Question: When we visit our parents we spend half the time at his parents and half the time at mine. That upsets his parents. They want us to spend the entire time at their place, and that I just visit my parents during the day. Can you please advise us?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. This is not a question of shari`ah, but a question of giving everybody what they want with the least pain and conflict.
I suggest that you sit down with your husband and ask him the following:
1) Is he happy with the current arrangement?
2) Does he want to change this arrangement to make his mother happier or should he just talk to her to accept it as it is?
3) What does he think of spending more time with his parents alone while you go and see your parents? There is no harm in splitting for a few days.
There are many solutions to this problem, you just have to sit down and make sure that you are both happy with it. Your husband’s happiness is more important than your mother-in-law’s. Once you and your husband feel that you have given his mother what is fair, then ask her to accept the time she has and cherish every moment together. Complaining only takes away from the blessings of the time together and dampens the mood.
You may also wish to pray istikhara about how to split the time. As it seems to me, it is already fair. Another thing you may want to consider is doing more special things with your mother-in-law. Maybe the time feels short to her because you didn’t do anything special together. Eat out with her, go shopping together, throw a dinner party together, surprise her with gifts. May Allah reward you for thinking about her wishes and trying to make her happy. May Allah send you a similar daughter-in-law who is kind and compassionate.
[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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.