Being stepmother sometimes occurs so much pressure because people like to have comparison between the step and the biological. Every relationship between parents as husbands or wives, or between the parents and children, has its own demands. It also includes the relationship either between husband or wives as step mother or father, or between step parents and step children.
Stepparents, either step father or mother, need to put the highest responsibility raising the children not their own, or at least not they’re biological ones, with the same exact amount of affection. Especially, stepmothers, who need to understand the complication and duties as a mother. Although stepmothers are given so many responsibilities and duties, they also have some rights to concern either by their husbands or stepchildren. So now, let’s find out some important rights of stepmother in Islam that might be beneficial to us. find out Islamic rules for second marriage in islam
- Rights for proper accommodation
Stepmothers as wives should be given proper accommodation either from the husbands, or from their stepchildren when they get old. There shouldn’t be any differentiation towards stepmothers just because they’re not the biological mother of the children.
“(During the waiting period) lodge them according to your means wherever you dwell, and do not harass them to make them miserable.And if they are pregnant, provide for them maintenance until they have delivered their burden. And if they suckle your offspring whom they bore you, then give them due recompense, and graciously settle the question of compensation between yourselves by mutual understanding. But if you experience difficulty (in determining the compensation for suckling) then let another woman suckle the child.” (Qur’an, 65:6)
2. Rights for financial and emotional support
Stepmothers deserve financial and emotional support from their husbands. The rights include every aspect in her life, from the fundamental needs like clothes, foods, money, until affection as form of emotional support. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah may be upon him) once said:
“That he should feed her whenever he eats and cloth her whenever he clothes himself, that he not hit her face, that he not call her ugly and that he not boycott her except within the house.” (Ibn Majah)
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3. Rights to be treated well by husbands and other family members
It is good to maintain close relationship with stepmothers. And the stepmothers actually deserve proper treatment from their husbands ant other family members. There shouldn’t be any differentiation because apparently they have the same status as the biological mothers and wives. This ayah below spoke:
“Believers! It is not lawful for you to become heirs to women against their will. It is not lawful that you should put constraint upon them that you may take away anything of what you have given them; (you may not put constraint upon them) unless they are guilty of brazenly immoral conduct. Live with your wives in a good manner. If you dislike them in any manner, it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good for you. ” (Qur’an, 4:19)
4. Rights to keep distance from stepchildren
According to the practice of Islam, stepmothers have rights not to interfere the life of their spouse’s children from the previous marriage. They have rights to keep distance and it’s not obligated to take care of the children. Sometimes, it can depend on the arrangement or consent between both spouse, but it will be better if stepmothers keep maintaining such a good relationship with their children, especially the children of the late wives of their current husbands. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah may be upon him) once told the miraculous benefits of taking care of children as orphans:
“The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this.” (Bukhari)
5. Rights for respect and honor
Another important rights of stepmothers is that they deserve to be given respect and honor from their stepchildren. Stepchildren should obey them with respect and honor as their stepmothers are the one who replace the role of their biological mother. They’re not different with the biological ones. This ayah below told us to be good to our parents, either the biological ones or not:
“Your Lord has decreed: Do not worship any but Him; Be good to your parents; and should both or any one of them attain old age with you, do not say to them even “fie” neither chide them, but speak to them with respect, and be humble and tender to them and say: “Lord, show mercy to them as they nurtured me when I was small.” (Qur’an, 17:23-24).
6. Rights to be thanked
Every living humankind deserves to be thanked. Showing our thankfulness to other people reflects our affection towards them. Stepmothers also have rights to be thanked by their husbands and stepchildren. Thanking stepmothers for what they have done is so grateful and rewarded by blessing from Allah. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah may be upon him) persuaded us to be thankful to others as the reflection of gratitude:
“The most grateful people to Allah Blessed and High are the most thankful of them to others.” (Ahmad)
7. Rights for affection
Stepmothers also have rights for affection from their husbands and stepchildren. The affection can be shown through the close relationship between them and other family members. Loving stepmothers is also the best righteous deeds anyone can do because it strengthens the tight with the people whom the father gives affection. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah may be upon him) said:
“One of the best righteous deeds is fr a man to uphold ties with the people whom his father had affection.” (Muslim)
8. Rights to educate and discipline children
Stepmothers have responsibility to raise their children although it is not much obligated. The huge amount of responsibility to raise their children properly sometimes comes from other family members, and society. Therefore, in order to fulfill the responsibility, stepmothers also have the same rights as biological mothers to educate and discipline the children. Educating and disciplining children should be done to make them become righteous ones.
“The best gift to children from parents is their correct training” (Tirmizi).
Besides the hadith below, Allah also has persuaded us to raise children well for the sake of their upbringing. Stepmothers get rights to educate and discipline their children in order to follow the command from Allah
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” (Qur’an, 66:6).
9. The rights for provision after divorce
“Likewise, let there be a fair provision for the divorced women; this is an obligation on the God-fearing.” (Qur’an, 2:241)
The ayah above told that whenever women get divorced, the should gain fair provision, either they are the biological mother of the child from the husbands, or the stepmother of the child from the husbands. The provision should be based on mutual consent and consultation, and the stepchildren should be aware of the rights of their stepmothers. This ayah below also explains more regarding to this issue:
“If they wish that the period of suckling for their children be completed, mothers may suckle their children for two whole years.(In such a case) it is incumbent upon him who has begotten the child to provide them (i.e. divorced women) their sustenance and clothing in a fair manner. But none shall be burdened with more than he is able to bear; neither shall a mother suffer because of her child nor shall the father be made to suffer because he has begotten him.
The same duty towards the suckling mother rests upon the heir as upon him (i.e. the father). And if both (the parents) decide, by mutual consent and consultation, to wean the child, there is no blame on them; if you decide to have other women suckle your children there is no blame upon you, provided you hand over its compensation in a fair manner. Fear Allah and know well that Allah sees all that you do.” (Qur’an, 2:233)
10. Rights for inheritance
Stepmothers have rights to inheritance from their late husbands and their stepchildren should be aware of this. The distribution of all inheritance left by the late husbands should be fair and appropriate based on the law of Islam. This ayah below explains more about that:
“And to you belongs half of whatever has been left behind by your wives if they die childless; but if they have any children then to you belongs a fourth of what they have left behind, after payment of the bequest they might have made or any debts outstanding against them.
And to them belongs a fourth of what you leave behind, if you die childless; and if you have any child then to them belongs one-eighth of what you have left behind, after the payment of the bequest you might have made or any debts outstanding against you. And if the man or woman has no heir in the direct line, but has a brother or sister, then each of these shall inherit one-sixth; but if they are more than two, then they shall inherit one-third of the inheritance, after the payment of the bequest that might have been made or any debts outstanding against the deceased, providing that the bequest causes no injury. This is a commandment from Allah; Allah is All-Knowing, All-Forbearing.” (Qur’an, 4:12)
- The rights to be obeyed by their stepchildren
- The rights to be loved by their husbands and stepchildren
- The rights to frequently visit other family members and relatives
- The rights to be respected by their stepchildren
- The rights to be helped by their stepchildren
- The rights not to be abused by their husbands
- The rights to have separate accommodation with their stepchildren
- The rights to have privacy from public affairs
- The rights to be guided spiritually
- The rights to get praising by their husbands or stepchildren
Finally, those are 20 important rights of stepmothers which we often neglected. Remember, stepmothers also have the same great status as the biological mother, and treat them with honor and respect is one of good righteous deeds which any man can commit.