Are the days of joint families over?

Published: January 12, 2014
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I no longer think a joint family system serves a useful purpose and actually lacks the warmth and affability that it once possessed.

A family unit in its traditional form consists of grandparents, all their children, their children’s wives and their grandchildren all living harmoniously under one roof. If carried out properly, it can serve as a very warm, welcoming and homely environment which encourages cooperation, understanding, love and patience. 

The joint family system has been depicted in several dramas and movies, and at a certain point in my life, I was a huge supporter of it. However, I no longer think a joint family system serves a useful purpose and actually lacks the warmth and affability that it once possessed.

Don’t get me wrong!

I am not trying to break families and create rifts, but having lived in a joint family system myself, I saw various flaws within the concept itself.

Firstly, when a girl marries and enters a joint family, she is automatically expected to blend into the family environment which is a huge burden to place on someone who is not used to such a set up. Additionally, the concept of privacy and doing things as and when you feel like lacks in a joint family system, not to mention the constant questions that are asked whenever a newly married girl behaves a little out of the ordinary.

When a husband is confronted by his wife as to why they have to reside in a joint family, most husbands say they cannot leave their parents out of guilt or shame of leaving them alone. Given that most husbands would never live with their in-laws and feel really uncomfortable living with their father and mother in law, why should their wives have to oblige to this request?

Additionally, a joint family system can cause rifts between brothers, if their wives or children do not get along with the other’s wife or children. This can cause arguments and things can get messier affecting children’s emotional balance and schooling, not to mention the elderly grandparents’ health.  These are just a few examples of how quickly things can fall apart and how difficult it can be to keep everyone happy under one roof.

Money is also a thorny topic when it comes to paying for household expenses.

Who pays when there are differing streams of income coming into the house?

One person may be earning more than the others and some may not be earning at all, so the burden to pay for an entire family can sit squarely on the shoulders of one person. This can be an onerous burden and grossly unfair. If there are mechanisms in place which allow the smooth handling of expenditures then that is perfect but money, or a lack of it, can always sour relationships and create undue bitterness.

Personally, I believe everyone should try to live in the joint family system up until a certain point. When siblings start getting married and having their own children, they should be given the chance to raise their own family separately. Tensions, rifts and difficulties can arise when people who are outside the family start asserting their identity and invading the family home. To maintain amiability, it is better to separate and foster a healthy relationship from a distance.

My neighbours have actually split their home into two different quarters so their son can enjoy raising his family without having to feel guilty about leaving his parents. This is an excellent way of preventing any uncomfortable silences and bruised egos.

It is also imperative to mention here that Islamically, there is no requirement for a couple to live with the in-laws after marriage. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pubh) wives all stayed in separate dwellings and were never expected to live with any other member of his family. The joint family system is a cultural requirement that we have taken upon ourselves out of a displaced need to please our elders. However, in an attempt to keep our elders happy, we may actually be stifling the responsibilities we have towards our other relationships.

To conclude, joint family systems are not a viable option in this era because the concept of solidarity and family togetherness can take an ugly shape when siblings start getting married and having their own children. Instead, to foster healthy relationships, families should be given the chance to develop their own personalities and personas in the comfort of their own home.

 

 

Faiza Iqbal

Faiza Iqbal

A law graduate from King's College, London Nottingham Law School. Having worked at Mandviwalla & Zafar as an Associate, she now writes freelance articles and is trying to qualify as a barrister in Canada.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Miss Syed

    Well, Islam should not be dragged in here, when do we consider Islam in our society when it comes to marriage? Islam says, it’s the sole duty of the boy to arrange a house, furnish it and then welcome the bride. What do we do? The exact opposite of it. Spineless boys in Pakistan take in dowry! The whole marriage circus is based on materialism with a minute amount of thought going into the actual interests of the bride and groom,
    I believe, People choose joint family system ONLY BECAUSE they cant afford to live separately in a country like Pakistan..Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    I am agree with most of points.
    To maintain joint family system, family members should have some attributes like sacrifice, respect for relation, open heart, positive attitude, last but most important obidient to parents(do what parents say even it is not OK in your point of view) etc.

