My husband doesn’t live with me and doesn't provide me but he refuses to give me a divorce. What can I do?
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Question:

My husband doesn't live with me and doesn't provide me and our child. I asked for a divorce, at first he agreed to divorce me, but then he called me and told that he changed his mind and returned me back. What shall I do, I want to divorce but he doesn’t want?

Answer:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

I require further details to provide a conclusive answer to your question as there are a number of possibilities of what may have happened. Talaaq (divorce) is a very sensitive issue in Islam and the number of times it was issued and the words used can cause a drastic effect on the ruling. This is why in issues of divorce, your query must be absolutely specific and clear to achieve the correct ruling.

If your husband had issued you one Talaaq (divorce) and he thereafter took you back into the marriage before your Iddah* could expire, then you are still in his Nikah. If your Iddah had expired before he could take you back, then it would have been necessary to renew the Nikah if both of you wished to reconcile.

If you are in his Nikah at present, then I suggest that you first try your best to make the marriage work. Even if it means involving a responsible and experienced third party to assist in mediating and helping to save the marriage, do it. Marriage is not a trivial issue or a short term relationship. It is a divine bond and the ideal is that this bond should last with love and harmony till the end of your or your spouse’s life.

Nevertheless, if there are serious issues in the marriage and after trying your best to make the marriage work, you are still unhappy and you feel that it is best for your religious and worldly life to part ways, then you may request your husband for a divorce to release you from the marriage. If he complies, well and good. If he refuses and remains adamant, you may request the local Imam or senior family members to assist you in procuring a divorce. You may also try the mechanism of Khul’ which is to offer back your dowry or a mutually agreed upon sum of money as a ransom for your divorce. If the husband accepts this offer of Khul’, the marriage will terminate with one Ba’in Talaaq (irrevocable divorce).

As a last resort, if mediation and Khul’ does not work, you may apply for a Faskh (dissolution) of the marriage by your local council of Muftis or scholars. They will analyze the situation and dissolve the marriage if they find that there are valid and justified reasons of terminating the marriage. 

*Iddah – Usually, the Iddah of divorce is three menstrual cycles. If you are pregnant, your Iddah will be till childbirth. If you have reached the age of menopause, your Iddah will be three lunar months.

And Allah Knows Best.

Wassalaam.

Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

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