Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m a Muslim woman, a wife, mother of 3, and live in a joint family with my in-laws. I’m trying my best to fulfill my duties, but still, I’m not perfect. Is it fard for me to take care of my in-laws or my parents?
Thank you for your question. May Allah bless you for your care and concern for the elders around you, and may he grant you complete love and care when your children are married.
Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honor your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them (even) ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully. [Quran, 17:23]
It is obligatory for you to take care of your parents if they need it and if you are able to provide the care. The same is obligatory for your husband toward his parents. Please have an open discussion with your husband on how to help each other take care of both sets of parents, you can’t do it alone, and you should not be getting burnt out.
See more details here: Fiqh of Financially Supporting One’s Parents and Relatives.
Since you live with your in-laws, I urge you to strike a balance between serving them and helping your parents. Serving your in-laws will help cement the bond with your husband and raise his love and respect for you. I suggest you help your parents in a fixed way, such as going there once a week to help them or doing some fixed errands for them regularly. This way, the expectation is known, and no one is shocked or upset that you are doing too much for them and not enough at home.
Be avid to serve your parents as the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No one who reminds others of his favors, no one who is disobedient to his parents and no drunkard, will enter Paradise.” [Nasa’i]
Please see these links as well:
- Is It Obligatory for a Woman to Look After Her In-Laws?
- How Do I Deal With a Mother-in-Law Who Complains About Me Visiting My Parents?
- How Can I Take Care Of My Parents?
- Care of Elderly Parents is a Blessing & Opportunity to Earn Paradise
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 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.