By Abu Muhammad Yusuf
Oh no!..that Mother-in Law again! Won’t she ever leave me alone? My mother-in-law frequently forgets that she was once a daughter-in-law!…A mother-in-law made of sugar, still tastes bitter!
The battle rages for ages- “Mother-in-Law vs Daughter-in-Law”. Yet the solution is so simple to end “The War”… Treat each other with the respect they deserve and you would have a perfect relationship.
A long time ago in South Africa , a girl named Miriam got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Miriam found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Miriam was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Miriam constantly.
Days passed, and weeks passed. Miriam and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient African tradition, Miriam had to obey her mother-in-law’s every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Miriam’s poor husband Musa great distress.
Finally, Miriam could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Miriam went to see her late father’s good friend, Mr Hakuna a traditional healer and an ex-Sangoma (witch- doctor). Mr Hakuna just recently became a Muslim and changed his name to Haakim. He was made aware that witch-craft (jadoo) is totally prohibited in Islam.
Miriam remembers that Mr Haakim used to many years ago sell herbs and muti (magic powder) and was notorious for his evil mystical powers. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all.
Mr. Haakim thought for a while, and finally said, ‘ Miriam , I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.’
Miriam said, ‘Yes, Mr. Haakim, I will do whatever you tell me to do.’ She was now desperate. ‘Mr. Haakim who was now a good Muslim had repented and changed his former evil ways. He went into the back room. Miriam could hear the sound of water flowing. Mr Haakim was performing wudhu and then took out his Musalla and performed salaah . After completing his salaah he lifted and his hands to towards the sky and made dua . Miriam could hear him talking and using the name Allah. Miriam believed that he was talking to the “Evil-Spirits” to help him make the deadly potion she urgently needed to kill her mother-in-law.
Mr Haakim returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Miriam, ‘You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. I will also as a bonus give you a magical word which you must say and then blow on her food when you are preparing it. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Thereafter say the magical word ‘Bismillah’ and blow into the food. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you, when she dies, you must be very careful to be actively friendly towards her. ‘Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.’ Miriam was so happy.
She thanked Mr. Haakim and asked him how much she owed him. He told her that she was just like a daughter to him and her late father was his best friend so he could not charge her. Miriam hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Finally she had the recipe she for so long desired.
Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Miriam served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She never forgot to blow the magical word ‘Bismillah’ into whatever she prepared for her mother-in law. She remembered what Mr. Haakim had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother.
After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Miriam had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.
The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Miriam changed, and she began to love Miriam like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Miriam was the best daughter-in- law one could ever find. Miriam and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Miriam’s husband Musa was very happy to see what was happening.
One day, Miriam came to see Mr. Haakim and asked for his help again. She said, ‘Dear Mr. Haakim, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law. She’s changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.’
Mr. Haakim smiled and nodded his head.. ‘ Miriam, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. When I accepted Islam and became a Muslim I gave up all evil practices and have completely abandoned doing or supporting evil. I now only obey Allah and Allah’s Last and Final Messenger Muhammad (may peace be upon him). In Islam we are thought to be kind and to do good to others.’
The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health and the magical word ‘Bismillah’ is a word from Allah’s Final Book “The Quraan”. Bismillah means I begin in the name of Allah(God). This is proven to be an “all-in-one” remedy. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude towards her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her and off course the main ingredient was the Help of Allah. Being relieved and fascinated Miriam thanked Mr Haakim immensely.
LESSONS: Treat each other with respect, love and the kindness they deserve and you will indeed see the best in them. There is a wise saying: ‘The person who loves others will also be loved in return.’ Indeed Allah Ta’ala might be trying to work in another person’s life through you.
‘A candle loses nothing if it is used to light another one.’
Allah Ta’ala says: “ So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whoever does evil equal to an atom shall see it” Quran (Surah Az Zilzaal)
A pious and positive lady once said: “I was once blessed with a wonderful mother; I am twice blessed with an excellent mother-in-law and now I’m trice blessed with such a lovely daughter-in-law ”
There is no perfect Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in Law. It is up to each of them to bring out the best in the other. Don’t demand and lay emphasis on your rights instead be mindful of your duty and responsibility to the other and Insha Allah you will see the most beautiful relationship blossoming.
May Allah grant us true happiness in our homes and relationships…Ameen