Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “A person’s duty toward his parents comes second only to his duty toward Allah. Allah says: “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you shall render utmost kindness to your parents” (Al-Isra’: 23).
This, however, does not mean that he can be neglectful or complacent of his duties towards his spouse and children. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no sin worse than a person’s wilful neglect of his own family (i.e., wife and children).” A Muslim ought to balance his duties toward his wife and children with those that he owes toward his parents and other blood relations. Since Islam is a religion of balance, one is supposed to balance both these duties.
A woman is not asking too much of her husband if she insist that he should provide for her and her children separate living quarters from his own parents, so long as he can financially afford it. By doing this he is not in any way disobeying his parents. He need not listen to his parents should they object to this arrangement, especially if the wife is not comfortable in living with them, for his duty to provide his wife with her own personal space supersedes his duty to please his parents in this matter.
Having said this, I must also advise that a wife should never to set herrself up as rival with her husband’s parents in competing for her husband’s love and attention. As a Muslimah, she should encourage her husband to keep good relations with his parents. Her husband may do well to know that he needs to balance his commitment toward his parents with his commitment toward her and her children. He is never allowed to sacrifice one for the other.”