Q: Do my husband's parents have more rights over my children than us as parents? Should in-laws visit their son and his wife everyday if they are staying in the backyard of their home?
A. The rights of parents over the children are more than the rights of grandparents over them, whether maternal or paternal. We cannot comment on the intentions of the grandparents in this case. Sometimes their concern is misconstrued as 'taking over' or 'bossy', whereas it is just their concern and they feel that they have more experience in such matters. Yes, they should show respect to the decisions of the parents in front of the kids and should not override them, otherwise the decisions of the parents will lose its value in the eyes of the kids.
Shari'ah has encouraged that in-laws should be respected and honoured just as ones own parents. Honour them when they visit you, just as you would have honoured your own parents if they were visiting. While visiting, they should keep in mind the privacy, rest time, etc. of the visited family. There is no Shar'i law explicitly stipulating and regulating such visits. Matters like this are based on cordiality, understanding and consideration. At the same time it is not ideal for in-laws to visit their son or daughter on a daily basis. The couple should be left to run their own lives. A once-a-week visit is reasonable.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai