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My Husband Married Me for My Visa and Abuses Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I realise that now my husband married me for my visa, less than a year ago. He has now broken every single agreement made for the marriage, some of which includes that he will support and help me finish my studies, yet from the second day of our marriage he pressured me into becoming pregnant. I can say with confidence that I have never wronged him. Why then must I also bear the pain of abuse?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Abuse

Dear sister, please do not put yourself through the agony of an abusive marriage for another 20 years. Alhamdulilah, you have the chance to set your life on a better path from now.

Please know that there is no excuse for your husband’s abusive behaviour. He is making a choice to belittle you. I urge you to get help from a culturally-sensitive counsellor, so that you can learn how to set better boundaries with him.

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance before making any final decisions. Please observe what Allah unfolds for you. For example, if your husband makes a sincere effort to change and make amends, then consider that a sign for you to work on your marriage. If he does not – and I suspect that this is a far more likely scenario – then please leave your marriage.

People do change, but only when they want to. From your description, it does not sound like is motivated to change his ways. I fear for your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, the longer you stay married to him. Everyone has limits, and your dignity matters to Allah.

Dunya

“Do people think that they will be left (at ease) only on their saying, “We believe” and will not be put to any test? Indeed We have tested those who were before them. So Allah will surely know the ones who are truthful, and He will surely know the liars.” [Qur’an, 29:2-3]

This dunya is a place of tribulation. This great test you are in is an opportunity for you to draw closer to Allah, or to pull away from Him. Instead of asking why this happened, reflect on what you can do to make this better. Learn from this experience. You are an adult, with choices, so make them wisely.

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, as often as you can, and ask Allah to give you the strength to get through this trial.

Moving Forward

I encourage you to read Before You Tie The Knot. Choose your next husband wisely. Observe his character through how how he deals with others. Ask for character references from his friends, family members, and people who work with him. Listen to your intuition, and your istikhara.

Divorce

Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Divorce carries a great stigma in most Muslim communities. Please know despite that, it is still permissible, and can be the beginning of a much better chapter of your life. If you choose this path, then please rally support from your family and friends. It will not be easy at first, so draw strength from remembrance of Allah.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.