Concerning Divorce And Husband - Wife Relations
1. Divorce -
2. WOMEN'S RIGHT TO DIVORCE IN PAKISTANI LAW
3. SOME RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HUSBAND AND RIGHTS OF THE WIFE IN ISLAM
4. Another question on divorce
1. A Wife's Basic Rights Regarding Her Husband's Behavior
Can you please tell us -
1. the conditions under which a woman can initiate divorce?
2. how should she proceed to secure a divorce?
1. If the husband is not spending the amount of money required of him to provide her and and her dependents food
and shelter; if he has ceased cohabiting with her, whether deliberately or for a protracted period (i.e. one year or
more), due to absence abroad, imprisonment, or sickness for example (but not due to study, trade, lawful
employment, or military service) or even under one and the same roof for a period varying from six months to
three years according to the jurists of the different schools; if she has discovered a physical or other blemish in
him that makes the conditions of conjugal life impossible or intolerable, such as sexual impotence or insanity (in
which cases the marriage may already be invalid to start with, since the absence of such defects is a precondition
for its validity); if any of the explicit additional conditions agreed upon in the mariage contract (if any) is not
met; if he mistreats her in a patently cruel and unbearable way (e.g. she bears the marks of beating on her face or
body), if he is or becomes a non-Muslim or prevents her from praying then there is grounds for divorce.
2. She should first ask her husband to give her a divorce after duly ascertaining that one of the above conditions is
present, as shown by the hadith: "Any woman that asks her husband for a divorce without actual harm [being
committed against her], then forbidden to her is the scent of Paradise." Thereafter, ask a knowledgeable and
Godfearing qadi or imam to grant it. She should see the qadi or imam, preferably together with her husband. The
spouses must be prepared to receive and apply matrimonial counsel and must show that all avenues of
reconciliation have been exhausted. At any rate, the qadi or imam has to verify, after due course of investigation
and cross-examination, that the wife is being mistreated in a harsh and intolerable manner before he can
pronounce a divorce. The wife must also be prepared to spend her `idda (post-separation
waiting-period of four months and ten days) under the conjugal roof during which time cohabitation is forbidden.
And Allah knows best.
I also found the following material I had saved from previous discussions
on the issue:
2. WOMEN'S RIGHT TO DIVORCE IN PAKISTANI LAW
Family Law in Pakistan is in adherance with the principles of the Hanafi
The Dissolution of Marriages Act of 1939 in Pakistan provides the woman
the facility of obtaining what is called "judicial divorce" by decree of a
court. Section 2 of this Act paraphrased below stipulates the grounds
whereby this dissolution of marriage can be sought by the woman:
1. husband's whereabouts unknown for 2 years
2. husband's full delinquency in providing maintenance for 2 years
2a. husband's polygamy on an illegal basis
3. husband's imprisonment for 7 or more years
4. husband's delinquency in performing marital obligations for 3 years
5. husband's impotence at time of marriage and up to application
6. husband's insanity for 2 years, leprosy, or virulent venereal disease
7. wife having been given in marriage before 16 years of age and
repudiating the marriage before 18, provided marriage was not consummated
8. husband's cruelty such as:
a. habitual assault or even non-physical ill-treatment
b. associating with prostitutes or leading an infamous life
c. attempting to force her into prostitution
d. disposing of her property or preventing her rights over it
e. obstructing observance of her religious duties
f. not treating her equitably according to Qur'an if he has more than
Source: Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry, "Women's Rights in Islam" (Lahore:
Ashraf, 1991), p. 60-61.
3. SOME RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HUSBAND AND RIGHTS OF THE WIFE IN ISLAM
I have frequently read what, according to Islamic teachings, a
husband may or may not do in a dispute with his wife if he attributes it
to disagreement with or misbehavior of his wife. I almost never read
anything about the opposite situation: if the wife has a disagreement
with her husband or *he* misbehaves. Things are nearly always told from
the man's point of view! What are the wife's rights in the case of bad
behavior of her husband?
