Does a Woman Have Rights to Her Own Accommodation?

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Does a Woman Have Rights to Her Own Accommodation?
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By Pure Matrimony -

Question:

I live with my inlaws for last 7 years, I dont get along with my father inlaw, I have asked my husband to move out from them. He is very hurt on this matter, He says he cannot live without his parents, and its hard for me to live with his parents and his younger brother, am i asking too much. What does islam role says on this. Please answer me ASAP. I am desperate to move out, But I like my husband to be happy with me also.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against the husband’s relatives who are not mahrams to the wife entering upon her. It was reported from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what about the brother-in-law?” he said: “The brother-in-law is death.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4934; Muslim, 2172).

It is not permissible for her to be alone with any of her in-laws except those who are so young that there is no fear that they will tempt her or be tempted by her.

Secondly:

The husband must provide his wife with a dwelling place that will conceal her from the eyes of people and protect her from heat and cold, where she can live and settle and be independent. Whatever meets her needs is sufficient, such as a room in good condition with a kitchen and bathroom – unless the wife has stipulated larger accommodation in her marriage contract. He does not have the right to make her eat with any of her in-laws. The kind of accommodation provided must be commensurate with what the husband is able to provide and be suitable according to local custom (‘urf) and the social level of the wife.

(a)   Ibn Hazam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

He has to provide her with accommodation according to his means, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Lodge them (the divorced women) where you dwell, according to your means” [al-Talaaq 65:6]

(al-Muhallaa, 9/253).

(b)  Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

She (the wife) is entitled to accommodation because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Lodge them …” [al-Talaaq 65:6]

If it is obligatory to provide lodgings for a divorced wife, then it is even more appropriate that lodgings should be provided for one who is still married. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and live with them honourably…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:19].
Part of that means providing them with accommodation, because she cannot do without proper accommodation to conceal her from people’s eyes and so that she may go about her business, relax and her keep her belongings in order.

(al-Mughni, 9/237)

(c)  Al-Kaasaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

If a husband wants to make her live with a co-wife or her in-laws, such as his mother or sister or daughter from another marriage or another  relative, and she refuses to accept that, then he has to provide her with accommodation of her own… But if he lodges her in a room of the house that has a door of its own, this is sufficient for her and she should not ask him for alternative accommodation, because the harm caused by fear for her belongings and not being able to relax is no longer there. (Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 4/23)

(d)  Ibn Qudaamah also said:

A man does not have the right to make two wives live in the same dwelling without their consent, regardless of whether the house is large or small, because this will cause them harm due to the enmity and jealousy between them. Making them live together will cause conflict and each of them will be able to hear when the husband spends time with (has marital relations with) the other or she will see that. If they both agree (to live together in one house), this is permissible because they have the right to do to ask for independent accommodation, or they may choose to forgo this right. (al-Mughni, 8/137)

He did not mean that it is OK for the husband to have marital relations with one where the other can see and hear that; what he meant was that it is permissible for them to live in one house, where (the husband) can come to each of them on her night in a place in the house where the other cannot see her.

If he can give each wife a part of the house with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, this will be sufficient. Similarly, he could give each wife a separate house or apartment.

Al-Haskafi (may Allaah have mercy on him) – one of the Hanafis – said: Similarly, she is entitled to a place in the house that is free of his family and her family according to their means, as is the case with food and clothing. A separated part of the house with a door of its own and facilities such as a bathroom and kitchen will be sufficient for the intended purpose.

Ibn ‘Aabideen commented:

What is meant by “a bathroom and kitchen” is bathroom facilities and a place for cooking that should be within the room or in a place which is not shared by any other family members.

(al-Durr al-Mukhtaar, 3/599-600)

I say: what indicates that what is meant by “house” [bayt – literally, “house”, translated above as “room”] is a room is the comment of al-Kaasaani (may Allaah have mercy on him): If the house has rooms, a room should be allocated to her and given its own door. They said: she does not have the right to ask him for alternative accommodation.

(Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 4/34)

On this basis, it is permissible for him to accommodate you in a room of the house that has its own facilities, so long as there is no fitnah (temptation) or being alone with any non-mahrams who have reached the age of puberty. He does not have the right to force you to work for them in the house or to eat and drink with them. If he is able to provide you with accommodation that is completely separate from his family, that will be better for you, but if his parents are elderly and need him, and they have no one else to serve them and the only way he can serve them is by living with them, then he has to do that.

Finally, we urge you to be patient and to strive to please your husband and to help him to honour and be kind to his family as much as possible until Allaah grants you a way out. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
Islam Q&A
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This Fatwa was taken from Islam Q and A and answered by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/7653.

