Firstly i would like to apologise if the message is long but i deem it necessary to give as much details as i can.
I have been married 11 years and 3 years ago my father in law passed away. Due to this my husband (being a only son and having 4 sisters) decided he would continue living with his mother (i consented to this) and buy out his fathers share in the property.
Over the past 3 years he has been paying his sisters and mum what they were owed according to the islamic inheritance shares. Everyone is aware of this.
My question now is in regards to the rights i have in accordance to the fact that we now own nearly 50% of the property. As it stands my 4 sister in laws come and stay/go as they please. I never know when anyone is coming. Now as it is their mothers house too i have no problem with this but i dont like the fact that i am never told until the day/day before.
Due to this i can never invite my family down or even ask my brothers/cousins to come stay. It has happened twice where i have told my husband i am calling my mum and dad down and then his sisters just turn up (this was covid time therefore my parents didnt want to impose or risk spreading covid). I then have to cancel my plans. As you can imagine it is my oarents so it is upsetting not being able to call them when i please.
I am in no way expected to cook/clean for them and have no complaints as such therefore i do not want to cause any arguments or problems.
So to sum up, if we own half the property then islamically should i be told when my husbands side of the family are coming to stay/eat or even just down for the day. Please note i am not saying that they need to ask my permission as i would never ever refuse them coming, i would just like to know when someone is coming.
The technicalities of your living arrangement are not clear.
You have submitted that your husband owns almost half of the house – it appears that he has taken his share and bought his father’s share while working towards buying out your sister-in-laws overtime. Based on this understanding, the most appropriate modality for your circumstances suggests that the house has been bought by your husband. Your husband has taken ownership of the house, and his payments to the previous shareholders (his sisters and mother etc.) have been deferred.
Nonetheless, this legal technicality does not solve your issue. Remember that your in-laws consider this house to be their familial home – this is engrained mentally and emotionally. If you do not act properly, your actions will be misconstrued very easily as trying to take away their home.
The way you handle this matter must be sensitive and delicate. My teacher had dealt with similar cases like this and speaks of how hostile these situations can become. If you have a close relationship with your sister-in-laws, you may wish to raise this with them if you can be informed when they come. Alternatively, set a day of the week or so when your parents will visit, and try to communicate with your sister-in-laws about this.
Moreover, speak to your husband about your concerns if you have not done so previously. Know that he will also feel isolated, between his family and wife, in dealing with this issue and he should also proceed with sensitivity.
A fatwa will not fix or aid your troubles. Careful communication within particular cultural norms will help you navigate through your issues. And I pray that Allah gives you the resolve to see it through and reward you for your patience.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel