In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- The Shari`ah does not set a minimum or maximum number of times a person should visit his or her family. Everyone’s circumstances are different.
2- If, however, this is causing a problem between you and your husband, sister, we counsel you to look within yourself and see if you are demanding too much. Does your husband have to drive you to your parents’ house or are you able to get there on your own?
3- If you have to depend on him for transportation and he is tired after work, you can limit your visits. Perhaps your frequent visits make him feel ignored, or perhaps he feels that you are going to your parents to complain about him. Try to spend more time with him.
Answering your question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:
The relations between the spouses should be based on tranquility, love and mercy. Allah says, “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30: 21)
Tranquility, love and mercy are very important concepts in Islam. These three summarize the ideals of Islamic marriage. It is the duty of the husband and wife to see that they are a source of comfort and tranquility for each other.
They should do everything physically, emotionally and spiritually to make each other feel happy and comfortable. They must care for each other and not inflict any harm or injury, either physical or verbal, on each other.
In order to increase the tranquility and comfort in their relations and in their home, they should love each other and should have mercy and kindness for each other.
Upholding family ties is obligatory, as Allah says:
“…fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (and do not cut of the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…” (An-Nisa’ 4:1) “And give to the kindred his due and to the poor…” (Al-Isra’ 17:26)
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Allah created His creation, and when He had finished it, the womb (referring to ties of kinship) got up and caught hold of Allah whereupon Allah said, ‘What is the matter?’ On that, it said, ‘I seek refuge with You from those who sever the ties of kith and kin.’ On that Allah said, ‘Will you be satisfied if I bestow My favors on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favors from him who severs your ties?’ On that it said, ‘Yes, O my Lord!’ Then Allah said, ‘That is for you.'” Abu Hurairah added: If you wish, you can recite: ‘Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship.” (Muhammad 47:22-23) (Al-Bukhari)
Upholding the ties of kinship means being kind to one’s relatives, whether by giving them material things or treating them well. The least of this is greeting them with salam and not forsaking them.
There is no limit in Shari`ah to the number of times a person should visit his or her relatives, because this will differ according to people’s circumstances, how busy they are, how close or how far away they live, and the circumstances, employment and other commitments of the husband who is to bring his wife to visit her family.
Some wives live close to their own families, and others may live in another city or country, all of which are factors in the matter. But the husband should realize that it is not permissible for him to deliberately prevent his wife from visiting her family and upholding her ties of kinship with them.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.