1. Accept your in-laws as your own parents. You have them to thank for the wonderful man who has become your life partner.
2. Don’t compare them to your parents as to show your spouse how inadequate his parents are.
3. If your in-laws give a gift, appreciate it and do not pass unkind remarks.
4. Praise them often in the presence of your husband, family, and friends in that way, even though you have not grown to like them, you will in time.
5. Realize that they are also humans. They have their faults. You would never disown your parents for their flaws, so how can you expect the same from your husband’s parents? Hide their faults. Allah Ta’ala will conceal your faults in the hereafter.
6. Lower your expectations. As much as you might feel that marriage is a huge adjustment to you, having their son married is an adjustment for them too. Their son no longer belongs exclusively to them. You will now have to learn to share.
7. Treat them respectfully. A bad word creates a permanent rift.
8. When your children show them love, be thankful rather than jealous. Would you deprive your own children of the love of their grandparents, confining them only to the love of your own parents because of jealousy? How would you feel if your brother’s wife did the same with your parents?
9. Do all you can to make them feel at home when they come by to visit. When you visit them, assist them as much as possible. They should feel pleased when you come.
10. Treat every instruction of your mother-in-law like an instruction of your own mother. Give her pleasure precedence even though she may ill-treat you. Speak to her with respect and not as you speak to an equal. Never say anything if she scolds you. Never speak harshly to her.
11. Never speak ill of them in the presence of your children. If they have overstepped the boundaries, discuss this in private with your husband.
12. Never drag your husband into an argument between your mother-in-law and yourself. By doing this, you place your husband in a very precarious position. Should you have any issue you need to address with your mother-in-law, do so in a respectful manner. By holding mature adult discussions, an amicable agreement can be reached.
13. Be a giver instead of a demander. Always remember that it is sheer folly to always go around demanding that your rights be fulfilled. Rather, concentrate on fulfilling the rights of others. In doing so, you will find that those around you will automatically begin to fulfill your rights.
14. If your in-laws have no one else to reside with, offer them to reside with you. This is more so when the father-in-law passes away. By being of service to your mother-in-law, you will attain lofty stages in the hereafter, since service grants one Allah Ta’ala Himself. Never be selfish and ask your husband to choose between his mother and you. Remember; as you do, so will you be recompensed. One day, you too will reach old-age and will require assistance.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whichever young person honors an old person due to his age, Allah Ta’ala will create someone who will honor him in old age.”
15. If your in-laws oppress you, firstly turn to Allah Ta’ala and make dua to Him. Speak to your husband in a polite manner, and inform him of your plight. Learn to forgive and forget. Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Allah Ta’ala increases a person in honor who forgives. Whoever humbles himself for Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will raise him.”
16. Always encourage your husband to keep good ties with his family members, especially parents and brothers and sisters. Many brothers and sisters become estranged after marriage due to the stories carried by the wives to their husbands. Behave respectfully to all elders like the wives of the husband’s elder brother. If younger, be kind and loving and assist as far as possible in their work.
17. Recompense comes from Allah Ta’ala. Give and give and do not ever expect something in return. Always remember that the best recompense is always from Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala says: “And what is the reward of good except good?” (Ar-Rahman. 55:601)
By Moulana Abdul Hameed Ishaq