The Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

Today is Monday 20th April 2020. Let’s focus upon ‘The Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law’.

There is a very famous saying that the Gujarātī community brought with them 3 things when they came from India: the Madrasah, the Samosa, and the Papar (papadom). I would add on a fourth item to that. They also brought the tradition that the daughter-in-law is a slave of the mother-in-law.

Let’s track back to the first weddings that took place in this community, in the UK, most probably in the 1970s. As soon as the daughter-in-law entered her new home, the mother-in-law took charge. Mother-in-law was in full control and treated her daughter-in-law like a slave. Why? The answer is very simple. Back home in India, the mother-in-law was once a daughter-in-law and the moment she entered her new house, she was treated like a slave by her mother-in-law.

So brothers and sisters, it’s a tradition inherited from back home. Maybe we can’t blame the mother-in-law of the 1970s, maybe the 1980s and maybe, just maybe, the 1990s. That is all they knew. What amazes me is that this tradition is still rife in 2020! How come? Has the mother-in-law of today learnt nothing at all in the last 30 years?

The daughter-in-law that has come to your house is a daughter to her mum and dad, just as your daughter. Would you like your daughter to be treated like a slave?

What has your daughter-in-law done wrong? Why so much enmity, hatred and jealousy? Just because your mother-in-law may have ill-treated you, is it now your turn to take revenge with an innocent young girl who has left her mum, dad, brothers, sisters and family to set up a new life with her husband (your son)?

Treat your daughter-in-law like your own daughter. In fact, even better. Your daughter is with you in your house. Your daughter-in-law has sacrificed everything to come and live at your house. Respect her, value her, and give her your love and affection. How can you upset her, or put her through difficulties?

I do apologise for my tone, but one of the most common reasons for divorces today is not because the husband and wife could not get on. It is caused by the constant interference of the mother-in-law. And, if the mother-in-law has one or more young daughters at home, then my heart bleeds for this new daughter-in-law. Her tears in silence will not go unnoticed by Almighty Allāh. Please don’t make her cry.

At the same time, I humbly request the daughter-in-law to please treat your mother-in-law like your own mother. Remember, your mother-in-law has sacrificed her whole life to bring up her son, who is now your husband. Do not play one against the other. Fear Almighty Allāh at all times. Strike the right balance of respect. Call your mother-in-law ‘mum’, and treat her like your mum, and your house will be a home of happiness, laughter and joy.

A final word to the husbands. Be fair and just. You have your mother on one side, and your wife on the other. Yours is a very delicate situation. My heart bleeds for you. Take advice from your elders, who have been successfully married for a very long time and I’m sure they will guide you, with wisdom and hindsight.

My respected teacher, Shaykh Muḥammad Saleem Dhorāt حفظہ اللہ, has written an excellent short article, Key Advice for the Newly Wed, giving useful advice for everyone who is married (even, if you have been married a long time),

Almighty Allāh bestow lots of love and affection between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law, Āmeen.

Please share to benefit all.

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for DuꜤās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala