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Irsyad al-Fatwa #206.PNG

 

Question:

What is the ruling for a mother in law to leave with her daughter back to the mother in law’s house, when the husband did not give his permission, because they had a small fight?

 

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

It is originally ruled as prohibited for a wife to leave her husband’s house without the husband’s permission. The wife is considered as nusyuz and she has committed a great sin.

Nusyuz Definition

Nusyuz literally means committing sin or transgression. It comes from the root word nasyz and nasyaz that means a high standing.

Meanwhile, according to syarak, it usually falls to woman. A woman that is considered nusyuz is a wife that disobeys her husband and raised herself from what has been commanded and obligated to her by Allah SWT.

The Ruling and Evidences Related to Nusyuz

Nusyuz is ruled prohibited and it is a great sin.

Allah SWT states:

وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ

“But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance –” 

Surah al-Nisa’ (34)

From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا بَاتَتِ المَرْأَةُ مُهَاجِرَةً فِرَاشَ زَوْجِهَا، لَعَنَتْهَا المَلاَئِكَةُ حَتَّى تَرْجِعَ

"If a woman spends the night deserting her husband's bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her till she comes back (to her husband).”

Sahih al-Bukhari (5194)

From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ، فَأَبَتْ أَنْ تَجِيءَ، لَعَنَتْهَا المَلاَئِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ

"If a man Invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning."

Sahih al-Bukhari (5193)

From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَدْعُو امْرَأَتَهُ إِلَى فِرَاشِهَا، فَتَأْبَى عَلَيْهِ، إِلَّا كَانَ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاءِ سَاخِطًا عَلَيْهَا حَتَّى يَرْضَى عَنْهَا

“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is in the heaven is displeased with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her.”

Sahih Muslim (1436)

From Muaz bin Jabal RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَا تُؤَدِّي الْمَرْأَةُ حَقَّ رَبِّهَا حَتَّى تُؤَدِّيَ حَقَّ زَوْجِهَا

“By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfil her duty towards Allah until she fulfils her duty towards her husband.”

Sunan Ibn Majah (1853)

Types of Nusyuz

Nusyuz is a ruling for both a wife and a husband. If one of them neglects their responsibilities, then they are considered nusyuz:

  1. Nusyuz for a wife:
  2. Go out of her husband’s house without the permission of her husband and a reason permitted by syarak. The reasons permitted by syarak are:
  • To consult a qadi/judge to claim her rights from her husband
  • To work to provide for herself if her husband is not able provide for her
  • Consult a mufti to ask for a fatwa if her husband is not a faqih and her husband is unable to ask for the fatwa for her.
  1. Refuse istimta’ (to be intimate with her husband), even if it is not in term of intercourse.
  • Travel without her husband’s permission.
  1. Refuse to let her husband into the house.
  2. Refuse to fulfil her husband’s desires without a reason, for example, if she is sick, then she has a reason to refuse.
  3. Busy with other matters when her husband has called for her.
  • Refuse to return home to her husband’s house even when her husband has invited her back and decides to stay with her parents.
  1. Nusyuz for a husband:
  2. Neglecting his wife.
  3. Does not fulfil his wife’s spiritual needs
  • Refuse to provide for his wife
  1. Unfair in dividing the turns for his wife (polygamy).

Refer: al-Mu`tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafie (90-92) by Syeikh Muhammad al-Zuhaili

Conclusion

It is an improper action for the mother in law to leave with her daughter back to her house without the permission from the daughter’s husband. However, husband and wife should be wise in handling these types of situations with patience and they should take the right course of action until the situation is resolved.

The right action for the wife to take is to not leave her husband’s house with her mother, even if her parents asked her to. However, the ruling would change if the husband is committing a crime towards his wife, such as threatening the life of his wife or hurt his wife. Then the mother in law’s action is to save her daughter from harm.

May this explanation benefit the questioner. We pray that Allah SWT blessed this family.