Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Husband’s family making him choose

mother in law

Assalamu Alaikum

I hope somebody to help give advice for my situation. Firstly I converted to Islam a few years ago, it was a personal decision as I found it was right for me.

I am a uk citizen but have been living in Egypt for the last 6years. I met and married my husband 5years ago. His family never fully accepted but he fought with them until they finally did. I think they had thought that we would never last and that we would eventually divorce, as this is not the case,

Now his family have started to cause problems again and are making him choose between me and them or else he takes a second wife so she lives with them there. They continuously blackmail him saying they are old they need a woman to live with them . He is an only son, they tell him he will not go to paradise if he does not do what his parents want, that he is bad. We have offered to hire a home help lady to live with them there.

We live far away from his family, however he has always been good to them, however, they also still insist that they want a fully Egyptian child. We decided to wait to have children as we were in our early 20's, we wanted to secure our life first and organise our future jobs etc, it is only now that we have decided to try to have a baby, that they have started to cause problems again.

I don't know what to do, I do not want my husband to have to choose and loose all contact with his family, as I know this will cause future problems for us, he will eventually blame me for being the cause of him loosing his family.
I do not want to divorce just to please his family, we both love each other, we have our life here. It just seems ridiculous.

I do not want to accept he marries another lady and has a child with her simply to please his family, I feel this is haraam, it is unfair on the innoncent girl who would be dragged into it.

We have gotten elders to speak to them, yet they will not change their minds, I really don't know what to do, I know some people would say let him cut all ties with his family but that is not easy.

~ egypt11

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9 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Your parents-in-law are putting you and your husband both in an unteneble situation. They are creating the impossible solution, and they are wrongfully abusing power just to coerce the outcomes they desire.

    First of all, as elder parents they do have a right to be cared for and for someone to help with any household and even financial needs they have. I'm sure your husband has not had any problem with helping them financially, and you guys were right to propose a housekeeper for them. Any reasonable person would be satisfied with this, but clearly they have a skewed and selfish orientation that they expect their son's wife to fulfill that role. If a daughter in law does this for her husband's parents, it's a charity for her. She is not obligated to be their domestic assistant. Your duties are first and foremost for your husband.

    Secondly, your husband is the one to decide whether or not he wants or can handle a second wife. If he doesn't want one, they can't force that upon him. He is already fulfilling the sunnah by being married to you and trying to accomodate them as best he can. He is not obligated to please them by giving in to their wishes that he take an egyptian wife. Needless to say, they cannot tell him or anyone else who will or will not go to paradise.

    Thirdly, they will have to get over how egyptian their grandchild is or is not. That's not within their control, nor should they try to take that on. They clearly are having difficulty giving up the control they had over their one and only son, and it's sad they would bring innocent babies into the crossfire.

    You have to know, that you do have a right to live peacefully with your husband. If he aligns with you and as a result they "cut ties" with him, that is a choice THEY made, not your husband, not you. They don't HAVE TO respond that way. Your husband should continue to try to be as congenial and supportive of them as he can, but he needs to let them know that he himself, and you as his wife, have a right to a happy family of your own and peaceful marriage. If they can't accept that, it's THEM making that choice, not you. From your post, I can't see where you did anything wrong, and I wouldn't advise you to lay down your rights for his parents because they clearly are not trying to compromise on any level.

    In the end, his parents will pass away and it will be you and your husband. He will be spending more of his life with you Insha'Allah than he is now with them. For that reason, he should make the wise decision and put a little bit more of an investment into your future together, and worry less about their present desires, because he's already fulfilling his duties to them satisfactorily.

    -Amy Editor

  2. My advice to you should be If his parents suggest polygamy and he hasn't regect that, you should not be the one to stop him from considering it... In fact encourage him if he think's he can handle it and maintain justice between the wives, 'if polygamy would please the parents'..

    • just a reality check about controlling arabic parents. They dont want him to practice polygamy because ever since he was born its been up there in their wish list

      1- religious respectable son
      2- good grades good education
      3- no drugs
      4- many wives

      no! they never wanted him to have more than 1 wife, and if his dad were to marry another wide his mom would go nutz egyptian style (some women there kill thier husbands fyi when he marries another wife)
      when it comes to the psychology behind meddling arabic parents of the husband, im the expert.

      They figured it out this way that when he marries the other wife she will lure him away from the 1st wife. Their niya is to break up his marriage from the nasty english woman, and although im arabic myself, ive seen that when foreign women revert to islam they practice islam better than born muslims, they help the husband more than the arabic muslim born wife, they potentially would treat his parents better than the arabic wife!

