How to Deal with My Non-Muslim Parents Who Use Me for Money?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I converted to Islam 10 years ago and married a Muslim and have a daughter. My wife is from Lahore and I am from India. She refuses to live in India. We argue a lot and I am depressed. My parents are non-Muslims and keep all of my income and belongings and won’t return them to me. My parents don’t live with me but use all my money to build a home.

I also send them a separate monthly stipend. When I ask them if I own their home, they argue and don’t respond. They don’t like my wife either because of my conversion to Islam. I don’t want to go back but should I not take care of them? They only call me at the beginning of the month when my salary comes. I don’t want to be their ATM machine. Please guide under the knowledge of religion.

Answer

I empathize with your situation brother. It must be very frustrating that you are not getting along with your wife and feeling used by your parents. May Allah strengthen you through this and help them turn to the religion of truth.

First, I would pray The Prayer Of Need, and ask Allah Most High fervently to help you realize your obligations to your family and to help you all get along in peace. Pray your five daily prayers on time and don’t miss any obligations to Allah. Pay zakat on time, learn your halal and haram, and teach your family the obligations as well. Read some Quran every day and learn all of your obligatory knowledge relating to marriage, worship, and finances.

This article fully explains your obligations to your parents:  Should I Abandon the Life I Have Built Abroad to Take Care of My Parents?

In short, your obligations are to be good to your parents and to provide for them if they don’t have enough. You are doing more than enough to fulfill your obligations to your parents because you are good to them and you give them more than enough financially. (You are only obliged to give them what is in surplus of your family’s needs). It is not Islamically necessary that you live with them if they are able to live on their own. In addition, your wife has a right to separate housing and you are correct to live separately from them for the sake of your family. Please remove any doubt from your mind that you are not being dutiful enough.

Now, getting along with parents is a different story. You should communicate with them that it hurts you when they only contact you for money and that you don’t feel loved by them. Trust me, when you speak to your mother from your heart, it should strike a chord. Be kind to her, visit her at least once a year, and bring her a gift. Go out with her and show her your good character.

Don’t bring up ownership of the house until they trust you and understand you more.

Please talk to your wife about your relationship. Tell her that you want to stop fighting and that you are happy to live separately from your parents. Pray istikhara about moving to a different place or not and ask her to also fulfill all of her religious obligations to Allah. Your daughter is your obligation first, so do your best to educate her in Islamic knowledge. The cycle has to break somewhere.

Try not to let your parents’ situation stress you out. Take time to relax after work, and get a beneficial hobby. Exercise, eat well, and spend some quiet time out in nature or in the mosque. Take care of Allah and he will take care of you.

Kindly check these links:
When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?
A Convert Dealing with Non-Muslim Parents
Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.