Thursday, 6 October 2011

Should she ask for a divorce from her husband who does not pray regularly and does not give her her rights?


A young man came to propose marriage to me who is of a lower educational status than me, and he only got his high-school diploma, whereas I am at university, so I refused. His mother claimed that he has a diploma in English, then after that I found out that he does not know any English at all. She said that he is employed with a salary of 4000 riyals, and that this salary would be enough because his grandfather would give him an apartment as a gift. The marriage went ahead, but after that I found out that he owes debts to the bank which is deducted from his salary, and he gives me only 100 riyals per month. Three months ago he left his job and has not found another job. We have not moved to the apartment that his grandfather gave him even though it is now one year and four months since we got married, because he cannot spend on me. Rather we are living with his family. In addition to that he is heedless with regard to prayer and he only prays when I ask him to. He also very fat which prevents me from finding any pleasure with him. He does not pay any attention to personal hygiene and I am put off by him.

Praise be to Allaah.

Marriage is
one of the signs and blessings of Allaah, in which both spouses find peace,
companionship, love and compassion, as well as keeping themselves chaste and
producing righteous children to populate the earth in accordance with the
laws of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among
yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you
affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who


These are
the purposes for which marriage has been prescribed. If these aims are not
achieved, then divorce is a means that is permitted in Islam, in order for
the spouses to move onto a new marriage in which they may attain the aims
and purposes of marriage. 

What you
have mentioned makes it permissible for you to ask for divorce. Al-Tirmidhi
(1187) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce
without a reason, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” This
hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

The phrase
“without a reason” means without any hardship that makes her ask for a

Shaykh Ibn
Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The wife should behave in a
reasonable manner and listen to and obey her husband in that which is right
and proper, and she should not ask for a divorce with no reason. If there is
a reason, there is nothing wrong with that, such as if he is miserly and
does not give her her rights, or he commits a great deal of sin, such as
drinking and the like, or if he stays up at night a great deal and neglects
her right to intimacy, and other such reasons. These are valid reasons (for
divorce). End quote from Fataawa al-Talaaq, p. 264. 

Although the
reasons that you mention make it permissible for you to ask for divorce, you
should think long and hard about this matter before doing it, and pay
attention to a number of things: 

1 – Hope
that he will improve, especially if you move to your own apartment. If you
encourage him to pray regularly, perhaps Allaah will grant him a good
provision and he will try to please you and give up the things that are
upsetting you. Then you would have the reward for being patient and treating
him well, and for helping him to change himself. So check yourself and think
about your husband. If you hope that he can change, then be patient and seek
reward with Allaah, and remember that patience brings relief and success.
How many women have put up with their husbands and their bad treatment, then
Allaah has changed them and they have become among the best of husbands, who
did not forget their wives’ patience and kindness. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

(the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allaah orders 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.

35. 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 happiness in
the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise and of a high moral character) in this world”

41:34, 35] 

The woman
can play a great role in reforming her husband and calling him to goodness
and success, if she uses wisdom, kindness and good methods. First of all she
should focus on religious matters, before physical and material issues. If
his religious commitment improves, he will be helped and guided in all his
affairs, by Allaah’s leave and grace. 

2 – You
should think of what your own situation will be if divorce happens. This is
something to which no attention is paid at times of anger or when one is put
off by one's husband. Rather it needs deep thought. The wise woman may
accept a hard life with a husband in whom there is both good and bad, and
she may prefer that to being divorced, suffering from loneliness and anxiety
and looking for a husband at a time when many women are single and it is
difficult for virgins to get married, let alone divorced women.   

This varies
from one woman to another. A divorced woman may still be sought for her
religious commitment, beauty, wealth or lineage. 

3 – You
should turn to Allaah a great deal and ask Him to guide you and ward off
evil from you. Do not make a decision until you have prayed to your Lord for
guidance (istikhaarah). 

information on the istikhaarah prayer, please see question no.
11981 and

We ask
Allaah to help you to do that which is good and right and will lead to

And Allaah
knows best.

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