Q. What are the rights of my mother-in-law? What duty do I have towards her.
A. A woman should respect her in-laws just as she has to respect all other Muslims. However, it is not compulsory on her to serve her mother-in-law although she will be rewarded if she does. The mother-in-law has no right of imposing work on her.
Q. Does a woman have to observe Purdah for her father-in-law?
A. It depends what is understood by Purdah. A daughter-in-law may appear in the presence of her father-in-law without niqaab and without burqah. However, she should be modestly dressed and not be alone with him. He is not an appropriate mahram for her on a journey. If she had not married his son, then he (the father-in-law) could have married her. This is sufficient to understand that the lust of the nafs is ever present, hence, she must be wary of her father-in-law. At most he may make musaafahah with her. However, if even handshaking creates desire in him, then shaking hands with her will be haraam. Too many cases of misdemeanour happen between women and their fathers-in-law. She should not provide any occasion which could entice her father-in-law.
Q. A father beat his 20 year old son. The son then hit his father with a glass jar causing him to bleed profusely. The mother called the ambulance and the police who arrested the son. He is now out on bail. The psychiatrist says that he has psychological problems. What should be said to the son? What does the Shariah say?
A. The shaitaani son should be warned that there is now the grave danger of him dying without Imaan. He must repent, fall at the feet of his father and cry profusely. He must implore his father to whip him and accept whatever punishment is meted out to him. What the psychiatrist says is Ibleesi nonsense. These psychiatrists are all agents of Iblees.
Q. A man asked his daughters to waive their rights of inheritance in favour of their mother. They agreed and signed the document given to them. Is this valid? Are their rights of inheritance cancelled by this agreement? The man says that a Mufti of the Jamiat gave such advice.
A. The agreement is baatil, baseless and haraam. It is not valid. The daughters retain their rights and they have to be paid their full shares of inheritance when their father dies. The mufti who had proffered this haraam advise is a true donkey. It is inconceivable that a man of Knowledge could ever have given such blatantly haraam advice.
Q. A father takes the wealth of his son on the basis of the Hadith: “You and your wealth belong to your father.” Is it permissible for a man to use, take or confiscate the wealth of his son on the basis of this Hadith?
A. The meaning of the Hadith is that the son should not act miserly towards his father. If his father is in need, he should support him without believing that he is rendering his father a favour. If the son refuses to support his needy father, then the father may take from his son’s wealth sufficient for his needs even without the son’s permission, but not more than the amount which suffices for his basic needs. Also, it is not expected of a son to act so callously as to abstain from using his wealth for not only the basic, but also for the comfort and pleasure of his father.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Your father is the centre Gate of Jannat (for the son).” However, despite the virtues of keeping the father happy and comfortable, and despite the huge superiority of the father over his son, the Hadith is not a licence for the father to take the son’s wealth. It is haraam for the father to take his son’s wealth on the basis of this Hadith. The father is entitled to only maintenance.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had mentioned this Hadith to a son who despite having wealth was refusing to support his father.
Q. My husband and in-laws are cruel and unjust to me. Besides them not fulfilling the rights the Shariah has granted me, they make me slave for them. My husband mentally and sometimes physically abuses me. I am bearing all the injustice with Sabr. Some acquaintances say that it is stupidity to stay in this type of situation. They urge me to leave my husband and apply for annulment of the marriage. What is your advice. If I choose to bear the injustice is there any special reward for me by Allah Ta’ala?
A. You have asked a very intelligent question. Few women are really concerned with the thawaab (reward) for adopting Sabr. Know that for Sabr – for bearing the injustice and zulm of the husband – the Thawaab is so wonderful and so abundant that you may receive the status of a Shaheed (Martyr). While it is permissible to apply for annulment, there is nothing better than Sabr. The Qur’aan Majeed says: “Verily, Allah is with the Saabireen.”
Life on earth is short and full of trials. This world is the abode of test and trial. If you are able to bear the injustice with Sabr keeping the focus on Allah Ta’ala, then this will be the best option for both your dunya and the Aakhirah.
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
Q. Please explain the issue of making gifts to one’s children during one’s lifetime. Is it necessary to give them all equal gifts? If a man wishes to distribute his estate to his heirs during his lifetime, must there be equality of gifts for males and females or may the rules of inheritance be adopted?
A. Regarding gifts for children during one’s lifetime, the rulings are as follows:
1) There should be equality of gifts for all children.
2) If there is a valid reason, a child may be preferred over the others, e.g. the one child requires clothing while the others do not.
3) If a child is insolent to his parents or has become a drug addict, he may be excluded from gifts.
4) If a particular child is much more in the service of his parents while the others are on their own, this child may be preferred over the others.
5) Regarding hastening miraath (inheritance) distribution, this is not valid. The idea of hastening inheritance distribution during one’s lifetime may not be used as a ruse for discriminating between sons and daughters. Allah Ta’ala has decreed Miraath for the period which follows death. It may therefore not be brought forward.
TAKEN FROM THE MAJLIS VOLUME 26 NUMBER 02