Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Want brother-in-law to move out so rest of us don’t suffer but husband doesn’t understand

upset muslim woman, distressed sister

Asalamu Alaykum all,

I have a HUGE problem and I need some advice, let me begin with a few background details:

I am a revert to Islam Alhamdulillah, for past approx 4.5 years now. I am married, have one child and due another one in a few weeks! I don't live near any family and don't know many friends nearby. At beginning of this year we moved into an open plan house - you come in front door, straight into living area and kitchen and bathroom beyond that, also stairs in middle of room.

I am due December, so got pregnant around March probably.

Okay, now onto the Problem:-

Earlier in the year my husband told his brother in Pakistan was applying to study in GERMANY where is is free apparently, so I took no real notice. THEN, he informed me he is applying for a UK University nearby to where we live.  I honestly didn't think he would get in! Anyway, he got accepted, but to ensure he got visa my husband paid £6000 fees on credit card - money we DONT HAVE. He also sent money for visa, flights, etc. So he arrived from Pakistan in September. My husband then had the additional expenses of a bus pass £135, and new shoes £20, and jacket £20, and train tickets £10/day roughly..

NEXT, my husband rummaged through my things and emptied out a backpack he had earlier given to ME, and gave it to his brother.  He also took MY folder and gave that to him too. He also had to give him some clothes as he didn't bother to bring many!

NEXT,   he seems to be very clumsy as he LOST bus pass before we even got it home. cost another £25 to replace. NEXT, he blamed out 3 year old daughter for not flushing toilet, he spilt water in kitchen and didn't mop it up (I could have slipped on it and harmed myself or unborn baby, or 3 year old child may have slipped!)  He also used MY HAIRBRUSH,  and I try to cook enough food for 2 days and he over-eats so I have to make food everyday or there is not enough food or I have to make very waterry food.

NEXT, he had been applying for jobs since he arrived, eventually got one in McDonald's but it's only 8 hours so not enough money. He still has to pay remaining uni fees (est between £5000 and £7000). NEXT, he spilt some crisps all over upstairs and then tried to blame my child. He also put his dirty shoes on top of mine one day, after he had been out in rain. I have told my husband I don't feel comfortable living with his brother here as he is a stranger to me in two ways - non mahram AND I don't know him neither does he really!

I am at home alone with him Monday to Friday and I feel VERY uncomfortable with this, I have to wear hijab and abaya 24/7 in MY OWN HOME, he also seems to deliberately come downstairs to use toilet instead of using one upstairs. I don't feel safe around him as I can't asume his intentions being here are pure as he doesn't even pray COMPULSORY 5 times a day SALAH. and there are hadith mentioning between a person and hypocrisy and kufr is the ABANDONMENT of SALAH. also Allah tells us to pray and him not doing so hes disobeying Allah.

So obviously I want him GONE ASAP however he has NO MONEY, and we have NO MONEY, my husband suggested that I go live with my parents and his brother stay with him in OUR HOME, and he said take furniture and belongings and kids and I will visit you every few months, meanwhile taking in his brothers friends due to come to study from Pakistan in a month or two as lodgers!

Overall I am HEARTBROKEN by my husbands serious lack of empathy. I am 8 months pregnant, having to sit in abaya and hijab 24/7 with a stranger in MY HOME and he has started putting central heating on too so I am very uncomfortable in many ways!

Please give some advice, we were a happy family before all this happened now I am just reduced to tears, my husband shouts at me when there is not enough food, when I don't take child to bed because I can't because his brother is always hovering around all the time!  He doesn't go to his room after food, he sits with us downstairs too!  So I feel like I don't get ANY time with MY HUSBAND anymore!  I am so stressed and sad.

