Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: In Islam, can in-laws pressure or force a daughter-in-law to have a child?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for clarifying this sensitive issue.

Force

No, in-laws cannot force a daughter-in-law to have a child. The issue of starting a family is a private matter between husband and wife.

However, it is only natural for aging in-laws to strongly desire grandchildren. As always, the key is balance.

Boundaries

It was narrated from Aishah that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said:
“Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness in all things.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

My advice is to be gentle, and firm. When the topic of having children is forcefully raised, repeat the same thing. Come to a decision with your husband about what your response will be. You must both be on the same page. A possible response is, “May Allah reward you for your concern. Please make dua for us.”

Empathy

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Try to exercise empathy. Gently ask your in-laws what their concerns are. Some in-laws have valid concerns about infertility if other family members have struggled with this issue. Others are afraid they will pass away before they have a grandchild. It’s easier for them to mask their vulnerability with an angry order to hurry up and have children. Try your best to reassure them. InshaAllah, you will be rewarded for having patience with them.

Please refer to the following links:

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)