must listen to her and fulfill all her demands. It is not even permissible to have such a taweez made. Surely, the amount that the Shariat permits should be fulfilled. So remember! O people who are seeking taweez, your wife is also someone’s daughter.

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