    If one’s parent are not strong enough economically, then it is duty of elder married sibilings to support parents economicaly atleast.

    being seperate should not means to one’s have nothing to do with his family(parents and youngers).Recommend

  • fayalif

    Absolutely true.Recommend

  • Reaper

    Good Riddance. The joint family system is just another manifestation of our tribal hungover. Where all the individual’s identity and ambitions are completely sacrificed for the sake of “The Khandaan”. Its the 21st century I advise everyone to pickup a child psychology and/or sociology book who believe joint family systems are any good.Recommend

  • meemee

    Dear
    Who cares about Islamic traditions when it comes to cultural requirements.
    Nothing is wrong with the joint family or any other system itself.
    Problem lies with how a system is implemented .Recommend

  • Meesha Akram

    While mentioning that none of the wives of Prophet (S.A.W.W) lived with any of his family members, you must know that his father died six months before his birth and his mother passed away when he was six. He was the very first child so eventually he did not have any siblings….Recommend

  • Najam-Us-Salam Kayani

    Bravo !!!Recommend

  • Sad,but true

    Distance makes the heart grow fonder…
    The further you live from relatives,the lesser you meet them-the more you love them !
    Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Well I suppose to each his own. My own idea of a perfect family is having individual families of aunts/ uncles / grand parents very close to each other and not in the same dwelling . They can / should stay within minutes of each other in their own separate houses. That way they are ‘close’ to each other and also not too close for comfort.Recommend

  • Saad ur rehman

    i know it is difficult for a girl to manage itself in a joint family system but i think living in a joint family creates love & sincerity for othersRecommend

  • Over Seas Pakistani

    Joint families may not exist in your Liberal, elitist “roshan-khayal” surroundings. but joint families still exist in mainstream Pakistani society.

    I live in America and I 100% plan to keep my parents with me in my home with my wife. Take good care of your elderly parents, otherwise your future children will treat you the same. Having Elderly Parents is God’s blessing…Recommend

  • umi

    i dont blame why blame the joint family system when we ourselves cannot respect the individual’s privacy….it is completely possible to respect each other’s privacy and individuality while sharing homes,,,,we ourselves are to blame for not respecting each other feelings,,,,rather than blaming our tradition,,,,Recommend

  • Brookside

    Given that most husbands would never live with their in-laws and feel really uncomfortable living with their father and mother in law, why should their wives have to oblige to this request?

    This fact about marrying in joint family is already known to girls and their parents before marriage , why make fuss later on ? It’s known fact that kids have well developed personalities in those homes where they live with their grandparents.

    My neighbours have actually split their home into two different quarters so their son can enjoy raising his family without having to feel guilty about leaving his parents. This is an excellent way of preventing any uncomfortable silences and bruised egos.

    This is the ultimate objective of most of the girls and their parents ,thats why it seems best to the author .

    The best solution to this problem is that parents should ask their sons to move out as soon as they began to earn and don’t spend any money on their marriage . It’s girl and boy who are getting married so its their problem about marriage expenses .Recommend

  • Citizen

    i agree with so many points . I myself live in joint system and find it really troubling to adjust with people of so many different nature . I am working woman and expected by in laws that i act like rest of ladies in home which are house wives . This pretty difficult for me to handle since i am used to doing of any own way of work. Just hoping things get better .Recommend

  • umair qureshi

    i live in a joint family and i have lived alone. i rate joint family system a million times better. i look forward to coming to a house with all the relatives. makes one feel strong. secondly its family, since when did money trump a blood relation. if tomorrow my brother gets unemployed i would happily pay for the expense of his children etc. lastly joint family gives you security. no worries about leaving a wife alone or a kid alone knowing there is some one there to watch over. lastly if a woman cant live in a joint family system then dont marry into that family in the first place instead of creating troubles later.Recommend

  • Amb

    The problem starts when the mother in law lay down the rules of living or using her home . Obviously with the generation gap, both have different lifestyles . So there are clashes . I do advocate having separate home but still linked closely , or the idea of sharing portions in one house is great too. No young woman would want to be dictated by her mom in law Recommend

  • Ali S

    The problem is that there’s no social security system in our society, so the responsibility of looking after elderly parents automatically falls to the sons (this goes for both the husband and the wife’s brother). I have lived in the West, and it’s kinda sad to see old people there wasting away bored and lonely in senior homes with only occasional visits from family members. There is no option for me since I am an only son and I don’t intend to abandon my parents.

    If done right, a joint family system can work quite well. Almost all joint family systems I know (I used to live in one myself) live in separate quarters (parents on ground floor, family of elder brother on first, family of younger brother on second floor etc.) so there is almost as much privacy as there is in an apartment. Of course, some people may be less respectful of personal boundaries than others – but from my personal experience most people in educated families do have a decent sense of personal privacy (i.e. no barging in unannounced in your uncle and aunt’s bedroom).

