Forcing the Wife to Live with His Family


Does the husband have the right to force the wife to live with her in-laws or does the wife have right for separate accommodation?


Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said,

{أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجْدِكُمْ وَلَا تُضَارُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ} [الطلاق:٦]

{Lodge them where you lodge according to your means, and do not injure them in order that you may straiten them} [Talaq:6]

So the woman is to live where ever her husband resides. Whether he has a very nice, large house or simple and very small; and it is upon her to be content with that. And the righteous woman who truly loves her husband and seeks her husband’s love, she’s the one who shows love and affection to him in what there’s no sin involved. And she should be loving towards his parents and his relatives. And she should aid him in keeping ties with them and in being dutiful to his parents. This is the righteous woman.

She has the right to go against what’s prescribed in this house, if it has in it free mixing, open sinning and uncovering, TV, music , and things that go against the religion. In this situation the husband must find another house for his wife and children, even if it’s a smaller house, so that they could safeguard their religion. So in this case there’s nothing wrong with finding her a seperate house. If a woman lives in the home of her husband’s father, and in it is free-mixing, where she comes into contact with his brothers, his cousins, his paternal and maternal uncles and their sons, and he’s not able to avoid this situation then it’s wajib (obligatory) to find them another house. And if he’s not able to give her a separate house, then she must remain in her room, and not come out except for a necessity. And she must cover herself properly when she comes out, until Allaah makes a way out for her to get out of that situation. So she should not uncover herself nor should she be with them in their mixed gatherings, and the places where they have television, music, and the likes.

However if there are no dispraised or sinful actions in the house for example, then she has no right to oppose her husband, rather she must aid him. It may be that he finds her a separate dwelling and he’s burdened with the rent, furnishing the house, and the utility bills, and this may cause him to go into debt while she’s not concerned with any of this. Or maybe this may cause dissension between him and his parents or his siblings. Therefore there should not be any excessiveness nor negligence, and Allaah knows best.

And if he has two wives, he should not house them both in the same house or the same room except by their pleasure. If they’re pleased with that, then yes. Otherwise he must get each one her own room, kitchen, a bathroom and the like. So that each wife will feel like she’s in charge of her own house.

And Allah knows best.

Answered by: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)


Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson