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Stats: 17,470 members, 69,365 Topics, 15,456 Comments. Date: Jun 19 2019, 8:17 am

Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.

My wife is suffering because of my
mother’s mistreatment of her; she
says hurtful words to her and treats
her badly with no justification other
than thinking badly of her, and this
mistreatment even extends to my
wife’s family. My mother has
started to make inappropriate and
untrue accusations against my wife
to my wife’s family, so my wife has
cut off all ties with my mother.
Please note that my wife has been
patient in putting up with my
mother’s mistreatment of her for
several years, until the last straw
was my mother’s saying bad things
about my wife’s family. I maintain
contact with my mother by visiting
her and calling her on the phone,
and I treat her kindly. However, my
mother did not expect this
relationship to be cut off, and now
she blames me for allowing my wife
to cut off this relationship and has
now made her approval of me
conditional upon my wife resuming
the relationship with her, and she
says that she will never be pleased
with me until the Day of Judgement
if I do not make my wife start
visiting her again, even though I do
not want to put pressure on my
wife, and I am leaving the choice up
to her. My mother has started to
pray against me without me having
done anything wrong. My question
is: is there anything haram in my
wife’s cutting off the relationship
with my mother, or what is the
ruling on that? The second question
is: does my mother have the right
to make her approval of me
conditional upon my wife resuming
the relationship with her and
starting to visit her again? Please
note that I still offer supplication
for her when I pray and I give in
charity on her behalf. The third
question is: if my wife insists on her
decision to cut off ties, will there be
any sin on me as a result of my
mother’s being angry with me? I
hope that you can advise me, and
may Allah reward you.


Praise be to Allah.
Undoubtedly these kinds of family
problems and annoyances are things
that affect one’s life and occupy
one’s thoughts, but with a little
wisdom, proper conduct, more
rational thinking, adhering to the
path of fairness and patience for
the sake of pleasing the one who
has the greatest rights over you –
namely your mother – and pleasing
the one whom you love, the source
of your comfort and the mother of
your children – namely your wife –
we can resolve the problem and
handle the matter in the best
manner possible.

We must – may Allah guide us and
you aright – inform each party of
the rights of the other. The mother
must understand that her son’s wife
has rights that have been ordained
by Allah and taught by the
Messenger of Allah; the wife must
understand that the mother has
rights ordained by Allah and
affirmed by the Messenger of Allah.
Moreover, each of them must
understand that when Allah
ordained rights for people, He
forbade mistreatment and enmity,
and He forbade transgressing the
limits that He has set for His
slaves. So what we must do is
adhere to those limits and no one
who has been given rights should
transgress the limits in order to
transgress against the rights of
anyone else.

We should explain the standard of
fairness that has been outlined in
Islam, which is that a person’s faith
is not truly complete until he loves
for his brother what he loves for
himself, and until he hates for his
brother what he hates for himself.
So we ask the mother: would you
accept for anyone – no matter who
he is – to direct hurtful words
towards you, or to mistreat you by
behaving in an inappropriate
manner, or to say bad things about
your family, and so on?
We ask the wife: would you be
happy for my mother to be angry
with me and not be pleased, and to
pray against me instead of praying
for me? Would you like that for
yourself, no matter what the
By presenting the case in such a
manner, discussing it with two
people you care for and who you do
not want to make angry with you,
you can persuade them, without
putting the one who is in the wrong
– especially your mother – on the
spot and accusing her of
transgression and hostility, or
speaking ill of her and her actions,
which may make matters more
complicated and difficult to resolve.
Rather you can achieve that with
wisdom and choosing your words
Then you should speak to your wife,
encouraging her to pardon and
Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“The good deed and the evil deed
cannot be equal. Repel (the evil)
with one which is better (i.e. Allah
ordered the faithful believers to be
patient at the time of anger, and to
excuse those who treat them badly),
then verily! he, between whom and
you there was enmity, (will become)
as though he was a close friend”
[Fussilat 41:34].
The Messenger of Allah (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: “No one forgives, but Allah
increases him in honour.” Narrated
by Muslim, 2588.
According to another hadeeth: “No
one is wronged and bears it with
patience but Allah will increase him
in honour.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi,
2325; classed as saheeh by al-
Explain to her that forgiving is more
beloved and more pleasing to Allah,
and tell her: “You will only be
forgiving the most beloved of people
to me, namely my mother, and that
will only increase you in dearness to