Praise belongs to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Blessings and Peace
on the Messenger of Allah, and on his Family and all his Companions.
Allah ordered the believers to "consort with women in kindness" (4:19)
and He said: "And of His signs are this: He created for you helpmeets
from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained
between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are portents for folk
who reflect" (30:21).
A Wife's Basic Rights Regarding Her Husband's Behavior
NOTE: This is distinct from her other rights regarding living
expenditures, housing, clothing, and education of children. And from
Allah comes all success.
1. The first and worthiest condition of marriage to be fulfilled by
the husband is to "keep the promise or promises he made to the wife
at the time he married her." This is an order of the Prophet [salla
Allahu `alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, abbr. ] according to the hadith:
"ahaqqu al-shuruti an tufu bihi ma astahlaltum bihi min al-furuj"
2. He cannot order her to do anything that is against religion. The
Prophet said: "No obedience is due to creatures in disobedience
of the Creator" (la ta`atan li makhluqin fi ma`siyat al-khaliq).
3. He must exercise patience and be prepared to listen to her advice
in every situation. The Prophet listened to the advice of his
wives in matters ranging from the smallest to the greatest.
4. If she invites him to wake up and perform the late night prayer,
it is praiseworthy for him to do so and vice-versa. The Prophet
prayed for such people: "May Allah grant mercy to a man who gets up
at night and prays, and wakes up his wife, and if she refuses, he
sprinkles water in her face; may Allah grant mercy to a woman who gets up
at night and prays, and wakes up her husband, and if he refuses, she
sprinkles water in his face."
5. He must respect her and pay attention to her needs so that she will
respect him and pay attention to his.
6. He must control his passions and act in a moderate manner especially
in the context of sexual intercourse. Remember that Allah has placed
between you and her "friendship and mercy" (mawadda wa rahma), not
the gratification of your every lust; and that the Prophet advised
young men to marry "because it casts down the gaze and walls up the
genitals," not in order to stimulate sexual passions. The husband should
habitually seek refuge in Allah before approaching his wife and say:
"O Allah, ward off the satan from us and ward him off from what you have
bestowed upon us in the way of children" (allahumma jannibna al-shaytana
wa jannibhu ma razaqtana). Allah has called each spouse a garment for
the other (2:187), and the purpose of garments is decency. The Prophet
further said that he who marries for the sake of decency and modesty
(`afaf), Allah has enjoined upon Himself to help him.
7. He must never ever divulge the secrets of the household and those
of the married couple.
8. He must strive with sincerity to acquire her trust, and seek her
welfare in all the actions that pertain to her.
9. He must treat her generously at all times. The Prophet said
that the best gift or charity (sadaqa) is that spent on one's wife.
10. If she works outside the house, it is praiseworthy for the
husband to hire house help to relieve her from too heavy a
burden. The wife's duties do not require her to feed her
child, nor even to nurse it, nor to clean nor cook. It is the
husband's duty to provide a nursemaid, food for older children,
and servants to clean and cook. However, if the wife does those
things out of mercy and love, it is a gift to the husband on her
11. He must avoid excessive jealousy and remember that Allah is also
jealous that he himself not commit. The Prophet said: "Do not
be excessively jealous of your wife lest evil be hurled at her
on your account" (la tukthir al-gheerata `ala ahlika fa turama bi
al-su'i min ajlik) and he said: "Allah is jealous and the believer is
jealous; and Allah's jealousy is that the believer should not go to
that which Allah has forbidden for him" (inna Allaha yagharu wa al-
mu'minu yagharu wa gheerat Allahi in ya'tiya al-mu'minu ma harrama
12. He must protect her honor and not place her in situations where it
is compromised or belittled. The Prophet said that Allah will not
ever let him enter Paradise who cares little who shares his wife's
privacy. This includes the husband's brother, uncle, and nephew,
let alone non-related friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
13. He must exercise patience and forgiveness in the case of
disagreement or dispute, and not rush to divorce. The declaration
of divorce is a grave matter indeed, and the Prophet said:
"Of permitted matters the most loathesome before Allah is divorce"
(abgh`ad al-halal `ind Allah al-talaq). In another hadith he said
that divorce is so grave that because of it Allah's throne is made to
shake. He said: "The best intercession [i.e. intervention of a
third party] is that which brings back together the husband and the
wife." Womanizing -- divorce for the purpose of marrying another
woman out of sexual attraction incurs Allah's curse according to the
hadith: "Allah's curse is on the womanizing, divorcing man"
(la`ana Allahu kulla dhawwaaqin mutallaaq). Finally, even in the
midst of and after divorce, Allah has prescribed kindness upon the
man: "(After pronouncing divorce) she must be retained in honor or
released in kindness" (2:228).
