Marriage in Islam is a blessed union that brings together a man and a woman, with the righteous intentions of completing half their deen. Marriage is also a union of two families, the immediate and distant relatives of the couple on both sides. So the wife should behave well with her in-laws.
Who are In-Laws?
In-laws include every family member or a cousin of the spouse so be kind to everyone just to please your spouse. Every wife should treat her mother in law as her own mother. She should pay due respect to her and obey her commands. If the old mistress of the house rebukes her on some matters, she should not answer back. Similarly, she should treat her father in law as her own father and look after his requirements. During the lifetime of her husband’s parents, she should never think of dividing the family by raising the demand for a separate house for herself and her husband. She should be kind to other ladies in her husband’s family such as the wives of her husband’s elder and younger brother. She should be friendly with the sisters of her husband.
Allah SWT says,
“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard.” (4:34)
In-laws refer to a relative of the husband such as his brothers, nephew, and cousin, etc, with whom marriage would be permissible for her. If she were to be divorced or widowed then she must be worn a hijab in front of male in-laws.
Role of the Wife:
The wife should exercise patience and kindness towards her husband and her in laws. There is no harm to live with them in one house except that privacy for the wife is provided.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3272, Narrated by Abu Hurayrah:
When Allah’s Messenger (saws) was asked which woman was best he replied,
“The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves.”
Honoring in-laws in order to make marriage work also involves: controlling your facial expression in front of them so that it is always pleasant, never answering back or raising your voice at them; no matter how much they mistreat you. And never argue with your spouse when they are around.
Expressing your opinions and emotions too loudly and violently in front of your in-laws automatically reduces your worth in their eyes.