Q: I have a seventy-year-old mother who lives in
I am her only male child. I left the country three years ago. Please keep in mind the difficult conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the distressed governorate of
Of course, the news reached you about it. That is why I prefer not to travel there. However, my mother lives there alone. Last month, she was afflicted with a disease that has made her incapable of moving. My mother wishes that I send my wife to
to help her during this painful sickness. My wife does not want to travel because of the difficult conditions there and because of her four children who are unable to help themselves. Even more, one of those children is young and requires continuous care, especially that he is sick and needs special care. Moreover, she does not want to travel alone. I am intending to send my wife with the teachers who will travel to Syria at the end of this school year, but my wife does not want to. The question is: Is there any obligation in Shari`ah (Islamic law) that a wife should nurse her mother-in-law? If my wife does not travel, will I be undutiful to my mother who may be angry at me because of this?
(Part No. 19; Page No. 265)
there is nothing in Shari`ah
that obligates a wife to help her mother-in-law, except if she does this out of her kindness, capability, and good treatment to her husband and for the sake of establishing ties with her husband's relatives.
your wife is excused if she does not travel to your mother for fear of the difficult conditions and dangers prevailing in the country where your mother lives. There is no sin on you if she does not want to travel even if your mother is angry. You have to be dutiful to your mother in other ways as much as you can. For example, you can bring her to live with you, send her money to hire someone to serve her, or do any other thing within your capabilities. May Allah help you, and may Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.