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.


As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu,
I found the fiqh on your question. But please be aware that if your husband only claims one talaaq and you do not have two upstanding witnesses to agree with you, his word is taken and it's counted as one. But please take heed to the fish below. In shaa Allah this helps.
Ishaq ibn Ibrahim and Muhammad ibn Rafi‘ narrated to us – and the wording is Ibn Rafi‘’s – Ishaq said: ‘Abd al-Razzaq reported to us, and Ibn Rafi‘ said: narrated to us: Ma‘mar reported to us: from Ibn Tawus from his father from Ibn ‘Abbas, he said:

“Divorce, a divorce with three [issuances], in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of ‘Umar was [counted as] one. Then ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: ‘Verily, the people have hastened in a matter in which they used to have patience, so if only we were to enforce it on them.’ So he enforced it on them.” (Sahih Muslim)

When a man issues three divorces to his wife in one sitting[1] or with one statement[2], do they all occur? There are three positions on this question:

First, the position of the four Imams and the vast majority of the scholars from the salaf and the khalaf, and that is that all three occur thereby and the woman becomes mughallazah (permanently irrevocably divorced)[3] by means of it, so she is not lawful for her previous husband until she marries [and consummates the marriage with] a husband besides him. This was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Hurayrah, Ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr, Ibn Mas‘ud and Anas, and it is the opinion of the majority of the people of knowledge from the Tabi‘in and the imams after them, as mentioned in al-Mughni by Ibn Qudamah (7:104). It was also narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali and ‘Ubadah ibn al-Samit (Allah be pleased with them) as will come.

Second, that nothing occurs thereby, and this is the position of the Ja‘fari Shi‘ah, as stated by al-Hilli al-Shi‘i in Shara‘i al-Islam (2:57), and al-Nawawi also related it from al-Hajjaj ibn Artah, Ibn Muqatil and Muhammad ibn Ishaq.

Third, the position of some of the literalists and Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on them), which is that only one revocable divorce occurs thereby. Ibn Qudamah related it also from ‘Ata’, Tawus, Sa‘id ibn Jubayr, Abu al-Sha‘tha’ and ‘Amr ibn Dinar, but it is not authentic from Tawus and ‘Ata’. As for Tawus, because of what al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Karabisi transmitted in Adab al-Qada’: ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd Allah (Ibn al-Madini) reported to us from ‘Abd al-Razzaq from Ma‘mar from Ibn Tawus that he said about Tawus: “Whoever narrates to you from Tawus that he would narrate three divorces as [being] one, he has lied upon him.” And as for ‘Ata’, because of what Ibn Jurayj narrated, he said: I said to ‘Ata’: “Did you hear Ibn ‘Abbas say: ‘Divorcing a virgin thrice is one [divorce]?’ He said: ‘That did not reach me from him.’” ‘Allamah al-Kawthari (Allah have mercy on him) cited these in his treatise al-Ishfaq ‘ala Ahkam al-Talaq (p. 33, Matba‘ah Majallat al-Islam, Egypt)

The literalists adduce the hadith of the chapter as proof, since Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) stated explicitly that three divorces used to be counted as one in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace); and [they adduce] what Ahmad and others narrated from the story of Rukanah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd Yazid: from ‘Ikrimah, the freed-slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, he said: “Rukanah ibn ‘Abd Yazid, the brother of al-Muttalib, divorced his wife thrice in one sitting, and he became extremely grieved over it.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked him: ‘How did you divorce her?’ He said: ‘I divorced her thrice.’” He said: “Then, he said: ‘In one sitting?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Those are [counted as] only one so take her back if you wish.’” He said: “So he took her back.” This is how Ibn Taymiyyah transmitted it in his Fatawa (3:22).



I have been married for 16years and we have 4 kids together. My husband hitt me sometime, he calls me every bad name you can think of and sometimes in front of my kids. For the past 16 year sometimes things are better he is nice and carring. Now think are worse ,my is son is 16 month old when I was 8 months pregnant he hit me with belt and that started because I cook for him an ate then said that the food was bad.I don't love or even like him anymore. I want to get out but I don't know what to do.


Las vegas

Get out of this marriage now! Next time it might cost you your life. If it does, who will take are of your children? Would you as a mother, with everything that you have suffered through with this man, be comfortable with him raising your children by himself?
There are so many resources in the United States that you can use to help yourself. You have rights. Love is not a husband abusing his wife because he didn't like how the food tastes! Really?! Please you and your children deserve better. May Allah protect you and guide you and your children.
I empathize with you



