Do I Have To Obey My In-Laws in Telling Me How To Run My House and Raise My Kids?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My husband receives orders from his parents on how to raise our child, how to run our house, and other personal matters. I understand he has to obey them. We live separately, and I would like it if I am trusted and respected as the one who runs this house, especially matters concerning my child. I respect their love and concern, but not the interference and dictation. Do I have to obey them when it clashes with my wisdom and experience?

Can my husband order me to obey them?

Answer

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I see why you are upset with being stepped on in your own territory. May Allah help you achieve healthy boundaries in this.

Obedience to Parents

Goodness to parents is a central injunction in Islam, but this does not mean unconditional obedience. Matters of insisting how a grandchild be raised are definitely out of bounds, although their advice can and should be sought on occasion.

Please see details on conditional obedience here:
When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

Obeying Your Husband

Obeying your husband is obligatory, but it seems that you won’t disagree with him once he discards the notion of running the home according to his parents’ wishes. As a man, he is expected to forge his own rules, and he should not be afraid to explain his methods to his parents and ask for a little freedom of thought and experimentation. He should also defend you and stand up for your ideas if they complain. You must be on one team.

Communicate

Communicate this to him, openly, warmly, and honestly and in sha Allah, there will not be any hostility between you. Don’t get worked up if you disagree with something. Buy his parents a gift, and make time to call them or visit them, so that he clearly sees you do care for them. Respecting the elders is really all people ever care about, and they will appreciate that above all else. Following their ideas is of secondary importance and will eventually dwindle out, by Allah’s grace.

I recommend that you read these supplications daily:
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

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