Is My Husband Responsible for His Siblings and Parents?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


The first two years of my 11-year marriage, there was physical abuse, but I put a stop to it after my daughter was born. The marriage was still turbulent until he settled career-wise in 2019. He was finally becoming a wonderful husband. My in-laws visit us for two months of the year, and I do everything for them. They always find faults.

The sisters always poke their brother to fight with me. I remain cordial with them all. Now my husband wants to bring his parents to live with us. I have agreed because it’s his duty, but I want to rent the apartment just opposite so that we both have space. He refuses, saying that we will all move to a villa together. I told him it won’t be healthy, but he won’t listen.

Also, when his parents stay with us, he becomes authoritative and controlling. He has been very mean to me since they left in March, not communicating and holding a grudge because we didn’t show a happy front in front of them. He just kept repeating his ultimatums to me without care until I left him and came to my parent’s house.

My daughter is also severely affected by all this. I want to go back to save my marriage, but my husband is sticking to his condition of living with his parents.  I cannot agree blindly. He is not a bad person. I have adjusted a lot, but I don’t want to live in a toxic environment with my in-laws.


It is truly a difficult situation you are in. I empathize with your frustration because you want to save your marriage and you are being denied your basic Islamic right. See this link about your right to separate housing:
A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws

Please see these excellent links about situations similar to yours:
Having to Live With My In-Laws Is Difficult. What Do I Do?
Do I Have the Right to Demand From My Husband to Not Live With My In-Laws?


I would never tell you to leave your husband because he is a good man. I feel that your life and your daughter’s life might be destroyed by breaking up this family. Ask yourself, is it worth it to break up the family over a living situation? Is your right being denied? Yes. Is it worth it to leave because of that? Most might say the answer is no.

Please pray the Prayer of Guidance (istikhara) and ask Allah to guide you to your next step. If you decide to go back to him, I am certain that your compromise and submission to your husband will bring you some barakah in your life, and know that Allah works in the most unexpected of ways.

If you feel negative about your istikhara and decide to leave your husband based on this living situation, you should follow it and prepare yourself for divorce and child custody battles.

Please consider this decision carefully. Circumstances are constantly changing in this world: parents get older, they get sick, young couples become mature and wise, and they become the head of the family. Children have a chance to grow up with grandparents. His sisters will eventually get married and need their own space.

Assert Yourself

If you do go back, you need to make a set of rules for yourself that no one can take away from you.

Stick to a daily routine of rising and sleeping.

Cook the healthy foods that you want and don’t let anyone tell you what to eat. Get your own special coffee machine or any other appliance that makes you happy.

Be in charge of the groceries, make sure that you are getting all the items you need.

Have some alone time every day in your room for prayer, dhikr, or contemplation where no one bothers you. No exceptions.

Sit next to your husband in the evening for a set time and don’t get up for any reason. Chores can wait.

Get the biggest villa possible.

Make one room for exercise or play where you can watch your daughter play a game, or make a puzzle while you jump on a treadmill or bike.

Since you are living with them, you are the boss of how the household runs. Make it clear.

Good character will go a long way. Always smile, be kind, and offer help. Then, run off to follow your own routine when you are done.

You will be surprised to see how quickly people can acclimate to each other’s routines.

Always, always show your husband that you love him, support him, and want to please him. This will go such a long way that you will both learn to live and function as a team.

Learn and Worship

As always, nothing fulfills a person more than learning about religion, especially one’s obligations, and doing regular worship. Please take this course with your husband so that you can learn about the rights and obligations regarding an Islamic marriage:
Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

Take a course on parenting as well because you have many obligations toward your daughter. Pray on time, pay zakat on time, eat and speak only the halal and keep away from usury. Wear hijab correctly. Put Allah first and He will send your tremendous good, by His grace.

[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.