As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuh (peace be upon you).
I have been married for 5 years. Since my mother-in-law came to betroth me and I feel she hates me. I tried -by the admission of my husband- to draw near her with kind treatment and with gifts, but it did not work out. She used to incite my husband to fight with me to the extent that he beat me once. I used to supplicate Allah to save me and He responded to me and my husband got a job abroad. I felt comfortable when we moved out, but she will come and stay 3 moths with us. I do not feel comfortable for this and I try to accept her, but I am afraid and I feel that the problem will increase to reach divorce; what can I do?
Peace be upon you.
You are most welcomed in Alukah Website and I hope you will find the answer in my words.
In the beginning: Let me ask you a question:
Who told you that your mother-in-law hates you since the betrothal?
Such an issue cannot be ascertained by feelings only; did she tell you that she hates you?
Did she write a letter to you telling you that? Did she commend one of her trustworthy relatives to tell you that?
I assume that the answer is "No." I think what happened is that you have cinematographic legacy, especially Egyptian or Syrian or you have a bulk of experiences since your childhood through your readings about the correlative hatred between a mother-in-law and a wife, therefore your counsel was entitled Mother-in-law oppresses her daughter-in-law.
This was in your imagination, so you treated with her in such a way. Accordingly, perhaps she showed some hard feelings as you did with a similar legacy about her daughter-in-law and did not try to alleviate the tensive atmosphere between you even if you present her some gifts. If she comes with terrified feelings, those feelings will not achieve their target, especially because some mothers feel jealousy of their daughter-in-law who takes her son of her, and they have the right to do so. When you marry your son, you will feel that too because she is the one who brought up, raised, behaved, and taught; do you think that she leaves him to you?! The problem will be when the son ignores his mother and busies himself with his wife; this is the greatest calamity that - thanks to Allah - your husband did not do, as I understood from your letter. This indicates his kind nature and good upbringing as a fruitful result of his mother's effort.
Dear questioner, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) deposited in man the power of choice which was mentioned in many Qur'anic texts in Surat Al Baqarah, Surat `Abasa, Surat Al Isra', and Surat Al Insan to the extent that a human being is the one who designs himself by a former knowledge and a will of Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted), the Knower of the Seen and the Unseen. Let me say to you: The uncomfortable relation between you and your mother-in-law —mostly— is your own responsibility because of the way you looked to your life, therefore, I advise you to stick to the tool of social communication that is mentioned in Allah's saying (may He be Exalted):"The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! He, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. * But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character)." [Surat Fussilat:34-35]. Look up for the meaning of this Ayah in Tafsir "Dhilal Al Qur'an (in the shade of the Qur'an)" of Sayyid Qutb.
However, I want to say: pushing away bad actions by good ones is not an easy thing to do because it needs more patience and the one who can do this (pushing away bad actions by good actions i.e., when someone harms you, you meet his or her bad actions by good ones, not as they did). I say that the one who is able to do so was described by Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) by "of great fortune." So, what is more honorable than this great honor? Perhaps we deserve it and Allah provides us with it.
The presence of your mother-in-law with you abroad is essential for both of you because old people (especially, the parents) with their supplications, their righteousness, and asking for forgiveness bring about blessings and goodness to the house and the family. Your husband will not find in the whole universe someone to supplicate for him as his mother does. As for you, —by the will of Allah— by seeking the reward from Allah, you are able to change the picture that is in your mind about your mother-in-law. Hence, you can treat her kindly with truthful love and respect come from the bottom of your heart (not only out of fear of her evil).When your view changes, the world will change for your own good.
I ask you to help your husband to treat his mother kindly, do good to her, and prefer her to anything else and if you do, be sure that your husband will hold firm with you because there is no husband divorces a wife who commends him with taking care of his mother and treating her kindly. We ask Allah to make us from the people who listen the words and benefit from them.
As-salamu `Alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!).