For the above-mentioned reason (i.e. to prevent the quickness of
divorce), in his time, Ibn Taymiyya gave the ijtihad (juridical opinion)
by saying that three talaqs in one sitting constituted only
one. He did this to interdict the prevalent custom of suddenly
giving three talaqs, which in his time was on everyone's lips,
(i.e. had become so commonplace as to be a habit). However the other
four schools of fiqh had the opposite opinion in this matter.
14. He must not dwell on what he dislikes in his wife, but on what
15. The husband is not to stay away from his wife or keep his wife
in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a protracted
period of time except with her consent. Allah said: "Turn not away
(from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you
come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then
Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful" (4:129). Protracted separation
(6 months or more in the Shafi`i school) without prior or subsequent
arrangement with the wife, whether the husband is away willingly or
unwillingly (for example due to war, imprisonment, or illness) is
sufficient grounds for her to obtain divorce from the judge.
16. The Prophet said: "Do not beat your wife." He also said:
"Do not strike your wife in the face." The expiation for striking
one's slave in the face is to set him or her free on the spot, but
what expiation is there for striking one's wife? The Prophet
condemned the man who beats his wife in the day and then approaches
her at night. And to beat her to the extent of inflicting serious
injury is enough grounds for her to obtain divorce from the judge.
17. Caring for one's wife's sexual fulfillment is an obligation
of religion. The Prophet warned against rushing to gratify
one's pleasure and forgetting that of one's wife. He also
disliked that the husband should quickly withdraw from his wife
afterwards, as it is a strain upon the wife. If she asks for
intercourse, he should not refuse.
These are only some of the basic duties of the husband in Islam.
The state of marriage is part of one's adherence to the Sunna and an
exalted state of life indeed. In the words of the Prophet , it
permits one to meet Allah "pure and cleansed" (tahiran mutahharan). One's
behavior towards one's wife is the measure of the perfection of one's
belief as the Prophet said: "The most complete of the believers in
his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in
manners are those who act best towards their wives." Marriage must
be approached with utmost seriousness, entered with the purest intent,
and cultivated religiously as it does not come cheaply and it carries
immense reward. The Prophet called it "his way" (al-nikahu sunnati)
and "half of religion" and he also said: "Two rak`at (prayer-cycles)
of the married person are better than seventy rak`at of the unmarried."
He also warned that among the greatest of responsibilities that had been
placed upon men is that pertaining to the treatment of their wives.
And may Allah's blessings and peace be upon Muhammad , his Family and
all his Companions, and praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
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4. Another question on divorce:
I find it hard to understand while men in the East has the right to quit the marriage instantly ( "I divorce you.") and why for women it happens to be much more difficult and complicated.
Marriage is also effected instantly: "I marry you." So are other contracts as well as their annulation. Entering Salat
(the consecrated state of Prayer) is effected instantly: "Allahu Akbar" and so is leaving it.
But divorce is more complicated, as it takes three formulations at three different times. Witnesses are
needed also. Intention and sanity are examined. Words uttered are dissected. But not motives - for the protection of
both the divorcant and divorcee. The Sharia Law's stipulations make it more difficult than is commonly believed. But
because of the abuse of men, secular laws step in - for better or for worse.
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