Monday, 4 July 2011

His wife is careless about prayers – should he divorce her?

His wife is careless about prayers – should he divorce her?
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I am a married man who has two daughters. My wife does all house work to the best of her ability, she looks after everything in it during my absence. But she is too lazy about prayers and generally careless when it comes to religious matters. I have talked to her a lot, she always says: “yes, yes okay” but she still is too lazy. I am very upset with her. I thought about divorcing her, but I always change my mind when I think of my daughters. What is my responsibility towards her? Shall I divorce her or not? I am too tired; please guide me to a solution.


Praise be to Allaah.

Prayer is very important
and it is the most essential of the pillars of Islam after the Shahaadatayn.
It is the foundation of Islam and the one who does not pray has no share of
Islam, as ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said. There is a great deal
of evidence which indicates that not praying is tantamount to kufr which
puts one beyond the pale of Islam. See the answer to question no.

If a person loves his Lord
and he loves His Prophet and His religion and His Book, then how can he
waste the greatest opportunity that he has been given, even though it is an
easy and pleasant obligation, which brings ease to the heart, contentment to
the soul and purity to the body.  Those who neglect the prayer and delay it
until after its time are also given a warning of punishment, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“Then, there has
succeeded them a posterity who have given up As‑Salaah (the prayers) [i.e.
made their Salaah (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by
not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed
times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell”

[Maryam 19:59] 

And the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who does not pray ‘Asr,
his good deeds will bear no fruits.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (553). 

What you have to do is
continue advising your wife, and be strict with her with regard to prayer,
and check on her with regard to every prayer until she is praying regularly.
Beware of missing any prayer until the time for it is over. 

You should inform her of
the ruling on one who does not pray, and of the scholarly view which says
that the one who misses a single prayer until the time for it ends with no
excuse is a kaafir, and the resulting invalidity of the marriage according
to some fuqaha’, so that this will be a rebuke that will scare her. 

Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Ward
off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and
stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey
not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that
which they are commanded”

[al-Tahreem 66:6] 

And the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man is the shepherd of his
household and is responsible for his flock.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (893)
and Muslim (1829). 

Try to encourage and warn
her with all possible means, but let your advice to her be given kindly and
gently, because there is no kindness in a thing but it adorns it. Reward her
and encourage her if she prays, and remind her that prayer is the key to
happiness and divine help, and is one of the causes of abundant provision
and a happy life. If that produces results, and leads to her praying
regularly, that is what is required and it is what we hope and want for her.
But if she persists in falling short, then there is no reason why you should
not resort to stricter means such as denouncing her sometimes, according to
whatever will serve the interest. 

He was harsh so that they
might pay heed; a man of resolve may be harsh sometimes with those whom he

So forsake her and threaten
her with divorce, so that she will realize that the matter is serious, and
she will realize that you cannot live with a woman who neglects the most
important duty of Islam, no matter how obedient and hard-working she is with
regard to worldly matters. 

The aim behind all of that
is to set her straight, hence we advice you to be patient with her and not
to lose hope. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And enjoin
As‑Salaah (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e.
the Salaah (prayers)]” [Ta-Ha 20:132].  

Say a lot of du’aa’ asking
Allaah to guide your wife and set her straight. 

And Allaah knows best.

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