      Now if the parents qualm was that they wanted him to marry an egyptian wife so he settles in egypt close to his parents because his english wife is keeping their won away then i would tell this sister go live in egypt and be a daughter to his parents. But proximity isnt the problem here
      Its our warped arabic psyche with their love of society more than Allah
      His parents want to breed out the english shame they feel he brought them infront of his neighbours when they should be thinking "we must embrace his wife because she reverted to islam and because our sons loves her so should we"

      At the end of the day (the majority of) arabs give birth to society sacrifices, not children. Not to Abeed Allah (slaves to Allah)
      The raise kids to love dunya instead of work towards akhera. Its all about the neighbors and society.
      If their objection had anything to do with Allah i would stand corrected but Allah and Rassoul Allah didnt practice inequality or racial prejiduce.

      His family's reason asking him to have a full egyptian child is prejudice racism and control of their son through psychological fear whipping out the Allah will punish you card when it suits them. and their motives are sinister towards this sister. Satan has a grip of their feeble minds and they dont even realise they will answer to Allah because of it

      My main concern for the sister is if is really a good man and not just having scones and jam untill he is bored and goes back home for his main course.
      I strongly suggest she encourage him to strengthen his deen for hersake so he will fear Allah and not cast her asides, i read loads of arabs abandon their holiday wifes, im arab and my arab husband did this to me for another social reason!
      If her husband doesnt strengthen his deen he may be influenced by his parents satan and hurt her.

      The benefits of him getting close to Allah is so he in turn strengthen his parents deen.
      And they abandon these silly dunya strategies.

      So again polygamy is not a game, it is halal yes but the reasons in this case do not apply and Allah is all watching

      • "our warped arabic psyche with their love of society more than Allah"

        "At the end of the day (the majority of) arabs give birth to society sacrifices, not children."

        Sister, this is a very derogatory comments and a unhelpful generalizations. Just because you are an Arab it doesn't give you the right to demean Arabs as a people. Arabs are just like any other people, some are good and Allah-conscious, and some are not.

        There is a lot of bitterness in your comments. I realize your bitterness stems from your experiences and I would not presume to tell you that you don't have a right to it; however, it's not beneficial to others who are in difficult or fragile situations and need unbiased advice.

        Wael Editor

        • There is nothing derogatory with the facts i stated and heres why:

          I have read here time and time again mothers abandoned by their arab men, left to raise and provide for arab children whom are entitled to their fathers love and support.
          The fact remains dear sir, that these men may have loved these women and had it not been for the risk of their arabic familys ostratization they may have brought their western wives, the mothers of their children home.
          Now there are a few who manage to persuade their arabic family to accept their wife, but obviously not enough as you can read from complaints made here in this site and countless others and the main reason is because these men fear the psychological warfare their families practice on them. This is unislamic and i had expected that instead of jumping the 'arabic nationalism' pride that cripples us, i was expecting that you tell this poor woman that she is being wronged, that the refusal is non islamic .
          In fact the Prophet Married Mariya Alqibteya who was Christian.
          This is what she needs to hear that the religion she entered is not being well represented by the culture we arabs choose to shackle ourselves with.
          In fact i think she will highly appreciate that an ARAB woman tell her this, to sooth and comfort her and not let her feel ostracized.
          I realize youre bitter because i made references to Egyptian psyche knowing your Egyptian and may have been offended. I wasnt referring to your family im sure theyre nice folks.

          • I'm not bitter or personally offended. We do not allow blanket condemnations of any race or nationality here, whether Pakistani, Bengali, Egyptian, Saudi, Arabs in general, or whatever. We can criticize a particular person's actions without drawing generalizations about an entire race.


          • That wasn't a blanket condemnation either, If you notice i said "the majority of" and not all.
            The rest is just factual geography. Interesting you brought up the countries you mentioned since they too share the same racial mentality. I have often read that we practice racism amongst ourselves.
            And was it in this forum that I read about a Pakistani-Brit that wanted to be married to an English girl , they were expecting a baby and his family told him to abort the child and choose either them or his wife? They based their argument on what the society would say, and i recall one of the Sister Editors here point out clearly that the Pakistani community will not share your fate nor will they help you on judgement day. So true!

            The same warped mentality is a commonality shared by the majority of Arabs and the countries you mentioned, there is something fundamentally wrong with our ties to the negatives from our traditions. And there are many.

            In this particular case that a son chooses to marry and points out that prejudice is haram to his Muslim parents, they pull out the Trump card "God says you have to do as we say" conveniently bypassing that they could be committing a transgression and haram.

