Islam/My father hates my wife
I have been married to the daughter of my mother's brother (uncle), since twenty years. I have four kids (three sons and one daughter). My wife is very obedient and served me very well through out all these years.
Although my marriage was totally arranged with the consent of my parents, my parents have never loved my wife or my kids or allowed me to become a good/loyal husband. I am a firm believer of parent's status in Islam and always try to keep my parents happy by constantly meeting them, talking to them, giving money to them but they have always tried to bias me against my wife.
They use various tactics. Sometimes they criticise my wife in her absence, sometimes they use indirect tactics like praising my younger's brother's wife. Sometimes they start back-biting my in-laws, and sometimes they start praising my younger brother's in-laws.
All these discussion/talks result in poisoning my mind against my wife and results in various quarrels, which grow very serious sometimes. My parents have admitted more than once, openly that they hate my wife and consider my marriage to be a "mistake". When I visit my parents along with my wife, some times they would start joking/laughing at my wife, and sometimes my father leaves the room, showing his hatred against her. I have a doubt that this hatred towards my wife, roots, back to the "eastern" hatred of my mother against the mother of my wife.
Sometimes, I try to cool my parents, and try to bridge the gap between my parents and wife, sometimes I try to convince my wife that tolerating harsh treatment from seniors (like parents), is considered good in the Islam. My parents mind has become very rigid and their attitude towards my wife has become intolerable for me. My wife has become sick due to this maltreatment of my parents. My elder son has become very sad/silent, by constantly seeing my parents attitude.
Recently, after two years of unemployment, I have got a job outside the country. Now there is marriage of my young brother, and my job does not allow me to go. My father ordered me to come to this marriage in any case, even if I have to take one day off. This is like a joke, when travelling from one country to another country is considered. My doubt is that one of their real intention might be to again "brain-wash" me against my wife
My question to you is what should I do. I have tried my best to run my marriage life and relations with my parents. My parents always try to spoil my relations with my wife.
It is very difficult to keep your mind clear, when somebody continuously tried to poison your mind. I also want that my God must remain happy with me. I am sure that God has not created me for this constant torture.
Should I stop meeting and talking to my parents, for some time. Will this time gap, bring some better output.
Please advise me in the light of Islam.
Praise be to Allah,
Muslim cultures emphasize obedience to parents as a religious duty. Contrary to what many Muslims believe and have been taught, the Quran does not have any verses that use the exact word of obedience (ateea’) regarding parents. The word in Arabic for actual obedience is not found in any verses that mention one’s parents. This is a cultural custom that people have used or have interpreted as such with the Quran to justify cultural expectations.
All the verses in the Quran, according to my knowledge and research, that talk about parents says in Arabic “bil walidayn HUSNA” and with your parents have HUSNA which comes from hasana, meaning beauty, excellence and goodness. The word for obedience is not found. HUSNA can be understood in many ways. Is part of being beautiful and good with parents obeying and being dutiful? Sure, sometimes it is, but it is not the whole picture.
This makes a lot of sense considering if our parents were not Muslims or corrupt people who called us to wrong, it would not befit God to command us to obey our parents blindly no matter what they say or call us to do. However, the meaning of having IHSAN and HUSNA towards our parents despite their belief and character makes more sense. If your parents are bad or not Muslims, you should have goodness and respect towards them, but that is not the same as obedience. You can respectfully decline a request from your parents or show them kindness and care without obeying them.
“And We have enjoined on humanity to be good and excellent to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Quran 29:8)
"There can be no obedience to a created being in disobedience to the Creator." (Hadith: Ahmed)
The above verse and hadith cited is telling us to be good, excellent and dutiful as long as you are not disobeying God and His messenger.
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” (Quran 4:59)
In this verse, the word “to obey” is ATEEA’ which is not found in the verses talking about parents.
You believe that God has not created you for this constant torture, that's TRUE. You said that after two years of unemployment, you have got a job outside the country. I see it as the blessing of Allah for you and family, as He keeps you away from toxic environment. I assumed that you bring along your family with you to stay outside the country. Then it must be a good time for you to "start over" a new better life. To cure those painful psychological torture and live peacefully with your family.
About the calling of your father to come to the wedding, as I mentioned previously, there is no compulsory for blind obedience. However, this is your responsibility to try to make them understand about your situation. You may have tried it, but let me share my ideas, what if you explain the consequence to your father that if he insists you to take one day off, you may losing your job then you won't be able to support your family, and there will be people to suffer unnecessarily (your family). Please talk to him in a very soft manner, I know to some extent it is easier said than done. But knows that Allah knows your sincere intention.
I would like to cite one story in the time of Moses (pbuh), there was one true obedient believer who asked God who will be his neighbor in the Heaven. God responded and asked him to go to a man's house in another region. The believer traveled and found the man and he asked permission to stay in his house for sometime (for he wanted to know what kind of deed he committed that pleased God, and made him his "would-be" neighbor in Paradise). Everything seemed to be normal until the true believer found him take care two pigs in his house, he took care of them very well, bathing them, clean them, provide them food, he did it obediently. The guest (the true believer) was so shock that he asked the man, why he did those all to such low animals. The man replied that they are his parents; that they have committed grievous sins and God has cursed them and being pigs afterward."
This is a moral story on how a man stand firm with the commands of Allah (being good and kind to parents) despite of what they have done. And Allah rewards him a paradise.
Being away from toxic relationship (live outside the country) should brings huge difference to the psychological state of your family- it is proven by scientific research. Take sometime to think, to discuss with your wife, to figure out the solution for this situation. I mean talk heart to heart, sometime we need to change ourselves when situation doesn't change at all. Which means, if you see that there is very slight hope for your parents to change their attitude toward your wife, then try to change yourselves (you and wife). Change your mindset, change the way you and your wife respond to the attitude of your father, of course still in a very polite and soft, but different tone, be stronger to resist their negative influence, I know it takes time but just try.
I believe you have prayed a lot for this, and I would like to remind again, that prayer is the weapon for the Muslim. So, please pray more and more. Please ask Allah for the best solution for this kind of situation. Again, I believe that Allah has sent you to another country as He keeps you away temporarily from this very negative environment. Please ask Allah to show you, to guide you to be a good son in the way Allah will be pleased and at the same time to guide you to be a good husband and father, who should be a protector to your wife instead of being "evil" to wife. I believe that the curse of parents are something we need to seriously pay attention, so try your best not to initiate any provocation. Communication skill play a great role in this situation.
Please don't stop talking to your parents, as it won't please Allah. Talk, please talk, maybe you can try to be humorous at first, and be somewhat thick-skinned when they try to ridicule your wife. It takes time to strengthen your mental to face them in such a way, but I believe in the power of mindset.Never lose hope for His blessings for hearts of all human being is in the Hands of Allah. He can easily change it, so keep praying and working on it in the best possible manner.
Finally, I'd like to mention the Qur'anic verse (42:30). "And whatever strikes you of disaster - it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much." I'm not trying to judge you, but we are just imperfect human beings. There are times when we make mistake unintentionally and unconsciously. There maybe times when Allah reminds us in some way that can bring us back to Him, really purifying ourselves, our faith. So, seek forgiveness more often, no matter what.
May Allah guide you to the best solution, and bless you along with your family a peaceful life in the now and Hereafter. Amiin.
I hope you find it helpful. Thank you.