Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and his in-laws

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and his in-laws

That is, relatives through marriage, like the family of the wife and the husband of the daughter

The Messenger’s marriages were for very wise reasons and noble aims--for his in-laws to be with him following the true path of Islam. In such a way, they helped him for this life and the next. Some of the Messenger’s ways of dealing with his in-laws include:

Keeping good relations with his in-laws and being happy to see them, even after his wife had died

The Messenger (peace be upon him) did this with Khadijah’s relatives. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

«Hala bint Khuwaylid, Khadijah’s sister, asked permission to enter upon the Messenger (peace be upon him). The Messenger (peace be upon him) was happy about her arrival. He said, ‘I pray that it really is Hala!’»

[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Making his in-laws satisfied and making them happy if they were annoyed

An example of this is that,

« The Messenger (peace be upon him) came to Fatima’s house and did not find Ali in the house. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘Where is your cousin on your father’s side?’ She said, ‘We had a disagreement and he became angry with me. After that the Messenger left, not speaking to me?’ The Messenger (peace be upon him) said to a man nearby, ‘Look for him [Ali]?’ Later he came and said, ‘Oh Messenger, he is resting in the mosque.’ Therefore, the Messenger (peace be upon him) went to Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and he found him lying on the ground. Ali’s robe had fallen off him and so he was covered with dust. As a result, the Messenger (peace be upon him) brushed the dust off him, saying jokingly, ‘Stand up, oh father of the dust. Stand up, oh father of the dust’»

[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Umar ibn Al-Khattab said,

«Do not ask for an expensive dowry for your women. If giving an expensive dowry was a form of respect or indicated that the person feared Allah, the Messenger (peace be upon him) would be the first to give it. But he did not give a dowry to his wives or ask for a dowry for his daughters which was more than twelve Awqiya» [in measure]

[related by Ibn Majah].

What proof indicates that the Messenger (peace be upon him) was good to his in-laws and respected and took their feelings into account?

Not asking for expensive dowries for his daughters

Due to the Messenger (peace be upon him) being easy with his in-laws, he did not ask for expensive dowries, which is one of the wife’s rights which the husband has to give her. When the Messenger (peace be upon him) arranged his daughters’ marriages, he was easy with the in-laws with regard to the dowries.

Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

« The Messenger (peace be upon him) agreed for me to become engaged to his daughter, so I said, ‘I do not have anything [to give], so how can I become engaged to her?’ But then I remembered my relationship with him. Consequently, I returned and became engaged to his daughter. The Messenger (peace be upon him) then said, ‘Do you have anything to give» [as dowry]?’ «I told him, ‘No.’ Then he asked, ‘Where is your armour that used to break the swords which I gave you on such-and-such a day?’ I replied, ‘I [still] have it.’ Consequently, the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘Bring it to me’» [related by Abu Dawood].

Imagine, the dowry for the Messenger’s daughter was only an armour suit!! This easiness concerning the dowry was a way of him being easy with his in-laws.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) said,

«The women who bring more blessings are those who dowry is not expensive» [related by Ahmed].

What are the rights of the in-laws with each other? Explain your answer referring to the Messenger’s biography.

Not burdening the in-laws with more than they can withstand

When the Messenger’s daughter complained about looking after her house and her husband, the Messenger (peace be upon him) did not complain about his son-in-law and did not ask him to do more than he could withstand [by asking him to employ a maid]. In fact, the Messenger (peace be upon him) advised and instructed his daughter to use the best form of help for the two of them to be able to withstand life’s difficulties. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) told us,

«Fatima complained about the difficulties she faced grinding grain, so she went to the Messenger (peace be upon him), who had already left his house and so she did not find him. She found Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) there instead and therefore she told her of the difficulties. When the Messenger (peace be upon him) returned, Aisha told him that Fatima had come. As a result, the Messenger (peace be upon him) came to us. We had already gone to bed but I started to get up for him. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, ‘Stay where you are, Ali.’ The Messenger (peace be upon him) sat so close to us that I felt his cold feet on my chest. The Messenger (peace be upon him) then said, ‘Shall I teach you something which is better than what you asked me for? If you go to bed, say takbir (Allahu Akbar) thirty-four times, glory the perfect Lord (Subhan Allah) thirty-three times and praise Him (Al-Hamdulillah) thirty-three times. This is better for you than any maid’»

[related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

What do your think the relationship with in-laws should be like, and is it an important social tie in the society? Give evidence from the Messenger’s biography to support your answer.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) told us to continue to be good with our in-laws after he died

This was due to his noble manners and a form of mercy towards the in-laws. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said,

«‘You will liberate Egypt, which is a land that is called Al-Queerat. When you liberate it be good to its people as you have to protect them as they are your relatives,’ or he said, ‘You have to protect them as they are your in-laws’» [related by Muslim].

The in-law relationship referred to in this hadith was due to Maria, the mother of Ibrahim, the Messenger’s son. We can see that his advice did not entail good dealings with only the immediate members of his wife’s family, but it also included all those from her country. In fact, Maria was not a wife of the Messenger (peace be upon him), but she was his female slave, but the mother of his son Ibrahim. From this fact we can learn that the advice the Messenger (peace be upon him) gave us to be good to the wife’s immediate family is more important and deserves even more care.

The Messenger (peace be upon him) mentioned his advice concerning in-laws along with that concerning one’s relatives. What is the proof of this?

How did the Messenger’s interest with the relationship with one’s in-laws and his advice to be good to relatives affect social ties in the society?

How can you take the Messenger (peace be upon him) as a role model?

1.Just as you are good to your wife, be good to her family, tribe and country folk as well.

2.Be good and easy with your daughter’s husbands, and do not burden them with more than they can bear.

3.Be kind to your in-laws and respect them as the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to do.

4.Always remember the Messenger’s advice to treat relatives and in-laws well.

5.Do not make your daughters' dowries too expensive; always remember the dowries of the Messenger’s daughters.

6.Send prayers on the Messenger (peace be upon him) who advised us to deal well with relatives and in-laws, and always remember this advice when dealing with your in-laws.