Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My husband’s parents have told their sons to divorce their wives and take their money. Alhamdulilah, my husband has stayed away from his parents and so our marriage has survived. He fears their bad influence, so he has cut ties with his parents. Is that permissible? If they do not get their way, they threaten to commit suicide.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.
I am sorry to hear that your husband’s parents are such difficult and toxic people. Although it is sinful for your husband to cut ties with them, it is very important for him to protect his health and your marriage.
Can he write them letters or emails? When he is strong enough, can he consider calling them, and visiting them at least during Eid? He can keep these interactions short, and excuse himself before things turn ugly.
Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]
Parents who threaten to kill themselves in order to control their offspring are extremely toxic. I strongly encourage you and your husband to attend counselling with a culturally-sensitive counsellor, in order to heal from your past trauma with his parents, and to learn how to better cope with them. Please don’t expect your husband’s parents to change. All you can do is work on yourself and your marriage.
“O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.” [Qur’an, 31:17]
The dunya is a place of trial, heartbreak, and pain. These difficulties offer us opportunities to draw closer to Allah. Even if we do not understand the trials Allah has placed in our lives, trust that Allah knows how much pain you are in, and He will reward you for all of your patience.
I pray that Allah grants you, your husband and his parents healing.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.