Case Study E2 – Taunting Mother In-Law

By Khalid Iqbal – Founder Rahmaa Institute


Ali and Fatima have been married for four months. They both work full time and lead a busy social life. A few days before Ramadan begins they start to talk about how they should adjust their schedule to include sahoor and tarawih. Prior to this they would eat breakfast together before rushing out to go to work. One day as they were invited for Iftar at Ali’s parents, with Ali’s married brother and two sisters with their families. Ali’s mom asked what they had for Sahoor. Ali responded “Same as we have every day cereal and milk” Ali’s mom looked at Fatima and said “I noticed my “Pyara Baita” (lovely son) is getting weak and has lost so much weight since he got married. Then looking at her son she said, “You must be missing my paratha and the biryani I used to make for you. Why don’t you come for sahoor on the weekends at least?” Everyone stayed quiet.


Fatima felt the cynicism in her mother-in-law. She felt hurt by the comment and felt insulted in front of Ali’s siblings and other family members. She didn’t know how to react.



  1. What message you get from this conversation?
  2. Was Ali trying to send a message by responding to his mother? If yes, to whom was the message directed?
  3. What would you recommend to Ali to make his communication productive?
  4. What kind of message was the mother-in-law trying to give?
  5. What would you suggest toFatima? Should she stay quiet or say something? If she speaks, to whom  and what should she say?
  6. How do you think the siblings spouses felt?
  7. How do you think household responsibilities should be divided with in a marriage?
  8. Are there any responsibilities that cannot be shared?
  9. Are there any responsibilities that must be shared?
  10. How do/did your parents divide responsibilities

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