On A Woman Saying Zihaar To Her Husband; And Does She Have
To Offer Expiation For That?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
My husband always makes fun of me and mocks me,
and I have put up with a lot and been patient. But one
day he insulted me in all kinds of ways and made me
cry and get angry. So I said to him, "You are to me
like my brother, you are to me like my brother's
Is this considered to be zihaar [a jaahili form of
divorce in which the husband says to his wife, "You
are to me like my mother's back"]? What is the
kafaarah (expiation) that I have to offer?.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible for a Muslim to make fun of his
brother. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another
group, it may be that the latter are better than the
former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it
may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor
defame one another, nor insult one another by
nicknames. How bad is it to insult one's brother after
having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a
faithful believer) as: ‘O sinner', or ‘O wicked']. And
whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed
The husband is obliged to treat his wife kindly.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"and live with them honourably"
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: "The best of you are those who are best to
their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives."
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895.
Our advice to you is to continue to be patient and put
up with your husband's mistreatment, and pray for him
to be guided, and keep reminding him of his duties.
With regard to your telling him, "You are haraam to me
like my brother" etc., this is not zihaar, rather it
is a yameen mukaffarah (an expiable oath). Zihaar is
done by a man to his wife, not vice versa. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them
by Zihaar (i.e., by saying to them ‘You are like my
Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked:
My wife always says to me, "You are my husband, you
are my brother, you are my father, you are everything
to me in this world." Do these words make me haraam to
him or not?
These words do not make her haraam for you, because
what she means by saying "You are my father and
brother" etc is that you are like her father and
brother in love and care. She does not intend to make
you a mahram like her father and brother.
Even if we were to assume that she does mean that, you
are not haraam for her, because zihaar cannot be given
by women to their husbands, rather it is something
given by men to their wives. Hence if a woman tries to
give her husband zihaar by saying to him, "You are to
me like my father's back" or "my brother's back" etc,
this is not zihaar, but it comes under the ruling of
oaths, in the sense that it is not permissible for her
to allow him to be intimate with her unless she offers
kafaarat al-yameen (expiation for breaking a vow). If
she wishes, she can offer the expiation before she
allows him to be intimate with her, or if she wishes
she may do that afterwards.
Kafaarat yameen (the expiation for breaking a vow) is
to feed or clothe ten poor persons, or to free a
slave. If the person cannot do any of these things,
then he or she must fast for three days.
Fataawa al-Mar'ah al-Muslimah, 2/803.
And Allaah knows best.
Ruling on cursing one's children or
wife, and does cursing one's wife count as divorce (talaaq)?
What is the ruling on one who curses his wife or
one of his children? Does cursing one's wife count as
divorce or not?
Praise be to Allaah.
Cursing one's wife is not permitted, and it is not a
divorce; she still remains married to him and he has
to repent to Allaah for that and seek the forgiveness
of the one whom he has cursed. Similarly, it is not
permitted for him to curse his children or anyone else
among the Muslims, because the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Trading
insults with a Muslim is evildoing and fighting him is
kufr (disbelief)." (Saheeh – agreed upon). And he
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"Cursing a believer is like killing him." (Narrated by
al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh).
These two saheeh hadeeths indicate that a Muslim's
cursing his brother is a major sin, so we must beware
of that and restrain our tongues from committing this
A woman is not divorced if her husband curses her; she
is still married to her husband, as stated above.
Kitaab Majmoo' Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah li
Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him),
vol. 8, p. 398