Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My husband’s ex-wife has been contacting him on and off for 3.5 years. She has been inappropriate and has shown no respect toward our marriage. She has feelings for him and wants him back. My husband has refused to cut her off, despite the fitna she has been causing in our marriage. He thinks that according to Islam, he should leave open the opportunity to help her if she needs it rather than point her to others who can help her, even though she has no boundaries.
What is the best way forward in this situation? Islamically, I have legitimate concerns, yet my husband thinks he should still offer help if necessary, even though he’s married and she wants him back.
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting to protect yourself and this marriage and for using wisdom and patience with him.
Although it is permissible for him to speak to his ex-wife and help her if she needs it, it is a recipe for trouble and inappropriate. I agree with you, and I pray that you can continue to gently tell him that what he is doing is not correct. However, I discourage you from getting angry, yelling, giving silent treatments, or giving ultimatums. I encourage you to have open discourse, explain that you are not comfortable with it and that you would be considerate of his feelings if it were the other way around. Keep this as your standard.
It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said, ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything concerning herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.’” [Ahmad]
Also, he should make this hadith his standard and not cause you undue stress: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most perfect of faith of the believers is the best of them in good character – and the best of you are those are best to their wives.” [Tirmidhi]
When facing any kind of challenge, turn to Allah for help. Pour out your heart in supplication to Him because He can send the solution to the problem that He sent in the first place. Be committed to your prayers, pray the Prayer of Need and give charity regularly, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” [Tirmidhi]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.