    I also think that a joint family system inherently allows a healthier upbringing of kids. They grow up more well-adjusted in many ways – respectful of others, less entitled and far more sociable. But thanks to the kind of culture that desi soap operas are promoting on TV, a lot of daughter-in-laws seem to have decided that they’re going to war with their in-laws before even entering in the house.Recommend

  • deep blue

    But the ppl around him had parents and siblings. The fact remains that he did not encourage joint family system. Recommend

  • deep blue

    Joint family in our culture doesn’t refer to parents living with sond but vice versa. In Pakistan parents obligate married sons to live with them even after the have children of their own mostly in one room making it v difficult for the young couple to have a decent life with any sort of privacy. This is what the article is denouncing and rightly so. If parents are old or want to live with their son they ought to move to their son’s house but not letting a new family have the space to grow is truly pathetic but still widespread in this part of the world. Recommend

  • deep blue

    Only because. …really? 80 per cent of them do not have a choice. They are obligated to live so byttheir parents. Recommend

  • usman

    Its easy to say than being done,u will ask this question to ur self after 20-30 years when ur children will split apart.Recommend

  • Catu Maano

    yes i agreed with youRecommend

  • Motiwala

    No, Khandaan is not a tribal hangover. It has cultural roots.
    Even now,a good paying job does not gurantee all amenities.
    Children are taking longer and longer to leave the nest. Simply
    because some things are out of reach. At least you have a roof,
    food and hopefully a secure loving environment, in Khandaan.
    Rather than being out on the street,homeless,and hungry. If you
    loose your livelihood.
    Khandaan is a family support system, well devised and respected.Recommend

  • kublai

    Why did you have to bring in religion? Your examples did not signify
    or prove / disprove the topic. Vastly different world. Recommend

  • x

    Excellent point about parents bearing the expenses of the wedding but then the girls parents should do the same, let the boy and girl manage it on their own. As an unmarried woman, I am not pro or against joint family system as such but I believe each case should be according to the wishes of the elders and the couple and such issues should be sorted beforehand. If living together creates issues then girls need to be more accomodating, husbands more understanding and in laws more accpeting and welcoming. If living sepaartely, wives need to realize their husbands are footing all the bills alone and must lower their demands for a lot of luxuries which their husbands would have afforded while living with in laws. Ultimately, it is not an ideal world and frictions, love, disagreements, misunderstadning, sharing, caring are all part of the deal.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Islam has given the right to the wife to demand a separate home from her husband. So it really doesn’t matter.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Mr American, the author is talking about a joint family system involving parents, siblings, their wives and kids all living together under one roof. Not just parents and one of the kids! So much for liberal bashing from US, please invite all your siblings, their wives and kids to US and live togetherRecommend

  • Ahmed

    Sorry to digress, but you happen to be living in one of the most liberal of all the places perhaps but you still want to hint at “liberals”, living in Pakistan! Reeks of hypocrisy to me?! Mr American, this is about practicality, not about liberals or left winged or right winged.Recommend

  • Rabeea

    Well none of the Sahaba karams resided with their parents and siblings after getting married either.Recommend

  • KZJ

    Until a decade ago, nuclear family systems were taking over. Now I feel there is a backward shift to joint families again primarily because in this age & time most people in their twenties/ early thirties cannot afford to get their own place so they have to stay in a joint family more out of compulsion than choice.Recommend

  • Jeddy Khan

    Your decision to keep your parents with you is commendable, still you are the master of the house, your parents are your guests and they will feel like that, they will never have status they had in their own house, where their word was law.Recommend

  • Rakshinda

    Are you kidding me? I mean yes times have changed and so are the relationships but asking a guy to move out of his family just because you are a woman and this is what all women have to do. No one is happy! no matter they live with family or without them. Saying that joint families are a bad idea is what sounds strange. I totally disagree.Recommend

  • Javeria

    We used to live in Joint family and I can witness so many terrible fights between my phoppows and Chachi…. and that used to intensify the atmosphere of house…Recommend

