Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
I have three brothers that live in their own houses with their wives and children and I am currently living with my wife and children along with my parents. My parents have reached their old age. Now my wife would like her own house. My parents are not happy to live in their own house and they also need a lot of care in their old age. What should I do?
Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah,
This is a sensitive situation, and it’s difficult to respond without any particulars. But in general, you should sit down with your brothers and have a frank conversation about how to move forward in a way which facilitates matters for all parties involved.
Service to parents in their old age is a tremendous act, worthy of deep reward, but your immediate family also have rights upon you. You don’t want to be in a situation where your children grow up in an atmosphere of complaint, discontentment and unhappiness because this is the Islam they absorbed from their mother’s state.
Consider having the parents move around so all share in the responsibility, for example. Children need to realise the duty they have towards their parents—they didn’t turn away when you were ailing and in need. Involving a community leader or scholar may also be useful.
With that, pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah). [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?]
Please also see: A Wife’s Right to Housing Seperate From Her In-Laws and: How to Handle Mean In-Laws? and: I Live With an Abusive and Depressed Mother-In-Law – Should I Leave My Husband? and: Living With Disrespectful and Overbearing In-Laws and: In-Laws Leaving Me No Privacy: What is the Proper Response?
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.