Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband’s relationship with his sister in law

‘Uqba b. Amir reported Allah’s Messenger (sws) as saying: “Beware of getting, into the houses and meeting women (in seclusion).” A person from the Ansar said: “Allah’s Messenger, what about the husband’s brother?” Whereupon he said: “The husband’s brother is like death.” [Muslim 26/5400]


I am in a state where I have lost the ground underneath my feet. I have grown up in the west and got to know my husband 12 years ago. We had a sexual relationship before we got married, however we got married 3 years ago. We now have a 6 months old daughter.  During these 12 years he has lost his brother, which was a father to him. Since he never had a father his brother was everything he had beside his elderly mother.

His brother was married and had 3 boys left - after marriage I moved to his family. We live with his mother, nephews and sister in law.

I start questioning my sister in law, since I was reading text messages on my husbands cell phone. It started two years ago with messages like "I feel lonely - are you coming tonight to my bed?" - Just about two months ago I was reading a text message on how they describe their sexual intercourse. I confronted him and the complete family, and everything turned against me.

He is saying that he had told me before we got married that he had fallen into this situation, in not to lose his sister and law and the kids; since its their pride.

He is saying what matters is that I will not leave you, that I am beside you every night. He is a practising muslim, prays 5 times a day and yet he does these things.

I have tried to find a smiliar post and see if I can find help - but I was not able to do so.

Please help


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36 Responses »

  1. ASA sis, your husband is taking advantage of a situation. Sleeping with another woman in an illicit relationship and commiting adultery im sorry is not a characterisitic of a good muslim man. The excuses he gives is irrelevent. His family isnt helping either. Instead of her finding a husband or the fam helping her to they are hiding her and shaming you for bringing up his indiscretions. I would divorce him and take no excuses and he needs to repent. I dont care for the excuses he would give either

  2. What your husband is doing is outrageous and haram. There is no excuse for it. His claims of "pride" are nonsense and have no basis in Islam. He is cheating, committing adultery and zinaa.

    This absolutely has to stop.

    If your husband is so concerned about caring for his sister-in-law, let him marry her as a second wife.

    Otherwise, if he is not prepared to marry her, then the sister-in-law and her kids must move out of the house, or you and your husband get another house. It's not acceptable for all of you to continue living together in these conditions.

    You must be very assertive and lay down the law in this matter. This outrageous state of affairs cannot continue.

    Wael Editor

  3. As we have freedom of speech in this website, I'm tempted to say that your situation is bound to happen. " As you sow, so shall you reap " This must be some kind of warning to others too. Pre-marital relationships WILL have sevre consequences no doubt.

    What I meant is that, I've heard many many cases where, those who commits zina before marriage, their marriage is bound be doomed. As both or either person will exceed the limit given by Allah once again and make the same sin what was made before marriage.

    In the OP's case, its her husband who transgressed once again. This time ' adultery ', ' lies ' etc. If punished by divine law, would be stoning.

    Sister, I hope that you have repented for the grave sins you've committed.

    Secondly, you are living in a difficult situation now. Normally, many women would seek divorce as your husband openly sins. His behavior is from satan himself. He is a bad role model for your children. His family too aren't supporting you. He tried to justify his evil acts. Right now, know that you are in a disadvantaged position with no support whatsoever. All you can do for a peace of mind is divorce him. He dont deserve you. But if you have a big heart and want to try to find a solution to this problem by talking to him etc then the choice is yours. And he is a big liar, deceiver and a cheater. He will go on no doubt.
    No sane muslim man would think that having extra-marital relationships, adultery etc is fine just to keep their pride etc. This is all false and evil. He is an evil man.
    If I were in your place, I would seek divorce.
    Right now, become a practising muslimah and perform salat al isthikhara, so that Allah may guide you.

    All the best.

  4. Sister Losthopeinu

    I hate to ask this so bluntly, but are you Muslim? It is unclear from your post as you said you grew up in the west. If you are not, then my advice may be of lesser value to you.

    For others readers reading this, confronting someone over sins in front of others is not the Muslim way. And in the case of a prideful man (whether or not he is doing something haraam), it makes it much harder to address the issue. I'm not saying what he did was right, or that bowing to his pride in this situation is your duty as a Muslimah, because it is not. However, as a lesson for the future, dealing with this between you and him alone would be easier. Exposing your sins or the sins of others is not our way. Allah knows, that is enough.

    I assume you have learned many lessons over your life. As mentioned above, you and your husband both have done things that displease Allah greatly. Have you learned from them? Are you really changed people ready to follow the halaal path?

