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.


she doesn't have a mentor, she is out of touch with her parents and her siblings for wrong reasons. She has never tried to discuss her problems with someone else and neither wants to me to engage someone wiser to make her understand. Now I bought ticket for Pakistan, I am leaving my son & wife, I believe a gap of one or two months will be good to regather things as things are getting worse, she is telling me you are selfish, you are leaving us alone. She doesn't want to go with me. Though I told her I didnt see my parents in spring and winter vacations, I can skip summer. I bought ticket for her and my son though but I know she won't go, I will tell her if you want to go, then the ticket is here you can join me in the same flight, if not then well and good. I never wanted a life where my son & wife is away from me. I will not force her to go with me for 35 days to pakistan, as I fear she might be rude to my family and create more problems there ruining my vacations.



So sorry for what you are going through. It sounds like your wife has postpartum depression. The best thing you can do is try to help her get better. I had postpartum depression, many women do. If she is too embarrassed to tell anyone there are natural treatments. Fish oil supplements, daily, exercise, journalling, you can hire help so she gets a break, telling her you love her. There are self help books online, and books to help fathers cope with their wives depression. Don't give up yet, things can get better, I wish you luck.



Asalamwalaikum my name is abdool i married with my wife for 3 years we have a son.The problem is that i was working as a technician in a private company i left the company because of risk and insecure in job ,i start doing my own business as technician in mobile phone and computer.with time my wife start telling me she will left me because she does not have enough money for the house.i am trying my best to make her happy but every time she want more and more.she keep all the money in her bank account, as she is telling me she is saving the money for the future...she is now telling me if she knew that we will have money problem she won't marry someone like me.i did apply for many company but i did not get any answer from them..Every day she keep telling me that i am not a good man for her and she want to divorce .plz can someone advise me..asalam..



I got married to my husband after 6 months of courtship, he is a cleric and I thought things will be better with him. We committed Zina before our Nikkah and I got pregnant, things changed immediately I got pregnant, he raises insults on me almost everyday, chats and flirt with random ladies on social media and each time I ask him about it, he will tell me he had the right to do so as a man. I almost left him before the nikkah, but my parents insisted that it has to hold because I am pregnant. Things have not changed since the nikkah, I am heavily pregnant and he uses me as slave, doesn't care if am tired or not, he can't even put on the gas cooker just to boil water, he will have to wake me up to do that. He now meets ladies in hotels and doesn't feel remorse about it. If I ask him about it, he becomes defensive , makes me the guilty one and becomes violent. He threatens me bringing ladies to the house and marrying a new wife. I am still pregnant, and emotionally down., this man does not even regard my parents, and if people keeps telling me it's my fault, that I shouldn't bother myself about his infidelity even when I have proofs so far he is doing his responsibilities. Each time will have a slight misunderstanding, the next thing is to tell me to move out of his house which his family will have to beg him before allowing me back into the house. I am also fed up, but don't know what to do because of my unborn child. Please I need your advice



The child in your womb is a gift from Allah and Allah has given you this responsibility.You are lucky you have been assigned a task- being a mother from Allah. He blessed your wedding and your Nikah is valid.Get the money from your husband to raise your child and if he does not mend his ways, find a job, become independant and raise your child .If you do the job of a mother well then Allah will surely reward you but keep in mind He never rewards straightaway.It can be years until you find happiness from your husband.Seek happiness in your son.Ask doah to Allah to reduce your pain.



Dear Sister...
Read up on Syariah Law...maybe you will get help from have the right to go to syariah court if you have proof of your husband mistreating you. Staying in an oppressed marriage will not benefit you or your unborn child.Seek help from our Creator Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) guide you out of your problems. Ameen




I have been living the same life as you, and word for word as you posted , we had our baby a year ago, and ever since I've been no good to him, just a slave that he constantly verbally and mentally abuses, and he has made sure I had no way to leave by making me stay home with the kids, so I'm in aren't bad position. Please share any advice




Unfortunately, your situation sounds very bad. I am sorry to hear you going through so much hardship in a very stressful and already hardfull stage in womanhood, pregnancy. These times are times you need the most support and to be treated the way you are treated is unforgivable. I will make dua for you that your situation improves.


East Elmhurst

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This is Haram, forbidden. Though it may be real but you are using the help of the enemies of Islam, the devil to achieve what you want. Do you think Allah will be pleased by this action when He clearly tells people to ask Him for anything since He is the one who created everything including the devil? He gave us choice and intellect. We must use it wisely. Knowingly defying Allah will not give you success in the hereafter or even in this planet. The devil is not our friend. The devil will NEVER be our friend and the devil wants it that way.


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