Reasons to consider divorce |

Reasons to consider divorce

Reasons to consider divorce

The divorce rate in America is one of the highest in the world (over 50 percent). But the divorce rate of Muslims in North America is almost as high, according to New York based sociologist Ilyas Ba-Yunus.

Yes, it's true. Muslims today are divorcing in larger numbers than before. There are clearly problems within families that have not been addressed: dysfunction, miscommunication, and in a number of cases violence and abuse.

But while Muslims are taking this step in larger numbers, what does Islam have to say about it?

The Islamic perspective on divorce

"Divorce is something that is very much discouraged in Islam," explains Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

"It is called, according to one of the Hadith of the Prophet Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 'the most hateful thing that is permissible.'"

This stance discouraging divorce needs to be seen in a balanced way, notes Siddiqi.

"It has to be used very carefully," he says.

What are some legitimate reasons for a couple to consider divorce?

There are definitely valid reasons Muslim men and women can seek divorce.

"One legitimate reason is if there is immoral behavior, unIslamic behavior on the part of a spouse," says Siddiqi. "If a spouse is involved in that, then there is a breakdown."

"For example if one of the spouses, God forbid, is involved in adultery or fornication. In that case, they have a right to separate and this is a legitimate ground for separation."

Another valid reason for divorce is apostasy on the part of either spouse. If a Muslim man or woman's spouse leaves Islam, Siddiqi says the marriage is null and void and the couple can no longer be together.

Abdalla Idris Ali is a member of ISNA's executive body and former president of the organization. He adds to the list of legitimate reasons for seeking divorce dishonesty prior to marriage.

For instance, if a husband told his wife before marriage that he did not consume alcohol or drugs and she discovers after marriage that he is an alcoholic or drug addict.

Some other reasons are:

  • a woman was married before and she did not tell her husband
  • a woman marries man and he is impotent, and she finds out after marriage.
  • cruelty
  • a man's inability or refusal to support his wife
  • a wife's refusal to live with her husband or be with him.
  • if one of the spouses is unable to have conjugal relations
  • one spouse feels repulsion towards the other.

Ali, however, cautions against jumping to divorce quickly and adds that every case has to be looked at individually.

"It is one thing to speak about a ruling. It is another thing to speak about a judgement in a certain case," he says in an interview with Sound Vision and

"If you ask me now, what is the ruling in Islam for a young man who commits Zina (adultery and fornication)? I'll tell you Allah says, give him 100 lashes. This is what the Quran says."

"But you bring me a man and say, this man committed Zina. I'm not going just to give him 100 lashes. This is a case. I have to investigate it, to see whether he did it, you cannot just go and apply the rule."

Illegitimate reasons to seek divorce

Along with legitimate reasons for seeking divorce, Siddiqi and Ali also point to those that are not so acceptable.

Siddiqi gives the example of a husband not liking the way a wife cooks or dresses.

"One should not expect perfection on the part of the spouse because nobody's perfect except Allah and His Messenger. Everybody has shortcomings," he says in an interview with Sound Vision from his home in Orange County, California.

"One should have willingness to sacrifice some of the things," he adds. "This is how the family is established, how it becomes a better family.

Another reason that should not be grounds for divorce is just moodiness on the part of a spouse, says Ali.

What can couples do to avoid divorce?

Siddiqi recommends the following steps to couples who are in difficulty:

1. Both spouses should have the fear of Allah. They should remember that if they are unfair to their spouse, they will be judged on their behavior by Allah.
2. They should try to resolve the problem amongst themselves, then within family members
3. They should not hesitate to involve other members of the community. For instance, they should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to meet and speak with their local Imam (if he is someone fair and trustworthy to the husband and the wife).
4. Seek counseling, preferably from a Muslim counselor. If that is not possible than from a non-Muslim counselor. However, they should be aware of Islamic guidelines so they can take advice from that which is in line with Islamic values.

"As physically we can get sick, our relations also can get sick sometimes," says Siddiqi. "The sooner we take care of this problem the better. We should not prolong it. We should resolve the differences as soon as possible and as much as possible. But when problems go on and on, then the wounds will grow."

Siddiqi recommends Muslim couples draft a prenuptial agreement and specify that all conflicts in marriage should be resolved Islamically and in the case of divorce, this process, if it happens, is also handled in a manner in line with Islamic guidelines.


Salam. I have been married to my husband for 3 years now. He's into occasional smoking of weed and consuming of alcohol every now and then. As a practicing muslim, I am starting to question our marriage. He is a fantastic husband Alhumdulillah but this side of him really upsets me and makes me feel as if I am the one committing sin when he resorts to such things. I have talked to him about how I feel about such things, he hears me out but doesn't do anything about it. I understand he has to find his own way to Allah. The question I often ask myself is if should I find a common ground with him and work it out, stay completely quiet on this matter and just pray to Allah that everything gets better or should I just leave him? Please guide. JazakAllah



Asalamu Alaikum wrahamatullahi wabarakatahu, please I need advice I married My husband four months ago after lots of prayers and adkars this man has been following me for close to two years but I never felt any attraction towards him I told him the truth and he let me be but he kept visiting my mom and families even though we were not even speaking or seeing each other. My family advices me to marry him because he loves me  and they said I will grow to love him once we are married even though I don't  love him, I listened to them knowing very well It maybe difficult to fall in love because there is nothing I feel in common with him apart from the fact that we are all good Muslims striving to please Allah. Ever since the nikkah deep down I keep wishing it'll fail because i am not happy and never want to spend time with him I force myself to give him his conjugal right. Sometimes I wake up feeling depressed and very sad I feel like dying what do I do .I tell my husband and he just apologize and does divorce a solution for me? Now my mom passed on 2 weeks ago  and I feel so alone and more sad . I just need someone to console me and it can't be him because I always miss love even though he is right next to me.





