He Married A Woman Who Suffers From
Epilepsy And They Did Not Tell Him Before The Marriage
Contract Was Done; What Should He Do?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I have just been married few weeks back and I
found out that my wife is suffering from epilepsy/fits.She
starts shivering and gets unconcious for a while.
She or her family did not inform us with the
What should I do?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Epilepsy is one of the faults that affect marriage and
prevent some of its aims being fulfilled. If one of
the spouses has this problem and conceals it, and the
other both does not know of it until after the
marriage has been consummated, then he or she has the
choice of either continuing with the marriage or
annulling it .
It says in Mataalib Ooli al-Nuha, 5/147:
Among the faults that confirm the option (of
annulling) is insanity, even if he has seizures
sometimes, because one cannot feel at ease with
someone who has this condition; this also applies in
the case of epilepsy. End quote.
al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Minhaaj,
in Baab al-Khiyaar fi'l-Nikaah: if one of the spouses
finds that the other has a kind of mental illness…
al-Haytami said in al-Tuhfah (7/345): the phrase
mental illness includes epilepsy. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him)
said: If he has lost his mind, even for a short time,
i.e., if it is proven that he has been insane even for
a short period, that is regarded as a fault, whether
it is in the woman or the man, and that includes
epilepsy. End quote.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 12/215
The husband should return the mahr to the one who
deceived him – if he consummated the marriage with
Al-Hajaawi said in al-Zaad, p. 167:
If it is before consummation, there is no mahr, but
after that she is entitled to what was agreed upon,
and the one who was the cause of this deceit is
responsible for paying it, if applicable. End quote.
This applies if it is not possible to treat it, but if
it is possible to treat it and it has been treated,
then there is no option (of annulment).
See: al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 12/218-219
If the fault becomes apparent after consummation of
the marriage and the other partner accepts it or shows
signs of accepting it, then he or she does not have
the option of annulment either.
It says in Zaad al-Mustaqni‘, p. 166
Whoever accepts a fault or gives indications of
accepting it when he finds out about it, he does not
have the option (of annulment). End quote.
To sum up:
If you did not know about the fault until after
consummation of the marriage with her, and this fault
cannot be treated, then you have the choice: either
you can accept it and put up with your wife's
sickness, or you can annul your marriage to her, and
the woman is entitled to the mahr because of the
intimacy that she allowed. But the one who should be
responsible for paying the mahr is the one who
deceived you and concealed from you this sickness that
See al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 12/229-230
What we advise you to do is not to be hasty regarding
this matter; put up with it and bear it with patience,
and try to find treatment for her by all possible
means. Putting up with this problem will bring an
abundant reward if you seek reward with Allah,
especially if she is of good character and religiously
committed. Perhaps if you do that for the sake of
Allah, Allah will relieve her of this harm and
hardship, and you will be rewarded for your patience.
And Allah knows best.
See also the answer to question no. 128221