Posts Tagged ‘relationship with mother in law’


Mother in law- Three little words that have the ability to make a grown woman cringe. A
title that conjures the image of a stern, stony-faced matriarch who is of course perfection
itself in all fields of domesticity. She is the mistress of her home, and prides herself on
her exceptional homemaking skills, secure in the knowledge that all is well in her domain.

That is, all is well until her darling son grows up and gets married. Then the fun begins. A
different side to her nature begins to emerge, and it seldom paints a pretty picture. She
becomes possessive, domineering, critical and sometimes downright insulting.

She believes that since she is the self-appointed expert in every field, it is her right to correct
and ‘advise’ her daughter in law on everything she feels is not done according to her
sublime standards- be it disjointing a chicken or changing a dirty nappy. The poor
daughter in law becomes frustrated, annoyed and then totally fed-up. Her previously
polite replies to her mother in law’s constant nagging slowly become terse, eventually
leading to a spectacular loss of temper, which, in turn leads to an all-out war between
herself and her mother in law.

Does that sound familiar? It certainly is the case with most
extended families today. However, as in every case, there are always two sides to a story,
and this is no different. Looking beyond the fact that you are not related by blood, this
woman is linked to you on the next level, i.e the bond of nikah. You are married to her
son, that man who was once a tiny baby that she gave birth to. She nurtured that baby
within her for nine long months, during a pregnancy which, as the Quran states
is ‘weakness upon weakness’. She fed this child from her own body, nursed him when he
was ill, and most importantly, had the honour of answering to the title of ‘mother’. Now,
when this little boy grows up and finds a wife, who is, obviously younger, prettier and a
novelty in his life, she is definitely going to feel the pain. She will feel threatened,
insecure, old, unwanted and rejected. Due to this, even the most well-meaning of
comments and remarks manage to sound annoying. All these negative emotions compete
with the fact that she genuinely wants her son to be happy. Even the most mild-mannered
daughter in law will occasionally lose patience by what is perceived to be interference.

So is the perfect mother in law somewhere out there? She certainly is. Believe it or not,
there are women who treat their son’s wives like gold. Perhaps they don’t have daughters
of their own, or maybe they remember very clearly how it feels to be a stranger in a new
home, but they strike the perfect balance between ‘mother’ and ‘in law’, thus creating a
pleasant and cordial relationship. These women deserve to be praised and recognized for
their efforts in maintaining stable and secure family ties.

If you are reading this and are fortunate enough to have a wonderful mother in law, go ahead and give her a big hug.(or
at least a big jazakAllah!) However, all five fingers are not the same, all mothers in law
cannot be wonderful, nor can all be evil. A relationship takes effort, and determination to
make it work is up to both parties involved. It requires plenty of patience, goodwill and
broadminded thinking, as well as the ability to forgive and forget. It requires us to be the
bigger of the two, to think of it as maintaining kinship which has been emphasized time
and again in the hadeeth of Nabi (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam). After all, every good action is sadaqah and the
reward for sadaqah is eventually Jannah.


A sister in Islam