Can Men Prohibit Their Wives’ Relatives From Visiting?

04 January, 2018
Q According to Islam it's not permissible for a wife to let someone enter her husband's house if he does not want them to enter it. My question is it permitted for a husband to exploit this right to not let enter mahram relatives & female relatives of the wife even they cause no harm & make her life isolated & miserable in this way? I fear that if the husband wants, he can exploit this right to make the wife isolated from the world by not allowing anyone in the house even if there is no harm!

Answer

Short Answer: Prophet Muhammad said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his family.” There is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning the husband’s right to tell his wife not to allow her parents or mahrams to enter and visit her. Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifah are of the opinion that the husband should not prevent the wife’s parents from visiting.

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Salam dear sister,

Thank you for your question.

Marriage, in Islam, is a sacred bond.

Marriage is the only permissible means in Islam to establish a family which is the basis of the society.

Both husband and wife have rights and responsibilities.

Tranquility, love and mercy are the basis of marriage in Islam.

We read in the Quran what means:

{And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.} (Ar-Rum 30:21)

The marital house is a noble house. Spouses are commanded to protect their home, and the wife is the queen of her house.

Both the wife and the husband should shoulder the responsibility of guarding their home.

There are certain rules and regulations pertaining to admitting people into the home of a married couple.

Scholars’ Opinions

Muslim scholars agree that in case the husband gives his wife permission to admit a specific person who is one of her mahrams or a woman, then it is allowed for the wife to admit them to the house.

In case the husband remains silent and does not give permission, then the wife should do what she thinks is most likely to be appropriate, and allow to enter the house those whom she thinks her husband would most likely approve.

But if she thinks that her husband would not want a specific person to enter the house in his absence, then it is not permissible for her to admit this person.

These scholarly views are based on the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“It is not lawful for a woman to observe an optional fasting without the permission of her husband when he is at home. Nor should she allow anyone to enter his house without his permission.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Now, we come to the core of your question, does the husband have the right to tell his wife not to allow her parents or mahrams to enter and visit her?

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning this issue.

The opinion of Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifah is that the husband should not prevent the wife’s parents from entering the martial house. He also should not prevent other mahrams from visiting her. The same applies to her children from another husband.

Honoring the wife’s mahrams is a form of honoring and keeping good company with her. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The best of you is the one who is best to his family.” (At-Tirmidhi)

At the same time, if the husband is suspicious about one of his wife’s mahrams or he thinks one of them or one of the parents will try to cause trouble between him and his wife, it is permissible for him to prevent them from visiting her so as to ward off trouble, and there is no sin on him in that case.

I hope this answers your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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Read more…

The Bonds of Love and Mercy

Why in Islam a Wife Has to Obey her Husband?

Wives Dealing With Tough Husbands: Any Options?

Obedience & Respect in Marriage: For Both Spouses?

About Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and a contributing writer and counselor of Reading Islam. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.