I also showed him the SAHIH MUSLIM hadiths:

Bk 26, Number 5400:
'Uqba b. Amir reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon
him) as saying: Beware of getting, into the houses and meeting
women (in seclusion). A person from the Ansir said: Allah's
Messenger, what about husband's brother, whereupon he said:
Husband's brother is like death.
Bk 26, Number 5401:
This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Yazid b. Abu
Habib with the same chain of transmitters.
Bk 26, Number 5402:
Ibn Wahb reported: I heard Laith b. Said as saying: Al−Hamv
means the brother of husband or like it from amongst the
relatives of the husband, for example, cousin, etc.
Bk 26, Number 5403:
'Abdullah b. 'Amr. b. al−'As reported that some persons from
Banu Hisham entered the house of Asma' daughter of 'Umais when
Abu Bakr also entered (and she was at that time his wife). He
(Abu Bakr) saw it and disapproved of it and he made a mention
of that to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said:
I did not see but good only (in my wife). Thereupon Allah's
Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Verily Allah has made
her immune from all this. Then Allah's Messenger (may peace be
upon him) stood on the pulpit and said: After this day no man
should enter the house of another person in his absence, but
only when he is accompanied by one person or two persons.

let me also add - we had two laptops we put one in his room upstairs but the other day he used OUR laptop and it has personal accounts and family photos including non hijab ones which I wouldn't want him to look at I asked my husband how to put passwords he just seemed to ignore me!

also, my husband complains that I smell nowadays - because I feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE to take a shower when his brother is at home, and also I can't put perfume because of the hadith likening women who put perfume then go out if a non mahram man likes her scent then she is like a prostitute..

So the whole situation is pretty DIRE. 🙁



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16 Responses »

  1. Wa'alaykumsalam sister,

    I felt really bad about your situation. I pity you. I pray that Allah ease your situation.

    You are perfectly right about what you said. You seem to follow Islam like a champ and I envy you masha'Allah. Have patience sister because " verily after hardship comes relief " (Quran)

    Your husband is being ignorant here. He is ruthless and apathetic. He shouldn't have let his unholy brother stay with you both. What you can do is, sit down with him, talk to him calmly with teary eyes. Explain him of your discomfort within your own home. Explain him, that being pregnant and stressed is difficult to cope. Tell him, you feel like a stranger in your own home, no privacy Etc etc. Try hard to convince him, try making him understand of your feelings. Tell him to think about the kids. Try finding alternative solutions to his problems, like his brother can go live in a mess(shared flat) or do double shifts sometimes etc. Ask him for a seperate mini home if possible, because his brother might stay there for atleast 4 yrs, Tell him to fear Allah. Hope he will take heed.

    He shouldn't have suggested you to move out but If everythings in vain, I think, your best course of action would be to stay at your parents home temporarily. Its for your best interest I believe (keeping in mind, december is your deliver timey), Do not take the risk of living with your brother-in-law any longer. You might feel more comfortable near your parents for now. They can also take care of your baby daughter and your due child, Or if its possible, get some mediators to solve your problems, or an imam to talk to your brother-in-law and your husband discussing with him your problems etc. If you're working, I think, you should not give a penny to anyone. Keep it for yourself. Brother-in-law is infact death, I've heard of many cases where a marriage is destroyed.

    Ask Allah to help you. Make lots of dua, cry to Allah, nag Allah. Ask Him to soften your husband's heart. Have patience sister.

    Incase if you want to protect your laptop, to do this, go to start menu then click on the image next to your name at the top of the menu. This will bring you to user accounts, then click on home at the top of the window. Click your account, then select create a password, enter password and you're good to go.

    May Allah guide your husband. May He give you peace and bless your marriage and kids. Ameen.

  2. I can understand you are stressed as you are pregnant, but I feel you are taking things out of context, and being very harsh against your brother inlaw, firstly you are a revert and I assume you have never been to Pakistan, so are not familiar with the custom and the bond between two brothers, firstly his job is to protect you and your family, love you, respect you, I don't think he is going to do anything he would not do with his own sister to you!
    In pakistan family's spend time together in the evenings, sister inlaws look after there husbands family's, that means cooking and cleaning etc for them, it seems like your not happy your husband has given him money ( that you don't have as you pointed out ) and you are using anything to take an instant dislike to him, keep pushing your husband and it will be you who loses out!

