Dealing with in-laws
I know that it is not obligatory for the wife to cook or serve the in-laws in any manner. What about if the daughter-in-law wants to work and leaves her kids for the mother/father-in-law to take care of and also cook food, is that fair? The mother/father-in-law cook food, take care of the house, and also the grandkids. They do it for the sake of their son and the live for the grandchildren. Also, should it be alright for the daughter-in-law to as she is earning give them a token of appreciation? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Bear in mind that just because it is not obligatory for you to serve your mother and father-in-law, that should not prevent you from doing good to them. The ingredients to a successful relationship are love, sympathy, wanting good for one another, and assistance in the time of need. Good character demands that one does beyond what is required of them, e.g. even though it is not obligatory for you to hold a door open for a stranger, however, to do so would show your good character. Having a ‘give and take’ relationship with one’s in-laws, being extremely formal with them, and treating the relationship like it is ‘just business’ is not a recommended approach. Basing a relationship on mere law and only considering the bare minimum, does not constitute a healthy relationship. The Prophet (SAW) said:
[عن جابر بن عبدالله:] إنَّ من أحبِّكم إليَّ وأقربِكم منِّي مجلسًا يومَ القيامةِ أحاسنُكم أخلاقًا
اخرجه الترمذي ٢٠١٨
Translation: Verily, the most beloved to me and closest to me on the Day of Judgement from among you are the best of you in character.
Nevertheless, if the grandparents willingly take care of the children with their discretion and no one forced them, then it would be permissible and they will be rewarded for their service. We advise you not to keep a black and white relationship with your mother and father-law. Endeavor to assist and show kindness to them for the sake of Allah (SWT) as much as you can and you will be rewarded. Lastly, giving them a token of appreciation by way of gifts, money, etc. would be a great thing to do as this will make them happy. The Prophet (SAW) said:
[عن جابر بن عبدالله:] كلُّ معروفٍ صدقةٌ
اخرجه الترمذي (١٩٧٠)
Translation: Every good deed is an act of charity.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham