Wife Or Mother Who Comes First?

A husband’s duties towards his wife and mother have long been debated in the tapestry of familial relationships. Based on Islamic Shariah, this balance is woven into love, respect, and responsibility.

For our wives, Allah says in Surah An-Nisa 4:34, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them excel over the other, and because they spend out of their possessions (to support them).”

And Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behavior, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives”. [Riyad as-Salihin 278]

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For our mothers, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Paradise lies at the feet of your mother” [Sunan an-Nasa’i 3104].

Here, we’ll discuss most situations in which we must choose between our mother and wife and what to do according to Islamic Shariah.

Wife or Mother Who Comes First in Islam: 5 Situations to Consider

As a Muslim husband, you are responsible for both your wife and mother, but in some situations, one needs to take precedence over the other. Listed below are five common situations and how Muslims should react according to Islamic Shariah.

Wife Or Mother Who Comes First

No 01: Love and Companionship

The Islamic faith teaches nurturing love and respect for your wife while also honoring your mother’s rights.

Quality time spent with your wife is essential, as she’s your companion and partner in life. Even so, it’s equally important to maintain a loving and respectful relationship with your mother, who’s raised and cared for you.

But if it becomes a choice between spending time with one or the other, you should prioritize your wife over visiting your mother. That doesn’t mean you should forget about your mother or be disrespectful to her. Instead, try to maintain a balance between both relationships.

No 02: Health and Emotional Support

To prioritize health and emotional support in Islam, husbands should carefully assess the needs of both their wives and mothers and provide equal care.

When faced with the dilemma of prioritizing between a sick mother and an emotionally distressed wife, the husband must consider the urgency and severity of the situation. Islamic teachings emphasize the duty of caring for the sick, and if the mother’s condition is severe, the husband should prioritize her well-being.

Almighty Allah Says:

۞ وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـٰنًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّۢ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًۭا كَرِيمًۭا ٢٣

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship not except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” [Surah Al-Isra 17:23]

However, if both the wife and mother require emotional support, Islam encourages husbands to distribute their time and attention judiciously. Fairness and care should be exercised towards both parties, ensuring they receive the necessary support to maintain their health and emotional well-being.

No 03: Inheritance and Financial Rights

Islamic teachings state that a husband is responsible for providing for his wife’s financial needs. If the husband faces financial difficulties, his wife should come first.

This means the wife’s financial rights take precedence while the mother still maintains her financial rights. The husband should strive to fulfill his mother’s financial needs within his means, but not at the expense of neglecting his wife’s and children’s essential needs.

No 04: Conflicts Between Mother and Wife

When faced with conflicts between your mother and wife, you should approach the situation fairly and commit to resolving the issues peacefully.

Conflicts between the mother and wife can arise for various reasons, such as differences in opinions, expectations, or misunderstandings. As a husband, you must remain objective and balanced in addressing these conflicts.

Listening to both parties and understanding their perspectives without taking sides is essential. Take appropriate measures to resolve the fault by looking for it with true justice. If it’s your wife’s fault, talk to her like a friend. Do not hurt your mother if it is her fault. Talk to her as a son and talk to her with respect.

If your wife and mother disagree on any matters, ensure that you do not make a decision at their expense. Be sure to involve both parties in the conversation and try to reach an agreement that satisfies both.

No 05: Separate Living Quarters

Shariah supports separate living arrangements if the husband has the means and the wife feels uncomfortable or harmed. If the wife is abused or a victim of domestic violence from your parents or in-laws, the husband is responsible for providing her with a safe and comfortable living space.

In case your mother is at risk of being harmed by your wife in your absence, you should take care of her first. Based on Islamic Shariah, you can teach your wife the importance of caring for parents. You can also involve relevant authorities to protect your mom’s rights.

Otherwise, you may need to arrange for your mother to be in a safe place without being harmed. Ensure there is enough person who can care for her. Keep in touch with your mom and ensure she has what she needs. In the meantime, try to convince your wife to accept and cooperate with your decision.

Balancing Love and Respect for Wives and Mothers

In Islam, whether the wife or the mother comes first, isn’t a matter of competition. Rather, both roles hold equal importance and deserve utmost respect. According to Islam, both mothers and wives have rights and responsibilities that must be balanced and harmonious.

Prioritize love, care, and support for both, ensuring a harmonious and fulfilling family life. And all spouses should respect their mothers-in-law’s rights and treat them like a wife would.

So, as a husband, make sure you make sound decisions with fairness and justice in order to maintain a harmonious relationship between both parties.







Omar Abdullah

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