Case Study E1 – Visiting Parents on Eid

By Khalid Iqbal – Founder Rahmaa Institute


Ahmed and Zahra have been married for 5 years. They had their first child born four months ago. Since this was a marriage of their choice parents on both sides had concerns about this union. Both Ahmed and Zahra decided to treat both parents equally and would alternate visiting his and her parents every Eid. Both parents live in other states where they have to fly as it is too far to drive.


Next Eid was Ahmed parent’s turn, however they planned to stay and celebrate Eid at home. Zahra was laid off for a few months and just started a new job and she had no vacation time to take extra time off at Eid.  They also were concerned about the high cost of traveling. They were still paying the bills from the birth on top of student loans and other debts from the marriage.


Zahra repeatedly asked Ahmed to tell his parents, especially his mom. But he always had excuses of being “busy” or “there is still lots of time”. Zahra was dreading the phone call from her mother in law. She did not want her in laws to get upset; especially when they have said multiple times that they are really looking forward to see their grandchild. Zahra’s parents were there with them at the child birth and her mother stayed for another two months to help Zahra. Ahmed’s mother also wanted to come only if the couple would pay for her travel cost. Because of financial issues, they could not afford to pay for her airfare. He offered to fly them to visit at a later date when they could afford but his mom refused. His mom was really upset as she thought that Ahmed and Zahra paid for her parents travel cost, although her parents drove and paid for the trip themselves.


Last night again Ahmed and Zahra had a heated discussion on this topic. Ahmed response was “I don’t have time, why don’t you call” and walked out of the room. Zahra tried again after an hour but Ahmed would not talk.


The next day, Zahra’s phone rang and it was her mother in law’s phone number on the caller ID. She didn’t know what to do.



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (We will be discussing these questions in detail at the next group discussion)


  1. Identify and clearly define what the real issue is?
  2. How should the couple handle the issue?
  3. Should they be visiting the parents no matter what their personal situation is, just to keep the peace?
  4. What if the situation was reversed and it was Zahra’s parent turn and it was Ahmed’s parent who came at the child birth?
  5. What is the expected reaction from his parent if Zahra called and told her mother in law their situation and that they are not planning to come on Eid?
  6. What in your opinion should be the reaction in ideal situation?
  7. Who should be making the call Ahmed or Zahra? Explain why?
  8. Was it a good idea to raise both parent expectations by visiting every eid?
  9. Is love marriage a good idea or should we be sticking to the idea of arrange marriages.
  10. Who should be the final decision maker in marriage? The boy and girl or the parents (elders)?

The couple is planning on having another baby in two years time, it will be more difficult to keep their routine of visiting parents every Eid. What are your recommendation for them?

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