How to Come Out of an Abusive Untrustworthy Marriage?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

I left my abusive husband last year. He won’t divorce me, and he will only agree to a khul’ under very difficult conditions which I cannot manage. The Shari’a councils say they cannot do anything.

My question is, is there no way an imam can step in and process the khul’ due to my circumstances? Can I not be given freedom after half a year of battling with and fighting the abuse and oppression? Can I be divorced from him without accepting these conditions?

Answer

I pray Allah removes your difficulties and gives you peace of mind very soon.

Clearly, you have been through a very difficult ordeal, and abuse from a spouse, coupled with infidelity is a very difficult matter to deal with. Alhamdulillah, you were provided with a way out. Many people would just encourage their daughters to remain and patiently endure the abuse.

The Shari’a does not condone any sort of oppression and wrongdoing. Be certain that Allah Most High does not allow any oppression to go unaddressed. Allah Most High said in a hadith quoted by the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, “My servants, I have made oppression impermissible for myself, and impermissible for you all; so don’t wrong each other.” [Muslim] It is commendable that you were able to step away before you were harmed more.

The Rulings Related to Divorce

In Islam, Allah has given the right of divorce to the husband, but there are other ways a marriage can be annulled through a judge in certain situations. This may seem like a privilege for the man, but in reality, it is a burden. The burden of not abusing this right.

Do not think that he will get away with it, and be certain that Allah will take this situation and make it the means to you coming out on top even if it seems like the most remote thing from reality right now.

Rulings in the Shari’a reflect the majority of scenarios. This is from an outward legal perspective. In reality, Allah tests people in various ways. One of those ways is to see whether a person will implement the rules, or bend them to harm others.

There could, theoretically, be scenarios where the husband is wronging the wife, and where the wife is wronging him. He could lie and manipulate, and so could she. So the scholars have to remain neutral and look at the objective facts. This is what their advice will have been based on.

What is Khul’?

A Khul’ is basically a request for a divorce in exchange for something. The maximum he can demand is that you return the mahr he gave you, and he cannot as for any more than that. What’s more is that he is sinful for taking even a penny if he is sinful, though if he does the money does become his property.

I assume the amount you mentioned is above what he gave as mahr. The Shari’a council should make the above point clear to him. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

Unfortunately, they, as neutral parties, are forced to see things as being potentially true or false from both sides. They may be looking at the fact that he is a hafiz, but that should not matter seeing as every human being has faults, and is capable of wronging others.

Looking For a Solution

You face a tough situation. I don’t know if he is financially supporting you, but if you left due to his abuse you are still entitled to financial maintenance. If this is not happening then some Shari’a councils may be willing to intervene and annul the marriage.

Failing that, your other option is to ask someone who he respects to speak to him. It’s clear you do not want to be with him because of what has happened. There does not seem to be a means to resolve the matter either. Therefore, the dignified thing to do is to end it.

Allah, Most High, said to men, “Keep them in a clearly gracious way or allow them to go freely in a clearly gracious way. Do not keep them with the intention of harming them, so you cross the limits [of Allah]. Whoever does that has certainly wronged himself! And do not treat the signs of Allah as a mockery…” [Quran, 2:231]

Has this verse been explained to him? If he does not listen, turn to Allah Most High and ask Him to get you out of the situation in a beneficial way. Sometimes, Allah Most High creates situations for us where only He can provide the solution. This is to make us direct ourselves to Him wholeheartedly, without any hope in creation.

The response will come, and you’ll come out on top. May Allah Most High facilitate this matter for you in the best of ways.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.