  • Meesha Akram

    @disqus_7gLg4cqgfC:disqus: I didnt say any thing about sahaba or their wives
    @Ahmed: I know Islam gives the right to woman to demand a separate house and even compensation for the household chores that she does.
    @Kublai: Read the blog first and the statement the author made about the wives of Prophet (S.A.W.W) not living with his family. I did not disapprove the topic or her thoughts. I just highlighted the particualr statement.
    @disqus_mJblrQrWRq:disqus: Nor did I say that people around him lived in joint families…
    My statement is very specific.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I thought that was a well thought out bit of writing and interesting as well.
    Having absolutely zero personal experience on the subject, what I would think is that although the joint system has its up side…….its down side issues seem to be greater.
    I feel the title should have been ‘ Advantages and disadvantages of a joint family system ‘.Recommend

  • Nousheen Rasheed

    The very amazing fact about the critics in the comments section is that; most men have grouped Against the author’s point while the women are raising voice in favor the pointers raised.The article in itself has put light on a very major societal problem that we are facing. Living in joint family is an issue that women have to deal more often than men. Most households are looked after by women and not the MEN who are crying that they think the joint family has so and so benefits. The people who want to support their parents should keep parents with them but then how is it that they expect their wives to look after each and every demand being put up by their parents all alone and wouldn’t share any responsibility.

    A man returning home from work thinks that talking to his parents for sometime is the responsibility he is left with regarding TAKING CARE of his parents. He should share the responsibilities too equally then and prove himself a RESPONSIBLE son and not just focus on his wife proving herself responsible. If MEN have an argument that they earn, then they should fix women’s salaries too for looking after their homes, their parents, their children and then THEIR NEEDS!!! If we take an estimation of what COST they will have to pay for all the above, it would bring them to senses for understanding that they can’t oblige their wives to take responsibilities that they themselves run away from! Btw I was just shedding light on, “The practical implications of HOW the RESPONSIBILITY can be accomplished RESPONSIBLY!”.Recommend

  • Jannat Bibi

    I believe that most social issues in this world generate from economics- so do most problems associated with joint families.

    For all married couples, I have a sincere suggestion: allocate a certain (reasonable) proportion of your monthly income as “mothers’ allowance”- to be distributed equally between the man’s mother and the wife’s mother every month. If both are alive, each gets an equal portion; if only one is alive, the living one gets the full amount. This isirrespective of the husband/wife working (technically, I mean, they are “gainfully employed”). So even if the wife does not work for wages/salary/fee, her mother is entitled to the allowance as a parent.

    Now, whether a couple lives in joint or nuclear family, this allowance has the following merits:

    It is just- a woman gets her due right from every child- be it a son or daughter. The myth of “son preference” will lose its importance and hopefully daughters will be brought up without any discrimination in diet, education or status in family.

    A woman will not “bicker” about her husband’s assistance (financial or other) to his mother as she will know that her own mother is also getting an allowance.

    A man will realize (finally) that he and his wife have a duty towards both sets of parents- his wife’s as well!Recommend

  • bash gul

    The joint family system is an old tradition and culture in the sub-continent. Why do people have to discuss it. Things have now changed. Families do not force their siblings to live together, but as long as the parents are alive, even the siblings love to stay with them, coz having grand children and grand parents are the most enjoyable part of a family. I come from a conservative family. My wife has 8 brothers, all married with kids and till last year were living as a joint family. Finally, they all sat down and decided that now each one should live separately, they all happly separated their kitchens and still live happly together. I have an only son who is 20 now and i have already given him a separate floor so that after his marriage he can live separately but close to me. Its just a matter of having a clear consceience.Recommend

  • gp65

    Agree with what you say about children being responsible for the parents economic security due to absence of social security. . However problems of the joint family system predate recent soap opera. IT is a case of art imitating life rather than reverse.Recommend

  • Sarah

    I totally agree with you. as a married woman, i feel the pinch of living with inlaws, not having any privacy, and keeping up a straight face all the time. most of the times, i dont feel like myself, and have to act to be a quiet, shareef woman, who doesnot talk much and doesnt get angry etc. its being fake and i am tired of it. the problem is that when husbands doesnt want to leave his family, what should the woman do? despite persuading, arguing, nothing is workingRecommend

