How to Balance between Caring for Your Parents and Your Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I am the eldest of 2 daughters, we are both professionals, and I was brought up in a family where my mother was abused for years for our sake. My husband lives 4 hours away, and my sister is to be married soon. My husband has many siblings and extended family living near his parents, who are well cared for. My mother still lives with my father in a broken marriage and cannot depend on him at all. She doesn’t have any family or help but has never asked for any because she depends only on Allah.

My husband does not want me to move near my parents, but I find resentment in my heart because I worry for my mother, who is alone and needs more support, but I don’t want to be responsible for the breakdown of my marriage. He has offered for my mother to move in with us, but she cares for my elderly father and feels having her own house is important. If I obey my husband at the expense of caring for my mother, will I be answerable to Allah?


Thank you for your question.

You are very kind and a good daughter to be worried about your mother like this. A daughter takes care of one’s parents if they are in need of it, and she is able to. See this link for details: Fiqh of Financially Supporting One’s Parents and Relatives.

As for being with her physically, your duty is to your husband, and you should help her as much as you can between you and your sister without placing undue stress on your marriage. If you can manage to go there once or twice a month to freeze food or clean, you should. If you can take your husband with you, it would be even better. You can even arrange for him to see friends and do something in that city that he likes there, that might not be available in your city.

During the times that you are not there, and after your sister moves out, you should hire some help for your mother and split it with your sister. A cleaning lady can come and clean for her, and in the West, you should be able to get a support worker or nurse who can come and help a couple of times a week. Please use all the resources that you have access to, there are many ways to help other than moving close by.

Also, bring up the subject of moving, later on, perhaps in a few years, he will change his mind. Honestly, if the situation gets worse or you feel that your parents get older and cannot handle it, you should have them move very close to you, but in their own home. This will give everyone what they want. See this also: Married Daughters Supporting Elderly Parents.

May Allah bless you and give you children who will be equally as caring and loving as you are to your mother.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabban

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 and completed her Master’s 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.