Subject : Wife is Obliged to Strike a Balance between Obedience to Husband and Obedience to Parents
Fatwa Number : 3462
Date : 12-02-2019
Classified : Rights of spouses (conjugal rights)
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Which comes first, obeying one`s husband or obeying one`s parents? And is it permissible for the wife to go out to serve her parents?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah.

In principle, marital life rests on love, mercy, kindness and mutual respect. Allah the Almighty says: "And of His signs is that He created for you fromyourselves mates that you might find peace by their side, and He ordained between you affection and mercy. Surely in that there are signs for a people who reflect." {Ar-Rum, 21}. It is obligatory for a woman to obey her husband-except in what is unlawful-in whatever preserves the stability of their new family and marital life. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (Ramadaan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise from whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish." {Related by Ahmad}.

Most of the times, a woman could create a balance between obeying her husband and obeying her parents, because each has rights over the other, as indicated by the teachings of Sharia. However, obedience to husband doesn`t cancel obedience to parents since the latter is an obligation as well. In fact, she should be keen on creating a moderate sense of harmony between both instances of obedience; particularly if there is no conflict between the two.

If there is a conflict between obedience to the husband and obedience to the parents, the following should be taken into consideration: If the husband commanded her to do what is lawful and beneficial to their family, then obedience to the husband takes precedence over obedience to the parents. Nonetheless, if the parents commanded her to do something that had nothing to do with her marital life, and entailed a clear benefit related to parental rights, then obedience to them takes precedence over obedience to him.

Moreover, there is no harm in going out to visit her parents or serve them. However, going out without a legitimate excuse and without seeking husband`s permission is prohibited recalcitrance.

It is stated in {Al-Bahar Al-Ra`iq, 4/212}: " If her father had a chronic disease and needed her to attend to his needs, but her husband banned her from doing so, then she should disobey the latter, be her father a Muslim or not. The same opinion is stated in the book {Fateh Al-Khadeer}. This indicates that she has the right to visit her parents and Mahrams*. According to the correct opinion: she has the right to visit her parents once a week, whether her husband permits her to do so or not. And she also has the right to visit her Mahrams once a year, whether her husband permits her to do so or not."

In conclusion, the husband should permit his wife to visit her family. Similarly, he should permit them to visit her in her own house, and it is disliked that he doesn`t to avoid severance of blood ties.This is reflected by Article (78) of the Jordanian Civil Status Law/2010, which states: "The husband shouldn`t ban the wife from visiting her parents, grandparents, sons, daughters…And she should obey him (Husband) in whatever he commands her as long as it isn`t Haram/Unlawful."



Note by translator: *A woman’s mahram is a person whom she is never permitted to marry because of their close blood relationship (such as her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc., and her son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., her paternal and maternal uncles, her brother, brother’s son and sister’s son), or because of radaa’ah or breastfeeding (such as the brother and husband of the woman who breastfed her), or because they are related by marriage (such as the mother’s husband, the husband’s father, grandfather, etc., and the husband’s son, grandson, etc.).



Warning: this window is not dedicated to receive religious questions, but to comment on topics published for the benefit of the site administrators—and not for publication. We are pleased to receive religious questions in the section "Send Your Question". So we apologize to readers for not answering any questions through this window of "Comments" for the sake of work organization. Thank you.