    Only Allah knows your heart, and only Allah knows your husband's heart. As others noted in their responses, your husband is unlikely to change. Real changes in a person are displayed in actions, not words.

    I see two ways out of this that you and your husband can take. There may be others.

    1. Have him take his late brother's wife as his second wife. It would take a special woman to be able to do this at this point, but if you are willing, this might work. I think this would be very difficult for all involved. If you think you could do this for the sake of your daughter, then consider it. Do not do this if you will harbor feelings of hate or distrust forever, only if you think you can get over these justifiable feelings.

    2. Move away from his family. This would be difficult for your husband based on what you have said. But is would move him away from this temptation.

    In either event, as علي بن عبد الله آل الشيخ advised, you and your husband should agree on a course, and both pray istikhara on the course. Even if your decision is to divorce, please use istikhara. It is one of Allah's ways of keeping us on the right path.

    AmericanMuslim Editor

  5. Sometimes your comments are harsh Ali - you need to take it easy on people, Jazakallah Khair

  6. i completely agee with brother wael.your husband is simply following his evil comanding soul under the guise of PRIDE something that has no room in islam as its completely against islamic teachings.

  7. Wow!! This is not good sister!!! I would leave this man honestly if he is having affair with his own sister inlaw this is really sad!! Either he till you the truth or the sister inlaw need to move out from you guys. Sorry to hear that.

  8. indeed truth is very bitter
    i am very lost - i feel ashamed and yet so lost
    RELIGION AND CULTURE are two different things yet he weighs those on the same scale.
    he is striclty holding to her and she is not leaving him either alone - it seems that now everything is hidden and beind done behind my back.

    what do you suggest and how can i approach him in a proper way???

    lost in hope

    • Have you explained all the problems and solutions given here, to your husband ?

      If yes with no results, and your husband continue his unlawful relationship with that woman, then have you considered divorce ? If these all is affecting you, then a way out would give you some peace of mind. Or are you willing to have patience and stay till you husband lawfully marry that woman ?
      Because normally, if a man justifies his evil actions in the name of pride/culture, then there is no proper way in approaching him.

      Your decision.

  9. Wow sister I feel so bad for you!
    I pray that Allah makes things better for you!
    Where are you from?
    I know it's easier said then done, but you should
    Not stay with a man like that!

  10. as you say its easier said than done - he is considering marrying her however i do not agree to this.
    i feel terrible and i wish i could turn the time back and just erase everything. He is so western and yet so strict and traditional when it comes to this.
    We live in Canada Toronto.
    Please help

  11. Please help

    • In my opinion I would suggest you to leave this man. I am sure you do not want your daughter to grow with this kind of man.  We can't make your decision sister it's you only you have to take the steps. You did received helpful advice from brother Ali and Wael. I think you should move forward and think about your daughter bright future. Please do not let your daughter to understand nor see this scenario. 

  12. well time has passed - and the situation has gone worse. Currently I left his house because the same things happened again. He is having an affair and is not fearing to loose his own child.

    I asked him to leave thehouse and lets move out together since we need to distance our self from this environment. He is refusing and I am at the border of divorce...

    please advise!

    • U still with him I am really surprised sis!!! 🙁

      All I can say pray to Allah to guide you..

    • Salaam sis
      I am surprised you put up with it for this long. Cant you see since your last post in 2012 up until now nothing has got better for you instead you said its gotten worse.
      Then my question for you is why are you still lingering with him i know you have known him for so many years but if he isnt getting any better whats the point in punishing yourself with all you see hear and feel. Its not right
      Leave him because clearly doesnt value you enough to stop what he is doing.
      Ramadhan Kareem x

  13. ramadam kareem to you as well... I wanna show him that I am loyal wife and mother. If he doesn't care about us then the court system will make sure that he has to care.
    I am in a lost state and I am really seeking for advise...
    I asked him to visit a marriage counselor but he is refusing... we got into a huge fight and he is blaming me for it, if I don't want to get hurt I should stay away from his cell phone.
    I am financially and emotionally able to live on my own with my child but I just feel bad for letting go. Even though he may has left us emotionally years ago and is now trying to please his sister in law.

