How Do I Deal with a Husband Who is Not Looking After Himself?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I recently started praying and wearing a hijab. My husband makes excuses by saying he forgot how to pray when I asked him to. I have tried to pray with him to remind him, but to no avail. He is also very obese, which prevents me from finding any pleasure in him. He does not pay any attention to personal hygiene, and I am put off by him.

I feel very guilty about all these thoughts and am afraid I am not giving him his rights as a husband. Even looking at him makes me angry, and I am so afraid of disobeying Allah by being a lousy wife. I have no mahr to give him back as my mahr was deferred, and I haven’t received it yet. Can I ask for khul?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Allah Most High, keep you steadfast in your practice of the religion and increase you in knowledge and practice, Amin

Husband’s Attitude Towards Prayer

You continue to practice and build on your worship, give your husband time to change, and speak to him about it with wisdom and appropriate timing.

Husbands Disregard for Personal Hygiene and Health

Sit down with him and speak to him about the things that concern you, again choosing the right moment and time with wisdom. Tell him you will support him and join him in his activities to bring about the changes, be they gradual. Watch and listen to talks about healthy marriage and overall good health. Share articles, read books, and try to start this discussion by going for walks further out, where you can spend time together and open up by talking more, etc.

Marital Relationship

Ask yourself if you are going through some doubts, but it seems you are thinking right; you want the best in the relationship, and from your side, you have made the changes and intend to make more.

Given the considerations in this case, as he hasn’t given you your marriage payment (mahr), and your overall relationship with him is not as it should be, we urge you to please consult reliable local scholars, religious friends, and marriage counselors about the specifics of the situation.  May Allah facilitate all ease and good for you.

Check these links:
Etiquette of Marriage: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader
What Makes A Marriage Work – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf – SeekersGuidance
How To Be A Better Spouse Seminar by Shaykh Irshaad & Shaykh Muhammad Carr – SeekersGuidance

Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on
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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.