Does A Husband Have To Be Patient With His Wife All The Time And Not Divorce Her?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
We know that the wife of Nuh (as), and the wife
of Lut (as) went to jahannam, may Allah protect us
from his displeasure, amin. Is this evidence that
brothers should patient with their wives all the time,
and not divorce them? I have heard that the Messenger
of Allah, (pbuh), divorced women. What is the
difference between keeping a woman with bad behavior
and counseling her, and getting rid of a woman with
Praise be to Allaah.
Undoubtedly the wives of Nooh and Loot (peace be upon
them) will enter Hell with those who will enter it,
but they did not commit any obvious sin that would
imply kufr, otherwise it would not have been
permissible for these Prophets to have remained
married to kaafir women, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"… Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives"
Perhaps the wife of Nooh was concealing kufr, or
perhaps, despite the fact that Nooh had been calling
people to Allaah for so long, she was influenced by
the call of her people when she saw that all of her
people were following kufr, so she became doubtful and
wondered how he alone could be a believer when all of
these people were disbelievers, and they formed the
majority of their nation. So her kufr may have been
secret. The same applies to the wife of Loot, of whom
they said that her only sin was that she told her
people about his guests, i.e., she called them to come
and commit obscene actions with them. This was her
sin, but it is possible that she was also a kaafir in
secret. Hence Allaah said (interpretation of the
"… except his wife, she will be of those who remain
behind" [al-‘Ankaboot 29:32]
This is a summary of the response given by Shaykh
‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen, may Allaah preserve him.
It is permissible for a husband to divorce his wife so
long as there is a shar'i reason for doing so, such as
a lack of religious commitment, a bad attitude, lack
of chastity, negligence, etc., even if she is not a
kaafir. But if she is a righteous believer, let him
keep her, even if he dislikes some of her
characteristics, as the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) said. It was narrated that Abu
Hurayrah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Let not a
believing man hate a believing woman. If he dislikes
one of her attributes, he will be pleased with
another." (Narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah,
When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) wanted to divorce Hafsah, Allaah revealed to
him: Go back to Hafsah, for she fasts a lot and prays
a lot at night, and she will be your wife in Paradise.
Al-Mundhiri said: this was narrated by al-Nasaa'i and
Ibn Maajah. ‘Awn al-Ma'bood Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood,
hadeeth no. 2283.
The husband has to strive to reform his wife and pray
to Allaah to reform her. Allaah will reform a wife in
whom there is some crookedness, if He wills, as He
said concerning His slave Zakariya (interpretation of
"… and [We] cured his wife for him…" [al-Anbiya'
Some of the mufassireen (commentators) said that she
used to have a sharp tongue, i.e., her speech towards
her husband was offensive, so Allaah reformed her.
A man may put up with the difficulty of keeping his
wife in order to ward off a greater difficulty, which
is that of separating the children and dividing the
family. But if the harm caused by staying with one's
wife is greater than the harm caused by separating
from her, there is nothing wrong with him divorcing
her. And Allaah is the Source of strength.