    Muslims brothers and sisters please make a dua for me, in this holy month of ramadam that may Allah (swt) show him the right path.
    I am very lost

    • I am sure you have heard of the saying 'you dont know what you have until its gone'
      If you have done your bit (which looks like you have already) then leave the rest to Allah. He will sort everything out for you. I know its hard atm but try and clear your mind and focus on doing as much ibaadah as you can. Give sadaqa daily and read durood e tunajina as much as you can.
      InshaAllah things will get better just hold on tight to the rope of Allah with all your might and pray to Him. Stay strong
      But if things dont work out between you and your husband then seriously sister move on and dont look back. You have proved yourself more then what hes worth.
      Ma salaam x

      • i am trying really hard. he refuses and it blaming me for the mess that we are now in. My parents want me to leave him and are very supportive in regards to the divorce. I just feel like throwing away my life by giving up.

        Allah (swt) is my witness that I do not wish any harm but Allah (swt) is great that he will show what will happen to these people; in this world and hereafter.

        • AOA,

          What a horrible and disgusting scenario. Please do you and your child a great favour and leave that evil-doer and the family are vile too for allowing this to happen.

          You say you are financially and emotionally stable and your parents support you. Surely those are great positives to move on with.

          You posted this almost 2 years ago and are still putting up with it, why?

          An excellent point from Brother Ali is that when someone justifies evil because of pride, it's a lost cause getting them to realise. Shocking, yet a sign of the times. Your husband may well be a 'practising' muslim but just because he looks the part, doesn't mean it's from the heart.

          He is a confirmed adulterer, that alone should be enough to leave him, but carrying on with his sister-in-law under your very nose with the whole family knowing and supporting this because of so-called pride?! Why do you want to stay with such a person?

          If you don't leave and divorce you really will be throwing your life away and that of your child's.

          • the same thoughts are going through my mind.... his brother is supporting me and telling me that eventually he will never learn and understand the value of having a loyal wife.
            I don't know whats wrong with me but deep down something is telling me - if I try harder I might be able to win him and he can become truly a good husband.

    • Assalamualaikum
      Firstly we have a short life and this is just for preparing for Aakhirah.Allah has shown us whats right and whats wrong.You said you people had relationship before marriage. That was just not good at all and now look what you got in return.You left that man and you have big sins in your account.
      Allah is Ghafoor ur Raheem and no sin is bigger for him to excuse.
      Repent before him and never do the things which are out of Shariah again.Definitely Allah will help you in your future endeavours and hopefully forgive all of your sins.Pray 5 times daily.
      As far as staying with that man is concerned I advise you to pray Salat al Istikhaara and decide as per it.This will definitely help you in taking the right decision.
      Make Dua for your little brother aswell
      Allah Hafiz

  14. From
    Reading your post im sorry to till you this, is like your not learning your lesson at all that is why he is doing what he is doing, how low can he get? He is messing around with
    His sister inlaw what is the world turning into please Allah
    Forgive us all!!! It seems like, your not taken anybody advice serious, move on life is to short to wait!!!

  15. In the same boat my husbands brother died one year ago he's very weird with her even before he died I've told him things before but I loved his brother a his wife and kids but back in my mine I always thought something is there well we went to the camp a about 2:30 in the morning I got out my husband and sister in law was outside with all the light off I looked out the window was I socked them having sex on the porch in really know my husband prosues this I'm so hurt I can't think straight help please

  16. He seems to be very bad guy ..Leave him .

  17. Salam

    I am going back to you and wanting to share what is happening since then. I am currently pregnant with baby # 2 being due in December. His sister in law moved out and so did we more than 3 months ago. He is insisting that he wants to marry her, but his sister in law is now refusing.
    He is being abusive towards me and uses very foul language when talking to me. His family is now blaming everything on me for the separation and whatever is happening.
    I do not understand how can I be the one to blamed when its not my fault ????

    • You says your husband prays 5 times and yet indulging in Zina with sister in law ?
      Don't he know Zina is major sin and punishment is huge ?
      He seems to be hypocrite .
      I think you need to take divorce from this man as i see this problem is since last two years .If he had at least some goodness he would have stopped that illegal affair .

      Why sister in law is refusing marriage ? She just want to have illegal affairs ? They stay in which country ?

      • we live in the US.
        His sister in law is refusing marriage because she is stating "she has enough of this drama". Yet they still continue.

        • She's had enough of the drama? She IS the drama! Yes good riddance to her! To be honest your husband sounds disgusting, he's a hypocrite, and his family are vile - how can they turn a blind eye to the Zina that their son is committing openly under their roof!!! Is this the kind of environment you want your children to be growing up in? Do you want them to grow up with poor morals? Don't you feel disgusted knowing that your husband keeps sleeping with another woman and is then being intimate both you, he's contaminated!