  • Nobody

    Your statement reflects the face that you think YOUR parents are more important that your future or current wife’s parents. That’s where the problem lies. What about her desire and obligation to take care of her parents?
    I don’t have any brothers, it’s just my sister and me and I plan, 100%, to take care of my parents when they are elderly and need me most and I wouldn’t tolerate any one standing in the way of that or behaving as if his parents are more important, nor would I get in the way of him taking care of his parents, whoever he will be; however, I will not live with my parents and I will not live with his parents either. If I can leave my parents, he can leave his.
    Problem in Pakistan seems to be some guys assume their parents are somehow more important. You hear the same ghissey pittey excuses about not being able to leave the people who took care of you and raised you; what about your wife’s parents? Did they not take care of her and raise her as well?
    From a religious point of view, joint family system can find no justification. However, I think we all know nothing in Pakistan is done with religion in mind. It’s labeled as such, but it’s almost entirely culture based. A culture that has not evolved and desperately needs to as it is tilted heavily in favor of men, men who find silly excuses to keep it so.
    Luckily, finding a guy who is independent and can leave his mummy without whining and sniveling here is not a challenge. We can both take care of our aging parents from our own home together. Fair is fair.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Just because the fact is known to girls and their parents beforehand that does not in any case make it right, ethical or fair. It is still an unfair, sexist and outdated custom and needs to be changed. Time and time again Pakistanis find excuses to continue their sexist culture by giving excuses such as, ‘girls already know that’s how it is.’
    Does that make it right? I think not.
    I agree completely with telling sons to move out when they are earning. Most of my Pakistani friends, male and female alike, are already living independently once they begin earning so when they marry, finding a new home with his/her spouse is the natural order of things. That does not mean we had to abandon our parents, to those who think we do; it simply means new couples have their own privacy and their own life as is everyone’s right.
    Cheers.Recommend

  • Nobody

    I’m not sure if you live in Pakistan or elsewhere, but I can tell you it’s rare for Pakistani husbands in the US to foot the bill alone. Most Pakistani women in the states work and contribute, so running a household on two incomes is more attainable. However, I understand this is not yet that commonplace in Pakistan, which is part of the problem.Recommend

  • Nobody

    How hypocritical of men to give such ultimatums and advice to women when they would never be willing to live with their wife’s parents. Unless you’re willing to apply the same rules to yourself, you’re not in a position to give others advice. I can just as easily tell a future prospect to stop being a baby and be independent if he plans to marry. If I can do it, so can he.Recommend

  • Jamil

    There should be in fight or conflict if the wife gives her mother-in-law the same respectful status as her real mother. In most cases, newly wed wife do not know how to manage a house and family, which they should learn from their mother-in-law as her teacher and mentor.Recommend

  • Shahnaseéb

    I think a new couple should given a space to start their own life & you’ve said just the way I believe. In joint family sys, many issues arises on a small gossip and can turn out to be brutal. You’ve mentioned the most common quarrels, I believe. Bravo!Recommend

  • x

    If wives i.e. mothers in pakistan work, where would the children go? with maids? we have no daycares or at least reliable ones and what about after school hours for older kids? These are advantages of living with in laws. In addition, even if wives work here, pays at least in the beginning are not so high (and ven later for that matter). Plese dont compare US pays and all with the pays and expenses here.Recommend

  • x

    You are assuming a lot of families have such large houses to accommodate separate floors for all the kids and grandkids.Recommend

  • Alizeh

    My mother is a widow with four daughters she has raised single handedly. She has no brother or father either. The elder three are married, one lives in abu dhabi the second in london and the third in islamabad. I thought the demand that I marry someone who resides in my city and does not want to leave for abroad was reasonable but guys expect you to live in their joint family set up as they dont want to leave their parents but are open to the option of moving abroad for better jobs. I dont think any nice, empathetic men are left in the world or at least I have not come across them. All of them are quick to say that daughters leave their parents home, mothers are always happy to see their daughters well settled, bari teeno k husbands ko bhi toh koi khayal nahi tumari maa ka hum kyun kere, etc etc.Recommend

  • Zona

    You’re lucky to have one son only and the means to separate him otherwise two or three sons and their wives cramped in one floor or two floors is quite common.Recommend

  • x

    Exactly my point. ET keeps censoring my comments although I have been sayign the same thing.Recommend

  • x

    What if someone has only daughters? What then? What then constitutes your idea of fair and just?Recommend

  • Hala Syed

    no it doesn’t. i’ve never seen that. love and sincerity for others can be fostered even without a joint family system. this system does the opposite- it creates tensions, jealousies and resentment.Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    Joint family system like any other system is a marriage of convenience. If your circumstances require it, live in it else don’t. SimpleRecommend

  • The ugly truth

    Accurate & Incisive logic…
    I gave what you said,a thought..can’t seem to find a flaw in your insight.Recommend