            Religion should have irradicated these forms of 'thulm' out of us, but sadly many of us cherry pick what we choose to adhere to in our Islam and disregard the rest presuming we are on the safe side, because we (partially) practice.

            Before Arabs from my region would bury female infants alive to get rid of shame.
            The fact is we are still burying females to this day but in a less literal sense. The divorcee is associated with shame, regardless that Allah made divorce halal and should not be at the expense of a womans social integrity, however in our societies it sadly is.
            We again convientely disregard that all of the Prophets wives were not virgins except for one and whatever Rassoul Allah did was to set an example ولكم فى رسول الله اسوة حسنه
            The same shame is borrowed towards their son marrying 'ajnabeya' a 'foreigner' and there is no foreigner in Islam, only is petty society talk and gossiping. How the Muslims Arabs or otherwise assume we are better, i do not know. There is no example to follow in this racial regard, nor is it in Islamic teaching that lends us this sense of entitlement.
            The minute this sister embraced islam she is ONE OF US and its is a transgression to ostracize her marriage to their son because of her nationality.
            Just because we pray 5 times a day and speak a couple of hadeeths here and there we think we are infallible, sadly we don't really grasp the reality that once we are lowered into the grave we pay dearly for sins committed for the the sake of our 'nationalism' or 'society'
            An act of non-mercy in any shape or form committed for the cause of society or nationalism can render our good deeds null & void Allah aá'lam.
            Allah says in the Holy Quran
            (يَا عِبَادِي إِنِّي حَرَّمْتُ الظُّلْمَ عَلَى نَفْسِي، وَجَعَلْتُهُ بَيْنَكُمْ مُحَرَّماً، فَلاَ تَظَالَمُوا)
            Oh my slaves I have forbidden oppression on myself (Allah swt) and i have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress (transgress against others)

            A few Ulema are discussing these topics of 'oppression' in general but not specifically or not enough to make us revisit our deen.
            This subject as uncomfortable as it is to have our inglorious nationalism touched, has to be discussed and her husband has to not fall into the trap of the "get out of jail free card" we are your parents and revered in Islam, so do as we say or else?
            He has to talk to his parents and remind them, over and over, this has to be discussed amongst our communities and our priorities to Allah revisited and inshallah we learn to love Allah more than ourselves or 'what other people will say'

            I trust you realize how important fixing this issue is.

  3. Egypt11

    It hurts to read your post, because i relate to exactly what you are going through.
    My ex husband chose his parents who said exactly what your in laws said including pressuring him to marry a 2nd wife, with me it wasnt that im not the same nationality as hi, because i am, with me it was because i was previously married and therefore a divorce and deemed inappropriate to be their sons wife.
    Their fight against me was far more vicious.
    The same argument that he wont go to heaven if he doesnt do as they say
    plus they made themselves physically sick and threatened him with dieing from a marriage to me

    I was pregnant...i would be due in a months time
    he chose them and forced an abortion
    im still broken beyond words
    i dont want ANY woman to go through this, dear sister what if you get pregnant and he leaves you
    i could say that by getting pregnant it may make them accept you, but it may NOT, these heartless people are dangerous

    what then?

    All i can pray is that Allah protect your heart and mind and body from abuse from the hands of non islamic people
    This is NOT islam
    May Allah curse those parents with their nationalistic or social pride and may he also punish husbands who at a drop of a needle harm wives who trust them.

    All i can do is pray for you
    and please sister pray for me, im not healed

  4. Walikum assalaam wa rahmatullah,

    Alhamdulillah firstly congratulations for having accepted Islam, that too for yourself not him. May Allah (swt) continue to guide you towards his light and the straight path, Ameen.

    I can sense how difficult this is for you, but I would remind you to constantly remember that this is even more difficult for your husband than it is for you. He is the one who is being sandwhiched in between - the love he has for you and his parents. Of course it is difficult for you too but I'm sure you understand what I mean, as for you its about your relationship with your husband that is priority but for your husband, there is no priority here...he cannot and should not should abandone you or his parents yet he is being made to feel like he has to do this. So, unfortunately, he is going to be under tremendous amount of mental pressure.

    At a point like this in life, you need to prove that you are truly his "other half" and support him when he really needs it.
    It is very easy that you two fall into arguments and face bitter times because of all the pressure from his parents but make a conscious effort to avoid this and be extra good towards your husband. I don't know if you have done this already, but if you haven't, then firstly tell your husband your intentions. Tell him you realise how difficult this is for him, as well as yourself, and that you want to remain his wife at any cost and will pass this hurdle together with him. Make sure you have told him what you've told us - that you do not at any cost want him to lose his parents. This will mean a lot to him. (He is never allowed to cut off from his parents in Islam anyway, that would be a major sin).
    Let him not feel isolated during such a time- he probably already feels detached from his parents so make sure you do everything to show him that you and him are together in this and its not a case of him in the middle and you on one side and his parents on the other. Rather it is a case of you and him, working together, to improve things between you guys and his parents.