It is not permissible for your wife to
cut off her relationship with your
mother by shunning her and
boycotting her, because it is not
permissible for a Muslim to shun his
brother for more than three days,
as is well known. It is narrated in a
saheeh report that the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) said: “Whoever forsakes
his brother for a year, it is as if he
shed his blood.” Narrated by Abu
Dawood, 4915;classed as saheeh by
He also said: “It is not permissible
for a Muslim to shun another
Muslim for more than three days,
because they will be drifting away
from the path of truth so long as
they are shunning one another.
Whichever of them is first to reach
out to his brother, his doing so will
be an expiation for him. If he
greets him and he (the other one)
does not respond, the angels will
return his greeting and the shaytan
will respond to the other one. If
they both die in that state, neither
of them will ever enter Paradise.”
Narrated by Ahmad, 15824; classed
as saheeh by al-Albani in as-
Saheehah, 1246
But if mixing with one another will
always lead to annoyance for the
wife, and insults to her family, then
this is something that it is not
permissible for the mother to do,
and it is not permissible for you to
keep quiet about it, because
people’s rights should be respected
and if anyone harms a Muslim with
no justification, the score will be
settled on the Day of Resurrection.
There is a well-known report about
the bankrupt person who will come
on the Day of Resurrection with
prayer, fasting and zakah to his
credit, but he will come having
insulted this one, reviled that one,
devoured the wealth of this one,
shed the blood of that one and
beaten another one. So each of
them will be given some of his
hasanat, and if his hasanat run out
before what he owes has been paid
off, some of their bad deeds will be
taken and added to his burden, then
he will be thrown into the Fire.
So it is essential to alert your
mother to this great danger and to
advise her concerning that, in a
gentle manner, and remind her to
fear Allah.
Based on that, if your mother
persists in treating your wife in this
manner, then the right thing to do
is not to enable her to do that, by
preventing your wife from going to
see her, and there will be no blame
on your wife in that case if she
does not mix with her, visit her or
go to see her. This is not obligatory
upon her in the first place; rather
what is obligatory is not to shun a
person without any shar‘i
justification that would make doing
so permissible.
If we assume that your wife
overlooks and forgives her, and
gives up her own rights, then what
about the rights of her family?
What have they done wrong to
deserve this criticism and
mistreatment without any error or
sin on their part?
But if it so happens that your wife
and your mother meet in some
place, then your wife has to greet
her with salam if she meets her;
the better of the two will be the one
who is first to greet the other. If
your mother speaks to her or greets
her with salam, then she must
return her greeting.
In that case it will not matter if
your mother threatens to pray
against you and to be displeased
with you, because Allah has
forbidden injustice to Himself and
has made it haram among people,
and He has stated that He does not
love those who are unjust or wrong
others, as He, may He be exalted,
says (interpretation of the
“O you who believe! Stand out
firmly for Allah and be just
witnesses and let not the enmity
and hatred of others make you
avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer
to piety”
[al-Maidah 5:8].
What is meant is: stand out firmly
for Allah and be just in word and
deed, and be like that towards both
relatives and strangers, friends and
Do not let the hatred of some
people cause you to treat them
unfairly; rather, just as you would
testify in favour of your friend, you
should also testify against him (if
need be), and just as you would
testify against your enemy, you
should also testify in his favour;
even if he is a disbeliever or
innovator, it is obligatory to treat
him fairly.
See: Tafseer as-Sa‘di, p. 224
Moreover, just as it is not
permissible to let hatred of some
people make you fail to be fair, it is
not permissible to let love of others
make you fail to be fair; rather you
should be fair in all cases.
There is no blame on you for any of
this, if you have tried to bring about
reconciliation as much as you can,
but were unable to achieve that. If
your mother threatens to pray
against you and so on, Allah, may
He be exalted, will not answer the
supplication of one who prays
wrongfully or on the basis of
severing ties of kinship.
But it is essential that you take
care to treat her properly and be
patient in putting up with any
unpleasantness on her part in all
And Allah is the Guide to the
straight path.
Please see also question no.
With regard to the words of the
questioner: “I still offer supplication
for her when I pray and I give in
charity on her behalf”, offering
supplication for her is a good deed
and comes under the heading of
honouring her and treating her
kindly. But giving charity on her
behalf when she is still alive is
something that is not known from
the early generations; rather what
is known is giving charity on behalf
of one who has passed away. Al-
Bukhari (2760) and Muslim (1004)
narrated from ‘Aishah (may Allah be
pleased with her) that a man said to
the Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him): My mother died
suddenly and did not leave a will. I
think that if she had been able to
speak, she would have given
charity. Can I give charity on her
behalf? He said: “Yes, give charity
on her behalf.”
An-Nawawi said:
This hadeeth indicates that giving
charity on behalf of the deceased
will benefit the deceased and the
reward for it will reach him. There is
scholarly consensus on this point.
End quote.
So what is prescribed is to focus on
serving her, and praying for her in
her absence, upholding ties with her
by giving money and food, and so
on, without giving charity on her
behalf, because there is no evidence
that doing so is prescribed (when
she is still alive), as far as we
And Allah knows best.


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