13 points on being a great “in-law”
By: Pure Matrimony
Source: Pure Matrimony
“Allah commands justice, the doing of good and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbid all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion; He instructs you that ye may receive admonition.”
(Surah An-Nahl: Verse 90)
Almost every society especially the ones flourishing in the subcontinent or the ones influenced by subcontinent culture is a huge victim of interference of both parents and in-laws in the affairs of children especially after their marriage. Parents should understand that Allah has bestowed upon them set of responsibilities towards their children and vice versa. However it is evidently clear from Quran and Sunah that children are not the properties of their parents and vice versa and therefore no-one owns anyone. Every time either party goes beyond their already set responsibilities or expectations— injustice shall arise and chaos shall be inevitable/un-avoidable. Surely in that case, each involved party shall be answerable before Allah!
Many divorces, too, take place between young couples because of parental interference. If we really want our children to flourish and progress, we should refrain from interfering in their affairs. We should not try to become uninvited judges of their problems. We find that this malaise is deeply rooted in our society. It has gone to such an extent that even the men of piety, even those who are regular in salah and even those who are understanding, intentionally or unintentionally, cause problems for their children by their interference. Kindly find below a refreshing take on certain aspects to help sort out this serious issue:
01. Love & Jealousy – One should learn to accept that different kinds of love exists and each has its own capacity and its importance, e.g. Children’s love for their parents, husband’s love for his wife, brother’s love for his sister and so on. Once either son or daughter gets married, mothers commonly feel jealous that their children love their spouse more than them. Kindly understand that the love of your children towards you is always there and could not be compared with their bond and commitment towards their spouses.
02. Confidence – Be confident in your children’s love and do not suspect them just because they need to divide their time with spouses after the marriage. Be sure to keep loving them as before and let the children know of it. Always let them know that you are there for them no matter what for any guidance.
03. Care – A common issue relating to care and looking after parents after marriage is that parents often wrongfully blame their son in-law or daughter in-law for not taking care of them enough or at least that’s how it is perceived —this is mainly applicable to situations where daughter in laws are concerned. It should be very clear that it is mainly the duty of children themselves to fully accept and fulfill their responsibilities towards their own respective parents. Much of the time, parents either fail to realize or are still in denial that it is their own children’s negligence and only they are to be blamed—this applies mainly to cases where a son’s responsibilities are concerned towards his own parents.
04. Consultation – When one gets married, issues relating to spouses/marriage are bound to emerge—in which case one can always go to their parents or in-laws for guidance. Make sure that one consults them rather than complain to them. If one comes across as complaining to their in-laws about their daughter or son—it shall be taken negatively and shall always create a negative impression.
05. Advice from parents/in-laws– Remember always to advise your children rather than ordering them or imposing your suggestions on them.
06. Involvement of parents/in-laws – Don’t get involved in the details of your children’s marriage life– let them explore and experience their lives for themselves. Let them handle things on their own unless they come to you for your help and advice! Remind yourself all the time, that when you got married you wished for the same.
07. Gifts – Give gifts. As small and immaterial as it may seem, giving gifts to your parents and in-laws has a magical effect. Love needs expression so such kind gestures show one’s love and care for them. Always remember to be fair and just between parents and in-laws.
08. Forgiveness – Whatever your parents or in-laws say or do–always be willing and ready to let issues go. Allah loves those who forgive and forget and it is considered one of the best attributes to have.
Keeping in mind the Qur’anic verse where Allah says;
“and treat your parents with kindness; if either of them or both reach old age in your presence, do not say *Uff* to them and do not rebuff them, and speak to them with the utmost respect. And lower your wing humbly for them, with mercy, and pray, “My Lord! Have mercy on them both, the way they nursed me when I was young.”
09. Privacy of couples—Keep your family matters within the walls do not disclose them unless it is necessary.
10. In-law’s respect and care for daughter-in-law – Let the daughters-in-law know of your respect, care and love for them specially through your actions. Express o her your happiness and satisfaction upon her marriage to your son, and what wonderful wife she has been to him. If she happens to be a mother, tell her what a wonderful mother she is. No one ever gets tired of hearing sincere compliments. Do compliment her and say “JazakAllah” when “JazakAllah” is due instead of behaving as if a thoughtful gesture is a duty to her towards that needs to be obeyed.
11. Realizing that you are you and she is she – Your daughter-in-law will most likely do things differently than you. If it bothers you, just smile and bear it. Don’t try to dictate how things should be done. In the end, the little details aren’t important. Don’t let them cause tension between you.
12. To Mother in-laws – You have seen each one of them grow from young ladies, to loving, caring women. Give them the same unconditional love that you give your sons. They were raised by families with different backgrounds than yours. They each have their own ways of doing things. They have learned a lot from you, and, hopefully, your relationship will get better with time.”
Needless to say, some of the comments above may be relevant to fathers-in-law as much as it is to mothers-in-laws. In order to sustain the key elements of a wonderful relationship with your daughter-in-law/ son-in-law a concerted EFFORT has to be made in establishing and maintaining it. Nonetheless, as this article has concentrated on the mother-in-law; it is not intended to portray a one sided approach or to demonize them in anyway. To equally sustain and maintain this balance— requires and needs the daughter-in-law/ son-in-law play their parts with similar awareness, respect, care and patience. As the cliché’ goes: “It takes two hands to clap”.
13. Good spouse – Be a good wife and be a good husband – no one will ever criticize you.
” Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel [Evil] with what is better: then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend and intimate!And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint – none but persons of the greatest good fortune.”
Allah knows best.