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Search Fatawaa

Subject : Is a Wife Permitted to Back out of her Acceptance to Live with her Mother-in-Law?

Fatwa Number : 904

Date : 09-08-2010

Classified : Taking a wife back in marriage after divorce

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

When I was first engaged, my fiancé stipulated that I should share the same house with his mother, not because he couldn`t afford one, but because he wanted to be dutiful to her. I agreed to his condition, and we got married, and I gave birth to a boy. Actually, my husband is a God-fearing person, and he treats me kindly. However, his first wife, who is divorced and has two boys from him, wants to return to him, and he agreed to that, and so did I. Nonetheless, when I told him that I wanted to live in a separate house just like her, he said that the two marriage contracts are separate: the one that he had concluded with me was under the condition that I should live with his mother in the same house, but this wasn`t stipulated in her (first wife) marriage contract. Moreover, his first wife and I have stipulated that he can`t make us live under the same roof. In fact, before her divorce, she had lived in a separate house for eight years. Do I have the right to live in a house of my own without his mother, or should I give in to his request?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

It is incumbent upon the wife to adhere to the condition that she had agreed to upon the conclusion of her marriage contract since Islamic Law commands Muslims to adhere to contracts and their conditions. Allah, The Exalted, Said (What means): "O ye who believe! fulfill (all) obligations" {Al-Ma`idah/ 1}. In addition, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: "Muslims will be held to their conditions, except the conditions that make the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful." {At-Tirmizi}. The husband`s second marriage doesn`t annul the conditions that he has stipulated in his first marriage since they are two separate contracts, and each has its own conditions that should be adhered to. If your husband had stipulated that you should live with his mother, and the house is large enough that you can enjoy your privacy, then it is imperative that you adhere to this condition, and make no objection under the pretext of his second marriage.

However, if the house was small, and you couldn`t enjoy your privacy, then you have the right to live in a separate one. Rest assured that you have engaged in an act of kindness once you agreed to your husband`s condition; therefore, deny not yourself the reward of this good deed, and break not the thread of love between you and your husband, whom you have referred to as God-fearing and modest, since this is a grace that not many a wife has. As for his other marriage, there is nothing you can do, but to accept it. And Allah Knows Best.



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