15 Comments to Does a Woman Have Rights to Her Own Accommodation?

  1. whats the point in making her live with her in laws when she doesn’t want to and especially when the religion allows her a separate home. I think the husband should either create a balance between his parents and wife otherwise he should provide her with separate accommodation. If not that, then he should be able to handle his parents and resolve any conflict between his wife and his parents. Compromise should come from both the sides.

  2. Under Islamic sharia, you do not have to live in your in-laws because his family especial the male (his brother) are ajnabi to you-they are not mahram. You have to be covered mostly around them and there is not much privacy since you live under their roof. Honestly, you not asking too much, it is your right N stand up for it. Your husband needs to provide your accommodations. You stated “He says he cannot live without his parents” he is grown married man; his parents will be in his life but separate houses. If he wanted to live with his parents forever (he didn’t have to get married). As a woman, I understand what you are feeling. Some cultures, it is permissible to live with the in-laws, & some men want that. However, Islamically you dont have to live with them. Also since you’re not happy with it; he needs to provide & support what you want. After all you are his wife!! Best luck dear! I will keep your in my thoughts N prayers.

  3. black mamba

    Dear sis, every husband’s parents are the first people to come into their lives,before the arrival of their wives…what I have learned is that,if you ask any scholar,they say as a man(male) is concerned Islam,the most important person in his life is his mother,but when it comes to a woman,its her husband..!Its the wife’s greatest responsibilty and duty to take care of her husband’s parents despite their behaviour!Believe me, with Allah’s Help , if we give sincere love and care to people around us without expectations from them, surely InshaAllah they too will begin to love you back! Always in life we get back what we give! I feel if you were in real true and deep love with your husband,you would have not even bothered about his parents faults,coz you would love them too in the same way.We all are humans,none of us are created without some or the other negatives traits in us..when we ourselves are filled with so many flaws and faults,how inlogic of us is to expect others to be complete flawless,yeah? All what i wanted to request you is to look after those parents of your husband,after all they must have turned old or something,so just forgive them…we all have to remember one day we too will reach this stage when none of our children would even show their faces or look after us when we would be lying in our ill-bed during the old age! Tc and May Allah forgive me if i am wrong and give all of us a blessd life n May He answer all our prayers,Aameen!
    .

    • I agree with you sis that we should give love to all the people around us but in some cases the more we spend time with someone the worst our relationship becomes with them and no relationship should reach the point where people despise each other. In some cases Indian and Pakistani joint families when this sort of situation arises when a son’s wife and his family just don’t get along. In that case there is no need to live with them under same roof, just like a husband is not required to live with his wife’s family or take care of them. Same goes to a women. Marriage in Islam means partnership between Muslim man and woman in which they make a healthy and pious environment for their next generation and themselves. But a son or a daughter should never neglect his parents responsibilties. He should respect them take care of them in every manner. We should all think what would we want for our daughterb if she was in this situation. It’s not a crime to be a female. She is only suppose to take care and obey her husband not his whole famile.
      Salaam

  4. Dear sister, I believe you have the right to ask for your own accommodation, away from his parents. As a married woman too I understand your problem. My inlaws are very lovely people and will not make me do any thing or any work, or even cook when I visit them. Regardless of this, I don’t think I will be comfortable if I have to live with them full time. In my case, its not that I do not like them, but I have too much respect for them and will not let them see any flaws in me, Insha Allah. Also, I believe that you deserve your privacy when it comes to your family relations. I like to cover myself up when I’m out of the house, but when I’m at home, I wear anything I like, because I live with only my husband. Your husband must realise that he cannot continue to live with his parents whiles he’s married to you. You are his partner and you play the role of his mother, father, best friend, etc. This doesn’t mean he should shun his family for you. But he must realise that you and him make up a family which your children will also want to be with at all times. Its time for him to realise that and break away from the notion that he cannot live without his parents. Your happiness is at stake and its best to avoid the avoidable. Insha Allah, Allah will guide you and your husband into making the right decision.

  5. Sriwahyuningrum salam

    Dear sist,

    after the explaination given to you from purematrimony.com, I really hope that you and your husband can make a good decision for both of you and your husband’s parents. I know that deep inside you, as a wife who really loves her husband, you want the best for him and also for your marriage. I do understand what you’re dealing with, trust me I do. I know it’s not easy to build a strong and good character family if we keep staying under others family’s shadow, even if it’s our husband’s family. sometimes it’s hard to create and feel independency in that kind of situation. I’m sorry that I cannot give you any advise on this. I just try to give you support by telling you that you’re not the only one in this matter. I hope that you can be stronger than before. coz I know sometimes as a woman, we dont really just need any solution, but we also need to be understood.

  6. Assalamualaikum sister.
    Has there been any changes in your situation yet?

    im facing the same issue, living with the in-laws in their own home, which includes a young unmarried (almost 30 yrs of age) brother-in-law! i have a separate bedroom with attached bathroom. but every thing else is shared. its my mother-in-laws family, her home, her rules, her choice, her kitchen, her decision. i feel like an outsider to this family even after 6 yrs of marriage. i have never invited any of my friends or relatives in this house. my parents visit me once or twice a year that too upon my mother-in-laws invitation. I have to be fully covered to be able to open the door of my bedroom. as i dont know who i will see sitting (brother-in-law or other relatives of my in-laws) in the living room which is exactly facing my room. as i live with the in-laws, they make me attend every guests coming at the house and also to go to all the invitations (99% of them are from my mother-in-laws family). my mother-in-law does not even KNOCK on the door when she enters my room. just now, while im typing this, she just came in suddenly, opening the door, stood at the side of my bed, said what she had to say & left. they also use my balcony which is attached with the room to spread washed clothes for drying up. almost every morning, after my husband leaves for his work, she comes in following the maid (who does the basic cleaning of the entire house) and scans (literally) through my bed, peeks into the dressing area, looks around the rooms, seems like she is searching for something!

    i told me husband several times to move out, as i dont feel at home here. he tells me thats a problem of my perception. he also says, i should feel at home wherever my husband is. i should respect his mom as my own mom. but i know, its easy to say than to do. moreover, i believe, respect is earned not demanded! my very own parents counsel me to be patient, and to perceive my husband’s family as my own family and to live with them happily. none of which is actually happening. i live with a fear of to being able to please my husband and to act and embrace his family the way he wants me to do. i live with the fear of disobeying him and question myself again & again: am i disobeying ALLAH’s command?

    as i myself am dissatisfied, my husband is dissatisfied with me and as my parents sees me unhappy in my married life, they are also dissatisfied with me. the lady of this household (my mother-in-law) barged into her son’s bedroom (where i live too) once again!

    anyways, thats how it is going for me. whoever is reading this, please pray for me, the sister who posed this question, and for all the sisters who are facing similar issues. I ask ALLAH (swt) to make it easy for us and grant us a solution and make all the married couples happy with their spouses – Ameen.

  7. Salam to hopeful: sister u say u have u’r own bedroom n bathroom,..but seems like there’s no lock on the door…. u have every right to use it when u’r in there 🙂

  8. CanadianPrincess

    Salaam

    I am so sorry to hear this. I was in a similar situation with my previous marriage. I had a terrible mother in law, the whole family was messed up, she used to sleep in our bedroom. My ex never stood up for us and never said a word to his mother. My marriage ended in a divorce but I am glad I did not stay. I hope things work out for you. My prayers are with you. Wasalaam

  9. Asif Istiak

    This is so weird, dear sister asked a question and she got her fatwa according to shariah law from one of the most prominent Shaykh of our time. Yet there r some who r trying to influence her decision with what they think of the situation based on logic.

  10. there’s nothing wrong in advising her.. it’s the sister’s choice either to take the advice or not. None of the sisters said anything wrong

  11. i pray for you all the ladies going through tough times in thier laws besides i dont have this issue but i prefer staying with my mother in law because she can guide me better plus ill have some one to talk to.
    after my husband go to work i have no one to talk to  plus i have 2 yrs old boy he is so hyper if my mother in law was here she would have tell him stories and all the things i cant while im taking care of house my husband and my baby
    plus ill have some time for my self too i will be with my husband all my life so it dnt bother me
    I belive living with mother in laws and father in law can be helpful in building a healthy relation ship between husband n wife also if they two fight they can always correct you
    It was my side of story every one is diff hope you all stay happyily married 🙂

  12. Hi
    I’m living with my parents and I’m married with two small kids. It’s six years now I have only one brother he lives abroad with his wife my wife keeps on saying that she want to live separately but I find it difficult as what will people and relative says. My wife has issues with my mother as every girl has with mother in law, nothing new everything seems alright but there are small things which bothers my wife I cannot leave my parent but I love my wife too what is the best solution as per Islam. Pls share

    • You seem like a very good son which is great mashallah. In Islam you are supposed to take care of your parents in every way possible but Islam never says that you should neglect or make her your second priority.in these cases Men should take the role of a mediator, firefighter and manager. You should try to solve the issues which bother her. And I think if she feels like it is impossible for her to stay under one roof with your parents then you need to get her a separate accommodation. Just think about it she left her whole family to live with you. Would you be able to do that? I can tell you from my own experience that I have seen women who were tortured all their lives by their in-laws and careless husbands and in the end when they got old. The wife had nothing but regrets about how she could have lived her life and no matter how many times she said that she forgave her husband there were always somethings that she never let go. And as far as people and relatives are concerned, don’t care about them, they will talk regardless if there is something to talk about or not.

  13. ASAK WRB. I have a question, pls if you can answer.

    If a husband marries for the second time, based on this the first wife breaks all the relationship with the husband and just stays under one roof. Is it permissible to stay that way.

    Thanks and regards

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