His Wife Wants To Leave Him But He Does
Not Want To Divorce Her
Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
My wife refuses to
have sexual relations for last 3 months, does not let
me touch her, says I am fat and ugly, wants to
separate and is forcing me to say that we should
I do not want to let her go , I love her very much,
But I just dont know what to do?.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible for the woman to refuse to go to
bed with her husband without a valid excuse such as
menses, sickness or an obligatory duty such as
fasting, Hajj and the like. If she does that then she
has exposed herself to sin and curses. It was narrated
that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him)
said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) said: "If a man calls his wife to
his bed and she refuses, and he goes to sleep angry
with her, the angels will curse her until morning
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2998.
And it was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: "If a woman stays away from her husband's bed,
the angels will curse her until she comes back."
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4795.
Based on that, what your wife is doing of refusing to
come to your bed is a haraam action; in fact it is a
major sin and is nushooz (wilful defiance) because of
which her right to maintenance and a fair share of
your time (in the event of plural marriage) is
It says in al-Haawi al-Kabeer by al-Mawardi (11/438):
There are two conditions that the woman must meet in
order to be entitled to maintenance:
1. Allowing him to be intimate with her
2. Agreeing to move with him wherever he wants in
the city in which he married her or to any other city,
if the roads are safe.
If she allows him to be intimate with her but does not
agree to move with him, then he is not obliged to
spend on her maintenance.
If she responds to him with regard to moving but does
not allow him to be intimate with her, if that is for
a reason that makes intimacy haraam, such as menses,
ihram and fasting, then her right to maintenance is
not waived, because it is forbidden for him according
to sharee‘ah, so it is an exemption from what is
required in the marriage contract. But if her refusal
is for no good reason, then her right to maintenance
is waived, if intimacy was possible. End quote.
If the wife does not want to stay with her husband and
it is not possible for them to live together, and she
thinks that she will never be able to fulfil the
rights he has over her, then Islam gives her a way out
and relief from this situation that is unbearable for
her, as she cannot bear to live with him and she is
unable to fulfil the rights he has over her. So Islam
allows her to separate from him by means of khula‘.
Al-Bukhaari (4867) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may
Allah be pleased with him) that the wife of Thaabit
ibn Qays came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of Allaah,
I do not blame Thaabit ibn Qays for any defect in his
character or his religious commitment, but I would
hate to commit an act of kufr when I am a Muslim."
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said, "Will you give him back his garden
[which he had given as mahr]?" She said, "Yes." The
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said (to Thaabit), "Accept the garden, and
divorce her once."
See also the answer to questions no. 1859 and 91878
Our advice to you is: so long as your wife is asking
you for a divorce and does not want to stay with you,
then you should divorce her, because there is no
interest for a man in staying with a wife who does not
love him and does not obey him in what he wants from
her or give him the least of the rights he has over
As for your love for her, there will be no joy for you
in that so long as she does not reciprocate in kind.
You should ask Allah to bless you with another wife
whom you love and who loves you.
In this case it is permissible for you to refuse to
divorce her until she ransoms herself from you with
some money or wealth. This is the khula‘ which we
mentioned above. In his commentary on the verse in
which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Nor
should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take
away part of the dower ye have given them,-except
where they have been guilty of open lewdness" [an-Nisa'
4:19], Ibn Katheer said: Ibn Mas‘ood and Ibn ‘Abbaas
said: What is meant thereby is zina, i.e., if she
commits zina, then you have the right to take back
from her the mahr you gave her and to put pressure on
her until she gives back the mahr, then divorce her
Ibn ‘Abbaas, ‘Ikrimah and ad-Dahhaak said: "open
lewdness" refers to wilful defiance and disobedience.
Ibn Jareer favoured the view that it includes all of
that: zina, disobedience, wilful defiance, a sharp
tongue and so on. In other words, all of that makes it
permissible to put pressure on her until she gives him
his dues or some of it, or he leaves her. And this is
End quote from Tafseer at-Tabari, 8/115-118
We ask Allah to make things easy for you and to guide
you and help you to do that in which is good.
And Allah knows best.