Can You Advise Me about My Controlling Mother-in-Law?

Answered by Ustada Shazia Ahmad


I am having very difficult days with my in-laws. They always try to dominate me. My mother-in-law always tells me what clothing and jewelry to wear. I can’t go anywhere alone with my husband, she always wants to go with us. If we don’t take her she makes it hard. If we ask her to come with us then her first reply will be no, I don’t want to go, I am feeling sick, but still she will go. She always tries to teach me to do things her way. She will tell me how and how much I to talk to others. She doesn’t want to let me mix with other girls, she thinks I will be spoiled by them. What can I do?


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I pray that you can set boundaries and communicate with your husband to help you with this issue, while also standing up for yourself.

This is a very difficult living situation, please know that the Shari’ah gives you rights to your own private quarters. Discuss that option with your husband and make a plan to move out eventually.
A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws.


-Accept that you will fall short of your mother-in-law’s expectations, and don’t even try to fulfill them.
-Maintain politeness and patience, it will gain you much good and your husband’s love.
-Communicate the problems to your husband and ask him to help. For example, a son can always insist to his mother that he wants to go out alone with his wife, she won’t argue that.
-Go out more often, take a class, get a part-time job, or volunteer. At least go to a ladies’ gym. Meeting others always relieves stress. Try to go out once a day at least.
-Where what you want most of the time, and say that your husband likes it. There’s no harm in wearing what she likes once in a while, it will make her happy.
-As for your friends, text them, call them when she is not around, and have your husband invite young couples for dinner, tell him that you need a social life.

Turn to Allah

Perform the Prayer of Need and make du`a for ease at tahajjud time. This is the time to be regular with your prayers, read the Quran daily, learn Arabic and devote a portion of your day to increasing knowledge and dhikr. Gaining closeness to Allah always gives peace of mind. Give charity regularly for charity stands in the way of calamity. Finally, make du`a for others in distress, perhaps through that, Allah will send you both ease.

Keep your hopes up and know that Allah’s promise is true in the Quran: “[…] And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide for him from sources he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” [Quran, 65:2-3]

Allah Most High has told us in the Quran, “So, observe patience, a good patience.” [Quran, 70:5], and “Today I have indeed rewarded them for their perseverance: they are certainly the triumphant.” [Quran, 23:111]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustada] 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.