Asalamualaikum wr.wb. I got married at the age of 21 and it has been five months since I've got married.i was never interested in getting married too parents forced me to get married even though I warned them i"ll come back,feeling sad,and starting up arguments even after the engagement took place. I then just went with the flow and thought Allah is with me and went on with the marriage.but the heart and mind never agreed to the marriage.i didn't even like the groom .I saw him before we got married.i told my parents about it and they were like he's a nice boy,nice in laws etc. I've been trying to adjust even with the hatred in my heart.
The starting of the marriage was going okay,when one day he caught my Facebook conversations with guys.sure,they were not good chats and it was all in college,but I just opened to see , nothing more.i never texted anybody after marriage. I dint do that in presence of my husband,but he found out when he saw the Facebook link in the search bar. But he forgave me and told all.was of.past and told me.not to.worry. life went on smooth again for me,but my.father in law used to catcall me.i didn't like that and put up with his behaviour when one day I told my husband about it.he was also aware of his father's behaviour and he used to tell me that his father is like that only.i still put up ,but one day I couldn't and told him and he made that issue bigger which I didn't want.we talked about it,he explained me and that was the end.he brought his sister's too in it just because he can't explain it to his father.
I went to my house because I had my exams.i asked my sister in law's permission and my parents in law were also informed about it. I didn't want to ask my fil and he was busy at that time,so I asked her and she said okay.after a month,my husband came to.receive me.after I went,my sil said to my husband that why did u get her,dont u know pappa is angry,go and leave her and get her back only when she follows the rules of this house.he left me and in 15 minutes,came back to receive parents talked with him.he said that his father was angry on him,whqt a stupid cover-up.i kept quiet ,though I was angry,went to my in laws house. Now,the main issue why I came back to my house is that my husband started going out in the night for late hours and comes back at 2,3,4 in the night. He used to go out in the starting of the marriage and came back till 12 usuually.i used to keep quiet because maybe he hasn't got rid of his bachelor life.and he used to work from home.after 2-3 months,he goes out whenever he has a holiday and only comes to eat and sleep. If he is in the house,he is always with the phone.or sometimes his work. Sometimes even after his job whhen he comes at 11,he eats and goes out.when I ask,he says I am going to drink chai and meet friends and comes back at 12,1. When holiday comes.he is out till 4. I said him not to be this late.i expressed my spite against this. He still continued.i said to his father about it.but the very next day,he again comes late and on top of that he lies that he came early. That pissed me off totally. When I said I was all.awake and he said who said u I came at this time.i was in the can anyone be for an hour in the loo? He lied to me before and when confronted,he said I was lying in jestbecause I thought u asked jokingly even after knowing the time. I just got pissed off. The next day,my mother complained to his mother and his mother took out all faults in me. I got very angry and said I wanted to leave and left. Now,i talked to him and he said I don't need u if u behave like this. You have to do your work on time and ignore whatever his father says and not argue or complain about anything. I just want you to guide me about what should I do next.



Assalamu Alaykium wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. 3 years ago I married a muslim man while I was a Christian. I knew nothing about Islam before this time. Soon after we married, he treated me very bad and he was cheating with other women and going to bars and clubs. I begged him to stop this behavior but he would just laugh at me. I started to hate him and i was blaming his religion for the way he was acting. I started to research Islam because I wanted to see what his religion believed in because he was acting like such a bad person. I found that Islam is so beautiful and that he was doing so many things against Islam. I read the Qur'an and the hadiths and i knew i wanted to be Muslim. I felt Allah guided me to Islam through this situation. I decided to try to make the marriage work and i stayed with him and I thought that he would see that Allah gifted me with Islam and he would want to become a better muslim and share the beauty of Islam with me but it pushed him away so far and his behavior became even worse. I would try to ask him to pray with me or help me with Qur'an or Sunnah, and he would say, "worry about yourself, i don't need to pray or follw Sunnah etc. " i feel he literally hated that I became muslim. He would look at me from across the room while i was reading or praying with so much evil in his eyes. I asked for divorce and he did not hesitate to give it. Al hamdu lilah for everything from Allah! May God make it easy for all of us. Ameen ya Rabb


Ohio, united States

I love u so much! It's a sad fact that there are a lot of Muslims that are worse than non Muslims. There are so many non Muslims that have the hearts of Muslims but no belief. And then muslims who know the truth but they dont appreciate it. You are beautiful. Alhamdullilah Allah guided u. I pray we meet in the highest Jannah! Keep strong sister. If we have Allah we have everything we need. XxxxxxX your so beautiful..... Allah ya zeed wa ya barik feek xxxx my heart is just booming right now. Thank you xxxxx Alhamdullilah



What a story...I am soo...sorry you had to face such biligernce! No one regardless of ones faith is immune to such deviance! I am beyond impressed by your internal strength and drive to seek the truth. My Christian mother married my Muslim father with the same outcome...only later she became an atheist. I commend you for remaining SO... STRONG...against ALL you not only possess the strength of dealing with very toxic unhealthy have Islam to bring you peace to your soul! Subhan Allah!

Dear sister welcome to the beauty of Islam, masha Allah with your story even do Islam don't want divorce but what you narrated fully support for your divorce. My hand are open to you if you wish to marry again I will be glad to have you as my wife. You can mail me on or contact me On phone +2348150815860 may Allah guide and bless us all Ameen


Kano, Nigeria


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