    • That's a very harsh statement to make. Culture has no place in Islam. If the woman is too scared to wash in fear of her bro in law seeing her, then it really can't be a very pleasant scenario.
      My sister, u know without me having to tell u that one of your rights as a muslim wife is to have private lodgings so you're well within your rights for requesting him to move out.
      What's he doing at home all day alone with u anyway? He should be at the university your husband is paying for.

    • It is forbidden for a man to be alone with a woman no matter what the extended family's culture in Pakistan or elsewhere is. Therefore actions HAS to be taken to avoid fitna. Our Prophet said " brother-in-law is death " for many valid reasons. The OP isn't comfortable in her own home, she is observing hijab in and out of her home, she can't move freely within her own home, she fears taking shower, she doesn't have privacy with her husband etc etc, does this sound nice ? If I were a woman, I'll hate this scenario in my home. She has to do somthing to protect herself.

    • How prejudiced as the sister is a revert! The sister is far better than you and has a sound knowledge of Islam and is so faithful to the principles which is very admirable, Masha'Allah.

      Your horrible culturally backward remarks are way out of line. The mangy bro-in-law is a vile, freeloading, shameless parasite. As for the culture, it is so misogynistic and that itself is so un-Islamic. Is it because a woman who has gone out of her way to learn and respect true Islam too much for you to handle? Such arrogance!

      Do you think that siblings in any other culture or faith even don't have close bonds? A true brother would not create such harm for his brother's wife, child and unborn baby.

      The sister has every right to be against the fact that her foolish and insensitive husband is wasting money on that creature when they have a new baby to provide for.

  3. Your brother in law behavior is not good. I suggest you to go to your parents home your due is near you need lots of rest not spending time in the kitchen standing all day. Inshallah after your child birth talk to your husband calmly how you not comfortable with his brother when he is at home. You can't wear hijab or abay whole day when nursing the child and also taking care of another child. You need to feel comfortable during that time. Request your husband it will be good if he stays in hostel your husband paying a big amount of money so hostel would not been issue. And if your husband dosent care or do not take seriously then I suggest you to speak to him honestly how you feel when he is around. And even that dose not work then involve your parents and his and see how it goes. But for time being just go to your parents house now for your health. 

    May Allah bless you and may Allah ease your pain during delivery and soon your problem will be solve.

  4. Twiggy?

    "keep pushing your husband and it will be you who loses out!"
    This has to be one of the most ignorant things I've read in a long time. You yourself must be from this culture--having first hand knowledge the way you do--or closely affiliated with it causing you to become defensive towards her letter and her situation. I find your reply very typical and also very sad. The typical part being that you--like most people from that region completely ignore the authentic hadiths regarding co-habitation, combined family living, whatever it is you all call this living situation--a situation that mirrors Hindu/Indian culture. Muslims have fought for centuries to defend our religion against ignorance and intolerance yet some people put their culture first and completely negate our fight. Hadiths are glossed over and explained away, pushed to the side for the place of cultural traditions that keep the Ummah and Islam stuck and ignorant generation after generation. While the rest of us are fighting to keep our heads above the water and hang on to our faith and Islam with everything we have, those others are complacent and ignorant and tend to carry on traditions that completely go against Islam--such as this living situation--or give Islam a bad name making our struggle all the more difficult.

    Allah swt tells us our rights. He tells us right from wrong and over and over again He tells us to adhere to the warnings of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) yet do we really do that? How can we say it is okay for us to do things such as this because we are following Islam and not breaking family relations, helping out our fellow Muslims and so on. However, we are transgressing in the process. Oppressing someone and their rights in place of another. How is this right? How can you as a Muslim put your culture first at the detriment and Iman of another Muslim? The hadiths are clear. Very clear!!! Just because it is common for Pakistanis to live all one big happy family does not mean that it is right according to Islam. According to Islam, a wife has the right to her own accommodation. Plain and simple. Her husband is trampling on her rights and putting his culture first. There are ways to handle this situation. Ways to help his brother and even ways to have his brother stay with them for a short time until he is on his feet. But the husband must be Muslim enough and man enough to follow-through and be the one to set the rules. As long as he is complacent and does not care for the well being and faith of his wife and children, then I am afraid there is nothing that can be done and this family will only see more hardship in the future. Her husband is the one who has to make some tough decisions and deciding to confront the wrong of his culture is the first and main one he needs to deal with. As long as he does nothing and instead pushes his wife and children away for one brother who will eventually go on to marry and get a life of his own is just about as dumb as your statement.