    This is going to be very difficult but if you want to hear something that will solve the problem, then im sure you know that its not going to be a quick fix. This racism/nationalism that his parents have is not something that built overnight..and its not gonna be fixed overnight either..perhaps it may never go completely the way you want it to, because we cant change someones attitude. We can only try to, with our attitude, show them the wrong in their ways. I feel like no benefit will be acheived by advising his parents of how unislamic they are. I am 100% certain that they must have come across the fact that Islam is against nationalism, racism and all the rest of the nasty 'isms' its not gonna come as some fantastic new revelation to them that will work its wonders and open their eyes (as much as we'd want it to be!). And so again - u are left with the harder option - that of trying to make life easier all of you and make things better by your actions. And that is, undoubtedly, easier said than done.

    Before anything, why is it that you guys live far away from his parents? Have you guys considered moving closer so that your husband, their son could be more of a help to them? Islam puts great emphasis on caring for your parents. Whatever their mentality and however horrible they are being, those are his parents and it is because of them that your husband is now who he is and is living, breathing..and no matter how good he is to them, he can never repay that debt. So our effort towards our parents should be something that continuous throughout our life.
    If it is possible, then do consider this; move closer to them IF this means that their son would be able to help them and be around for them more. Your husband and yourself, you both have to put effort into being very good towards his parents. Your husband has to (no choice)...however, you technically do not have to..i will be straight. You are not obliged to be serve his parents at all islamically, however, as they say - piety comes from doing the best thing, not just the lawful thing. You cannot become a pious human being and have a good life just by restricting yourself to doing only what is lawful and refraining from the unlawful. That can also be said about restricting ourself to being good ONLY where it is ordered for us to be good and being tolerant of those who have a right upon us.

    If you want what is best for you and your husband, you guys will have to overlook their faults, completely block out and ignore their unislamic comments, smile at them , respect them and behave very good towards them. Either they will with time give up, or you will. It cant carry on this way for years and years, I can guarantee you that. But sooner or later, either his parents will give up or you will..And I think if you guys were to respect his parents immensely and bear patiently their remarks - especially for your husband coz im sure its him who gets to hear most of it and not you - then his parents wil feel some shame and guilt and stop. However, this will take time and alot of effort and patience on his behalf. The hearts life between the fingers of Ar Rahmaan...and if your husband was to do the right thing for the almighty's sake, then believe that he will inshallah definitely see results. At the end of the day, they are parents and all they want is to see their son happy. They are being selfish yes, no doubt, however, if they were to get convinced of your commitment towards each other and ALSO see that you guys value them and their presence in your life, they will come around to the idea and slowly but surely accept you as their daughter in law.

    Here comes the next thing which I'm glad you guys are trying already. Have a baby. GO FOR IT! Lol. Remember I said respect the parents, both you and your husband, but not listen to their demands. You can respect someone but you don't have to 'obey' them in matters where they are wrong and Allah has made it clear. Have a baby as soon as you can because this too will help you gusy in this battle to win his parents heart.
    You know the affect that babies have on ppl..they can soften such hard hearted people and I think that your child , who would be their grandchild, will act as a calayst in bringing move love and acceptance into his parents heart. They will , at the very least, think twice then before ever thinking of you and their son seperating.

    I also wanted to clarify the issue of second wife. Although Islam does permit polygamy, this is not a condition where I think it would be suitable to do such a thing. From your post I sense that firstly - your husband is NOT interested in a second wife. Mashallah him and you are happily married and he is also content with you and one wife. If that's the case then that is enough reason for him to NOT be pressured into polygamy because of his parents. Polygamy was NOT permitted so that a man may bring home women to serve his parents. In Islam, it is charity for the daughter in law to serve her in laws. She is not the maid of the house (unlike what many cultures accept the role of daughter in law as!). If you see that they really do need help around the house, then do push on the maid issue. Do get them a maid if you can afford to do so to help them out inshallah because if you were to get pregnant soon, you wouldn't be in a state to help much even if you wanted to (just saying, lol). So instead of just offering - go and actually hire the home lady/maid and get her in their house to do their jobs (as long as your sure that they wont physically kick her out, lol).

    I pray that inshallah you and your husband are able to win their hearts and ultimately win the pleasure of Allah (Swt), Ameen.

    Was salaam

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