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Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband has some very good qualities but the bad ones are becoming increasingly unbearable. He treats me less respectfully than before. He pressured me into giving back my dowry and spent it. He misses his prayers. He ignores me and refuses to share the responsibility of birth control.

What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah grant you the patience to bear with His Decree, until He grants you an opening. Please forgive me for this delay.

Marriage

The first year of marriage, especially the first few months, can be very challenging. However, from what you have described, it sounds like you have married someone who is harming you. He disrespects you, pressured you to return your mahr, will not take responsibility for birth control, and lied to you.

If the trajectory of your marriage continues like this, then you are likely to be unhappy for a very long time. Having a child will not necessarily make things better. The stress of a new baby can shatter an already fractured marriage.

Mediation

Is there a trustworthy community elder or scholar who can speak to your husband?

Please ask your husband to join you for marital counselling. Choose a culturally-sensitive counsellor who understands Muslims. Your husband has the capacity to change, but only if he wants to.

Istikhara

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to 7 times and ask Allah to help you decide whether to stay or leave. If your husband takes steps to improve himself and his treatment of you, then that is a sign for you to stay and work on your marriage.

If he continues to hurt you and shows no sign of remorse, then please consider speaking to a local scholar before deciding on divorce. Do everything within your power to save your marriage, but also know when to stop. Divorce is a last resort.

I know that no new bride wants the shame and stigma of divorce. Please keep in mind that although divorce is hated by Allah, it is still permissible. The Companions themselves married, divorced and remarried. If your well-being is at risk, then you must take action to protect yourself. It is forbidden to despair in Islam, and it is so easy to despair in the Mercy of Allah when your husband causes you so much heartache.

Moving forward

If you choose to leave your marriage, then please learn from this experience when you remarry, inshaAllah. Pray istikhara before you marry, and take heed of the red flags. If you come from a loving home, then a huge red flag is your family disliking your future husband. Marry someone who gets along with and respects your family. Observe how he behaves with other people, not just you. Is he kind and patient with his family? Does he treat people around him with respect?

Please complete this course to help you understand the spirit and law behind a successful Islamic marriage: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

Prayer of Need

Please perform the Prayer of Need as much as you can, in the last third of the night, and beg Allah for help.

Support

Allah Most High says about Himself in a Hadith Qudsi, “O My servants! I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.”

Please, please, please reach out for support. Have you made any new friends? Are you in contact with your loved ones? I am very concerned that because you have moved away from your loved ones, you are isolated and at risk of harm. It is so easy to start to feel diminished in your own marriage, when your husband disrespects you. Once you lose your voice, then it becomes very difficult to regain it. You are a woman of Allah, and your dignity matters to Him.

I pray that Allah blesses you with a peaceful home and righteous children; a home in which they see their mother being treated with respect, compassion and love.

Please refer to the following links:

What Can Help Endure a Difficult Marriage Due to Financial Issues?
Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky, by Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)