My wife doesn't love me I know, she wanted a modern type of husband who lives the western white man life not the haya modesty Islam teaches and has other issues including taking bad advise from her family to cause argument or other problems

Inspire of that I keep her knowing all this why because of Islam, had it not been for Islam I would never have had the sabr to continue this marriage. It is tough sometimes frustrating difficult but always trust Allah divorcing her would be no good because i could marry a woman worse and divorce doesn't sort every problem look at nuh alayuwasallam lut alayuwasallam they had bad wives yet didn't divorce them, zakaria qlayuwasallam wife was infertile and had a bad tongue, aasiya wife of firaun another example.

If Allah can test prophets with bad wife pious perfect woman with bad husband what am I compared to them surely Allah too can test me with bad wife and intake allahbhis messenger and other prophets as my example to continue my struggle.

May Allah be with me in this great hardship 



Salaam. I know how you feel brother. My husband who was a so called Islamic scholer husband unfortunately before marriage lied about the number of partners he had before marriage. Afterwards I found out he was at it with every woman even kafir women. But what could I do, I was his virgin wife and he outright lied. I have been married to him for 10 years, done so much sabr, been living separately for most of it, he also has my 6 year old child. He gave me a second talaaq after Umrah. Kept me at my Mother's house, especially when each time he found a new girlfriend and his so called مولانا mother and father would cover up for him. He never has financially supported me, and expected me to work. He would scold me for being intelligent, studying dean and being attractive despite me doing upmost physical and spiritual Purdah. I really don't know whether to wait for my iddat and move on and get remarried or just to continue doing sabr for my sons sake. By the way he never let's me see my son, that's just another one of his control tricks



Here’s me with 2 children and stuck with a dayooth.. I want to become a better Muslim and be a good example for my young children but unable to because my husband wants me to not wear hijab, wear tight clothes outside in public and just look attractive to other men to random men astaghfurula..  I’m so sick and tired of this life :’( may Allah swt make it easy for us both 



Assalam alykum waarahmatulahi wabarakatu,

Bismilahi Rahmani Rahima

I got married with this man for only 1month and already its like this not my partner, He's an american citizen living in kenya, I came to realize he got married so that he will be able to get his permit to stay here, after only 1month of the marriage he started drinking alcohol sleeping out side and telling me on my face when he got back in the late evening after the night of sleeping out that he found a woman but am lucky the woman is not a Muslim. Am not perfect yes some times I argue with him and am high tempered but I try very hard to control my self. Allah dhikr and prayers always helps me not to get mad. and saying he will get a muslim woman to marry as a second wife,  I didn't say anything to him since am in my fasting this 10days of dhul hijja. He told me to get out of this house and give him 4months to decide if he wants me back or divorce me. He has not even pain my dowry in full he only deposited the first deposit of 10000 remaining 90000. And the property that he was supposed to buy as dowry too. All this was brought up only bcz I asked him why he calls his girlfriend in front of me and why and also bcz I asked why he asked my daughter of 8yrs old if I have a boyfriend black mailing this little girl if she doent tell him he won't allow her ho for swimming or get a Toy.

Is this really right and allowed in islam? Would love to get views on this, am very stressed I left his house and he does not even care how I will feed live or get my child to school knowing very well I have no means

I need an advice on this, please my brothers and sisters in islam make dua for me.

May Allah makes our test in this Dunya easy for every married couple out there 





Sorry that you have this situation.

If he married only to get a legal right to live kn your country, then your marriage is not valid and you are free to divorce from him.

If he is having extramarital sex, then your marriage is no longer a marriage and you are free to divorce him. If he had a sexual relationship with another woman when you got married, then the marriage is not valid and you are free to divorce him.

Why have you introduced a man to your daughter? I advice you to live in celibacy and stay away from men,  because you have to take care of your daughters emotional needs for a peaceful environment while sge is growing up. If you want to marry, please make sure the following are fulfilled:

1. You feel at peace when you are alone

2. You are financially stable on your own

3. When you feel also a strong inner peace towards a man. He must respect you. He must be a calm and mature man. He must not be a slut. He must not offer you sex before you are already married. He must have a goal. His goal must match your goal. You must be compatible. His chosen life style must match your chosen life style. He must respect your daughter.

Stay calm. This man will not change. He will leave anyway when he has gotten what he wanted from you. If sex is not what he wanted from you, then something else. Just let him go.



I've only been married for three months and I have realised that getting married to my husband seems to be my biggest mistake in life. I no longer feel attracted to him in anyway hence why I don't enjoy sex with him. Everytime we have an issue, it could be his fault or mine or both, he would say a lot of mean things to me while raising his voice. He almost raised his hands on me today and I really wished he did cos I would have left without looking back. The last moment of happiness for me was when I was single. I just want out of this marriage and I want to be happy again. I don't ever wish to be married to any other man as long as I live. 



Assalam alaikum I got married to someone who I met during my internship, I was desperate and I didn't have any means but this guy showed up paid for my rent and food til I completed the internship....he was ready to marry me by then I wasn't ready but I never wanted to loose him too. Finished school and got married.  He is very caring and provides my basic needs. But av never loved him I was with him because of my situation back then. I don't feel anything for him even physically so I have to force myself to have sex because it's conjugal. Back then I had a guy who we are in love with so much, just thinking about him made me want him, he makes my heart melt like am really in love with him. And we are in contact still coz I never told him about my marriage. Now am really confused coz  my husband doesn't  satisfy my physical emotions....but my ex does, but if my ex know am married now it'll be over for us same way if my husband knows I talk to my ex it will be over.😢😢







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