Praise be to Allaah.
Accommodation is one of the rights of the wife that is
obligatory upon the husband according to scholarly consensus, because Allah,
may He be exalted, has decreed that the husband is obliged to provide
accommodation for the woman who is revocably divorced, as He says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Lodge them (the divorced women) where you dwell,
according to your means”
So it is more appropriate that he be required to provide
accommodation to the one who is still married. Moreover, Allah has enjoined
kind and honourable treatment between spouses as He says (interpretation of
“And live with them honourably”
Part of living with them honourably, as enjoined, is
providing the wife with accommodation in which she and her wealth are
secure. The wife cannot do without accommodation so as to shield her from
prying eyes, and so that she can have her privacy and keep her wealth. Hence
accommodation is one of the rights that she has over her husband.
The majority of Hanafi, Shaafa‘i and Hanbali fuqaha’ are of
the view that the wife has the right to accommodation separate from her
husband’s relatives, and that she has the right to refuse to live with his
father and mother or one of them.
See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 25/109
See also the answer to question no.
If the wife agrees to live with the husband’s family, there
is nothing wrong with that, because it is a yielding of her rights on her
part. But that is subject to the conditions that she is safe from falling
into haraam situations with regard to being alone with a non-mahram or
looking, and she has the right to change her mind about this agreement at
any time, because her right to separate accommodation is not waived as a
result of her giving it up.
What you mention about the possibility of being alone with
one who is not permissible for you, and the possibility of him catching you
unawares when you are not wearing hijab, confirms the necessity of hastening
to find separate accommodation. It is not obligatory to obey his mother in
this case, because obedience is only in that which is right and proper, and
your staying in this family accommodation has two obvious negative
It is impossible to relax and
enjoy time together which both spouses want
There is a risk of falling into
So our advice to your husband is to hasten to find separate
accommodation for you both, and to strive to please his mother with kind
words, frequent visits, checking on how she is, gifts, and so on. And he
should understand that his leaving his mother’s house is not regarded as
disobedience towards her.
And Allah knows best.