          Sister I know how hard it is to let go, but if I were you and had a husband that was openly committing Zina with someone living in the same house I would definetly leave and divorce him - he's filthy. Or the second option if this woman agrees is for a second marriage to her, that way at least it's halal. But even if that's the case, he's a man of poor morals and character, your better off without him.

        • If they continue this mean they are hypocrites ..Just divorce him ..

  18. sister, i hope you are keeping well in your pregnancy. its heartbreaking to read about your situation, but you are doing yourself a really big injustice. your first post was more than 2 years back. its never easy to walk away from someone so close to your heart but this life is a test and sometimes we have to make decisions that are painfull but in the long run is whats best for us. you said that "I just feel like im throwing away my life by giving up." sister you have thrown the last two years of your life away on this man when you should have walked away. you have given him 2 years to change and from what you have written, things have only got worse. you cannot change someone who doesnt see thier actions as being wrong or someone who doesnt want to change in the first place. you cannot demand love and respect. this has to be given freely.

    this man is not of good character. he had a haraam relationship with you before marriage, and now he is indulging in haraam while being married.

    he seems infatuatued with his sister law and he has refused to give her up. if he was going to leave her and see the error of his ways, he would have left her by now. he has shown you no respect. allah swt has shown you this mans trues colours yet you seem to want to paint a completly different picture of him??, you can see he is no good for you, or for your child, you said yourself he does not fear losing your child, this is not about you showing him you are a loayl wife or mother, because i think all he sees it as is you being weak, that he can continue this affair and you will tolerate it as you are not firm with him and have stood by him and allowed this to take place.

    children are a blessing from allah but i would never have stayed with this man let alone try for anouther child when he has shown no responsibilty or commitment to the first. that being said, ma sha allah, there is a blessing in everyhting, you said you can support urself, and ur parents support u leaving him, please do not repeat ur mistakes, or waste anouther 2 years trying to change this man. leave and focus on urself, ur unborn child and reparining ur relationship with allah swt.

    if you didnt repent for the haraam you did before marriage, repent sincerly. build a nice happy environment for your children. you say you want advise but seems you havent really taken any of the advice onboard. you have stayed with this man, hoping for a miracle, that he will change, leave the sister in law and become a loving father and husband. sister i know you must love him but you have done all you could. cut all contact with this man. go to your parents, send him a divorce. trust in what allah has planned for you. he will provide for you in ways you cannot imagine.

    this man will not change untill he sees the error of his ways but it sounds like he now has even more hatred for you as his relationship with is sis in law is now strained as she is refusing to marry him. why would you want to degrade yourself to be second best to a man who has no respect for you.

    please its ramadan, make lots of dua, become stronger. dont waste more time on a man who commits adultery, has not done anything to show he is remourseful or tryed to salvage his marriage with you. you desevere better sister but if yo ustay with him you will remain stuck, and will never be able to move on and find a man who truely loves and values you. xxx

    • Asak
      I been seeking Allah for help, I pray and ask for help and for forgiveness
      The baby was born and he seemed to changed a lot right before the baby was born
      As he found out some of the things that his sister in law was doing. He claimed he saw her in having another relationship with a man
      He turned to me and apologized for doing our marriage wrong. For doing our family wrong and especially for doing me wrong
      Allah swt knows best and he is the greatest. The baby passed away in January 2016 after being with us for almost 2 months.
      It seems we've became a strong family and this tragic incident really put us together.

      Recently he started talking to his sister in law. He used to look at her in a disgusted way while now he seems very protective of her when speaking
      He is been seeing her and it seems they are enjoying each other's companies a lot.
      Credit card bills proof that he has been taken her of her extremely well. Many restaurant visit, theaters and mall shopping.
      He can't leave his phone without him for more than 2 seconds.
      He is constantly on his phone chatting with her.

      Not a long time ago he confessed that he had nikka her and whatever he is doing is not considered haram. He is not committing adultery or Zina.
      He is stating that he has done it before our marriage.

      I am reading what I am writing and I can't imagine this
      I ask him if he is not ashamed of what he is doing

      • Leave him and marry someone else he has no base he will dwindle all his life and make you dance after having a baby it will be even more difficult to leave , this is your best chance , you are not born to be a spectator for an idiots show , may Allah bless you with a better husband. Join a university join a library get a job , and formally look for some one , this time a better person

      • In real life if you kiss a toad or a beast he is not going to turn into a prince

  19. Have sabr sister

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