Date : 28-11-2023

Question :

My mother in law is a widow and receives a pension. My wife used to repay a loan for her at a rate of 100 dinars per month. Before getting married, my mother in law relied on her daughter's salary, but after my wife got married, she stopped providing financial assistance to her and only continued repaying the loan. In response, my mother in law has prohibited all her children from visiting or talking to their sister. She refuses reconciliation unless my wife (her daughter) pays the amount she used to provide. It's worth noting that my wife has her own loan. Is my wife considered disobedient to her mother, or is she committing a sin by reducing the financial assistance?

The Answer :

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

Islam calls for kindness and righteousness towards one`s parents and assisting them through both effort and financial means. It emphasizes treating them with respect and avoiding any display of irritation or displeasure towards them, especially as they age. Parents are worthy of special care and attention considering the care they provided to their sons and daughters during their childhood. Allah, the Most High, says: " Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." {Al-Isra, 23-24}.

Regarding the financial support for an insolvent mother, it is obligatory that it be divided among her sons and daughters to ensure that she gets what suffices her needs. In the Jordanian Personal Status Law, specifically in the context of parental support, Article 197 states: "A financially capable son or daughter, adult or minor, must provide support for his/her needy parents even if they are capable of earning." Thus, it is not permissible to burden some children with this financial responsibility while exempting others, if they are all financially capable.

If the mother receives sufficient financial support, she is not allowed to burden her daughter with expenses beyond her needs. Whatever the case may be, it is not permissible for the mother to sever kinship ties with her daughter or command her other children to do so. This is considered breaking ties of kith and kin, which is prohibited in Islam. Allah, the Most High, says: " Then, is it to be expected of you, if ye were put in authority, that ye will do mischief in the land, and break your ties of kith and kin?."  {Mohammad, 22).

Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned in the context of forbidden severance of family ties: "It is prohibited to break ties that had existed with one's close relatives without a valid Sharia excuse. This is because doing so leads to hardening hearts, creating animosity, and causing harm." [Al-Zawajir, Vol.2/P. 127].

In conclusion, it is also incumbent upon the daughter to remain virtuous, obedient, and kind to her mother. The mentioned situation of potentially reducing financial assistance does not constitute disobedience on part of the daughter if her income isn`t sufficient. And Allah the Almighty knows best.