    I know this culture from firsthand experience. I know how you roll. I know what is common and I also know how difficult it is for a person from this culture to confront the wrong and make it right--to confront a close family member and say I am sorry but you cannot stay here. This is tantamount to blasphemy in this culture. A sure way to buy yourself a ticket to being disowned. And why? Pure ignorance and placing culture before Islam.

    Her husband needs to set rules. He needs to remember he is the Imam of this household--the shepard of his flock and at the moment, he seems to have left them playing somewhere else. He needs to make the brother get serious. Tell him that he needs to be more courteous of others and clean up after himself. She is not his maid nor is she obligated in any way to take care of her brother in law like she takes care of her husband, cleaning up after him, etc etc. I don't care what is done in their culture. If she does it it should be of her own accord and out of pleasing Allah swt and kindness. Not because he lives there and cannot pick up a glass of water that he spilled. My six year old knows he better at least attempt to or else and this is a grown man we are talking about. He needs to make his brother get another job or spend time at the masjid or even volunteering for a good cause while he is away at work all day in order to allow his wife some time alone. He needs to make sure the brother is studying hard and being responsible--it is quite a shame that these things are not taught at an early age for some, but it is fact and needs to be taught. Her husband also must make sure that he puts his foot down and does not allow yet another non-mahrem to enter that home to live(friends) putting the safety well being and Iman of his wife and children in danger. And for any who scoff at that statement...then you have no idea how it is to live in such a situation. She is a convert as one myself I know that it is a daily struggle to maintain our faith. Here she is being placed in a situation that is not going to help her view of Muslims in general and Islam. It may become so difficult and her husband may paint a picture that puts her on the verge of leaving Islam. This happens more often than you can imagine.

    Last, back to that statement you made about her losing out and pushing him away...think about this. How on earth is it better for your Muslim and Muslim children to live in a household with NON MUSLIMS all because he cannot be man enough and Muslim enough to stand up to his culture, put Islam first, and lay down some rules? Please do tell.

    While it may seem that I am angry in my words, please know that I am not. I am very saddened at this situation the OP is in and even more saddened because it is such a common occurrence in this Ummah and it is one thing that can easily be settled. One wrong that can easily be made right by following Islam properly. Sure she seems to be picking on every little thing, but we must keep in mind the bigger picture--which is not him putting his dirty shoes on hers or blah blah blah--the bigger picture is her husband is failing his wife and child and as a Muslim husband, he will be held accountable for what he is allowing to take place under his roof. This could easily turn into another one of those letters where the brother in law and sister in law fall in love with each other. Ask any Pakistani or anyone from any culture who lives this way and they will look at you with disgust at the thought...but look again, look at the internet, look at the problems in this Ummah, look around and you will find this so common and see it everywhere. It happens. When a man and woman is alone together even the most hated enemies will find some common territory and that tiny little space will be enough. It happens.

    OP? You and your children are in my duas--as well as your husband. May Allah swt guide him to the straight path and make him a strong Muslim and a good husband and provider. May Allah swt make things easy for you and keep your marriage free from any outside trouble. Ameen.

  5. Aniqan!,
    As you put it she has fear! Fear of what exactly?
    Her mind running away?
    The point is would she have a fear of using the bathroom in front of her own brother? And surely the bathroom has a door! Could she not lock it like most normal people do!
    And wash and put her clothes on in the bathroom?
    Our culture is what makes us Muslim actually!
    It is very clear she dislikes her bro Inlaw because
    1, her husband payed for his uni,
    2, he payed for flights etc,
    3, he lives in the house, and she has no alone time with her husband,
    4, she had to cook and clean for him!
    What would she do if she had to look after her husbands parents?
    Turf them out on to the road! Surely if she despises the situation she should live with her own family.

