Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Relationship with in-laws

Fatwaa ID: 2364

Aoa. I used to live in joint family system with my husband’s family (his parents, his brother, brother’s wife and their kids).
My relationship with my husband, parents in law had always been cordial. But was never very good with my husband’s brother’s family. Sometimes good but mostly bad. It also negatively affected my mental health. He’s elder brother, so they used to be very dominating.
One day my husband had an argument with his sister in law which turned into a physical fight from both the sides. I came in between, just verbally took side of my husband due to which the sister in law slapped me thrice, I didn’t do anything in return. Soon after that my parents in law shifted brother in laws family to another home.
Now we are still living with our parents in law. My brother in law regularly comes to our house to visit his parents. We are on cordial terms with him. We talk to each other nicely. But he always comes alone. Sometimes my parents in law go to his house to visit his family. All of them are nice to each other.
But I haven’t seen the sister in law since that incident. No communication or contact since then.
Now my question is this ‘cutting ties’ from my side? There has been no instance of us being together at any gathering. If we are together anywhere in any gathering in future what should I do? I don’t know why but I think I am scared of her. Like even the thought of seeing her or greeting her is giving me shivers. What should be the relationship between us?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

May Allaah Ta’aala bless you and keep your relationship with your in-laws cordial and loving.

We wish to remind that such issues are often the result of a joint family wherein the laws of hijaab are not maintained. The wife of one’s brother is a non-mahram and the laws of hijaab are fully applicable. Unrestricted interactions between them is not permissible. It is pleasing to note that appropriate arrangements have now been made.

We wish to also clarify that the wife of the elder brother does not have any authority over the wife of the younger brother. Likewise, the elder brother has no authority or right to dominate over the family of the younger brother. Respect and love should be in place from both sides.

Nevertheless, we take note of the details of your query. While it is permissible for you to maintain a formal relationship with her based on previous experiences, we encourage you to be the better person and try to resolve any issues that may be there. Win her over with your kindness and good manners for the sake of Allaah Ta’aala. Your reward and status will be greater. Problems happen in a family but that should not result in grudges or disunity.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

11/17/1445 AH – 05/25/2024 CE | 1098

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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