  • Lol …

    I don’t think I would want,my sons who get along together,to live together after they’re married.If their wives & children are fighting or harbouring resentments over household matters or finances-how will there be any peace between the brothers ?
    I would want them all to get along ,after my time also-hence,I would encourage them to live separately,so that they all get along well on a permanent basis.
    All young families,need space & privacy to grow in a healthy way.
    A young husband & wife need to forge their own relationship-& that can’t be done without privacy where a new bride is even afraid to argue for fear of being overheard & thought badly of by in-laws.Recommend

  • Hania

    and the point to highlight that staement was? i think most of the people are aware of this fact.Recommend

  • hania

    how about mother in law giving the daughter a respectful status as her daughter too..how about the son living with the girls’s parents why is that unaccpetable?Recommend

  • Nobody

    I made no such comparison. I simply stated that husbands do not foot the bill alone here. Simple fact.
    However, taking the topic in that general direction, MOST married women I’ve ever had the chance of observing or speaking to have stated the advantages of living in your own home outweigh the advantages of living in someone else’s home. Money may be tight but at least they have their privacy and are not in someone else’s home.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Unfortunately, this scenario is quite common in Pakistan. Hypocrisy runs deep. Kudos to your mother for raising four daughters on her own by the way. Herculean task I presume.
    It’s unfortunate that guys are not willing to practice what they preach and are quick to dish out advice for women who find it difficult to live in a joint family system yet would not apply the same rules to themselves. I hope you find a guy who is willing to compromise. My advice to you is don’t stop til you do, BUT you know your situation best and it’s not my place to give you advice. But if it were me, I wouldn’t settle for a guy who won’t compromise for me or my parents.
    Best of luck and cheers.Recommend

  • Ramsha

    Author of this article does not seem to be aware of this fact. Please read the article again.Recommend

  • Naveed Ali

    quoting Prophet and sahabas to justify your point is not viable here .. ESPECIALLY for most of the feminists commenting here, as they also had MORE THAN ONE WIFE at the same point of time.Recommend

  • Quantum

    My 2 paisa.

    Joint family is a thing of the past. Most OECD countries in the past including USA had joint family structure. From financial perspective it is not feasible to have this kind of system. Not all pitch into this system equally.

    In South asian countries women have lesser right in a marriage setting. It is a fact. 3 option accept inequality, fight for it or change the societal view.

    Husband should take care of parents, not his wife and vice versa.

    Good topics are discussed in ET, can anybody translate these articles in Urdu, so Pakistan masses can be the catalyst for change, English audience is less than 1 percent of 190 million people.

    Pakistan is a country where majority of folks live in contradiction. Change is a very painful option.
    Recommend

  • Quantum

    Are you also planning to make your wife wear hijab too? You do sound like the extreme kind. Would you extend the same courtesy towards your in laws? Why do you want somebody to take care of you when you grow old? I am working really hard for retirement . When I believe I cannot take care of myself I will check my self into nursing, where I will party with my old buddies :)Recommend

  • maz3tt

    dulha should read very famous islamic book ‘ tohfa-e- dolha’ and dulhan should read ‘tohfa-e- dulhan’ before marriage and everything would be fine. there are much much much more to marriage in islam then getting seperate house for the girl for both the wife and the husband.Recommend

  • Mughees Ur Rehman

    Its just the one flip of a coin that you have presented.
    With all the world going towards individualism, you are right. However, keeping in view the teachings of religion, individualism has never been encouraged. Individualism comes from the love of materialism and love for oneself and for this world, which is surely never encouraged in Islam. So please in the context of the present system it is right, but do not drag religion for the sake of making your own argument valid.Recommend

  • AZ

    Actually the best system would be a mixture of joint family and seperation or a quarter system like the author’s neighbours did.
    If relatives live near each other it’s very easy to leave your children home alone since you know there will be someone at an easy distance to check on them. Also grandparents can help with the kids who need attention. This is specially beneficial for working women who can’t give 100% attention to the child or come home after the kids are home.
    The housing can be seperate so the finances and rules of each home is different. A close family is important so that help is around if any member needs it but a certain distance should be maintained so no one’s privacy is invaded.Recommend

  • maheen

    I agree with. A prospective groom once asked me if i was ok to live in a joint family…. i said i was ok as long as he was ok to have my parents live with us too….. needless to say……. I never heard from him again!!Recommend