    • Yes, she should fear that brother. He's not her blood brother, only brother-in-law ( non-mahram ). Shaytan is always present when a woman and man is alone in seclusion. Its forbidden for him to stay there, unfortunately, he doesn't have brains.

      She may not like him for various reasons. Why did you delibrately miss these points-

      1) my husband paid £6000 fees on credit card - money we DONT HAVE
      2) he blamed out 3 year old daughter for not flushing toilet
      3)he spilt water in kitchen and didn't mop it up (I could have slipped on it and harmed myself or unborn baby, or 3 year oldchild may have slipped!)
      4) he spilt some crisps all over upstairs
      5) He also put his dirty shoes on top of mine one day, after he had been out in rain.
      6) I have to wear hijab and abaya 24/7 in MY OWN HOME
      7) he also seems to deliberately come downstairs to use toilet instead of using one upstairs
      8) he doesn't even pray COMPULSORY 5 times a day SALAH.

      Suspicious man indeed.

      She is the wife of her husband. Her brother-in-law is infact the one who should leave, not her.

      • Husband parents and brother in law are not same. Both treated different way. Culture dose not make us Muslim, it's Muslim who makes there own culture. It is her personal situation weather she likes that her husband pay or not but her brother in laws behavior is not acceptable in Islamic way. That's what sister seeking advice for. This sister need advice to overcome her problem not judgement about her complain. 

    • asalamoalykum
      sister ,can't you see he's a na-mehram? and prophet Muhammed PBUH,said that brother in law is death...people have talked about this hadith here,are you saying your culture is better,than the words of our prophet pbuh ??? if the prophet pbuh is saying this your arguing with it and putting your culture before it, what about muslims who live in a diff culture from yours?,then acc to your logic, they are not muslims,may ALLAH guide us all.

  6. Asalamu allykum sister;
    i feel like your husband is delibratly doing it.Be cautious pls sister!
    wasalam aisha

  7. am SO sorry you are in this situation. that alone would cause me to have a big fight and divorce with my husband. May Allah make it easier for you. Make lots of dua and i suggest go to your parents house. your mother will spoil you and you will feel good and get help especially since your due date is near. let your husband and bro in law suffer from you not being there to cook and clean after them. your husband will come crying back since he is not being taken care of. maybe then he will appreciate you.

    subhanallah. some men seriously make me sick.

  8. salam aleykum

    All I can say is mashallah. I am a British man who is new to Islam and I would desperately want to find a woman like you to marry who honours and respects her deen and husband. mashallah.

  9. Assalaam alaikom sister, I feel your pain. I am going through the same almost. My brother in law that lives with us. he is 19 years old. he causes fitnah, has been putting pork in my refrigerator. Disrespectful, nasty and I hate it. My husband refuses to send him back to him mother and let her deal with this. I don't have respect for him anymore. It has caused so many problems in our home and I am tired of his butt living with me. Our bills have almost trippled. he is not muslim. Really doesnt believe in anything. I have lost so much weight since he has been here, from stress and depression. I need help

    • I feel your pain. Im in a similar situation. brother inlaw has moved in, causing alot of fitnah. my husband and i have drifted apart due to this unfortunate living arrangement.
      We dont have any privacy. The two brothers spend alot of time together, doing activities together, and i naturally feel like the odd one out.
      Whats worse is that brother inlaw interferes in the running of the house, interferes in the kitchen (which is a woman's pride), and overrides what i say. I feel very undermined.
      Husband doesnt realise what im going through, it makes it more tough when there's no support from him at all.

      I believe that every woman should never be made to feel alienated in her own home. Her home is meant to be her safe haven, she is meant to be the queen of her home and definitely should have a say in who she is comfortable living with or not.

      I hope things have become better for u, poster.

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