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Her Husband Mistreats Her And Forces Her To Work, And He Refuses To Divorce Her, And She Is In A Country Where There Are No Sharee‘ah Courts

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Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
English
100Level, Nigeria.
Question

My problem is that my husband
changed five years ago; he became
violent and he sends me to pay the
bills and deal with men, whilst he
sits on the Internet. He even forced
me to work in a company with men
so that I can spend on my children,
because he is busy on the Internet.
This has led to men harassing me
and stalking him and trying to harm
me, which has forced me to change
my place several times. He has
subjected me to physical harm. I
know that divorce is something
blameworthy, and I know about the
hadiths which say that a woman
should not ask for divorce except
when there is good cause. I have
suffered extreme mistreatment
from him. Please note that he has
forced me into anal intercourse, and
I tried to stop him several times. I
have given him many chances, but
the matter got so bad that when he
realised that I have decided to leave
him, he contacted my family and
his family, and accused me of
having unlawful relationships with
other men, and he threatened to
make horrendous fake pictures of
me with young mean and spread
them far and wide, which made me
hate him very much, for Allah is my
witness that I have never
committed haraam with anyone,
despite all the harassment that I
have suffered, and his shortcomings
in terms of romance, and the lack of
compassion and kindness on his
part. Now we are living in a non-
Muslim country, and I want a
divorce, but he adamantly refuses. I
have asked shaykhs about my
situation, and they told me that I
have the right to seek divorce, but
now I am facing a problem, because
my husband does not want to
divorce me, and in the country
where we live, if he does not
divorce me, the matter will take a
long time, one year or more. The
situation in my own country is very
bad and I cannot go there to seek
divorce there. I am very confused
about my situation; what should I
do? My question is: can I appoint a
shaykh here to arrange my divorce
from him, and is it Islamically
acceptable for the shaykh to act in
the place of a qaadi (judge) and
arrange my divorce from him? If it
is permissible, then when my ‘iddah
ends, will I be free of him, even if
officially I am still his wife?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
It is not permissible for a woman to
ask for divorce except with good
reason, because of the report
narrated by Abu Daawood (2226),
at-Tirmidhi (1187) and Ibn Maajah
(2055) from Thawbaan, who said:
The Messenger of Allah (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: “Any woman who asks her
husband for a divorce except with
good reason, the fragrance of
Paradise will be forbidden to her.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Saheeh Abi Daawood.
With regard to what you mentioned
about your husband falling short in
spending on you, and forcing you to
work in a mixed environment, and
exposing you to harassment and
harm from men, and his
mistreatment of you, and forcing
you into haraam intercourse – each
one of these on its own may be
regarded as an excuse which makes
divorce permissible, so how about
when they are combined?
If the husband refuses to issue a
divorce, and there is no qaadi (shar‘i
judge) to whom the matter may be
referred, then you should refer your
case to the Islamic centre or to
those who are responsible for the
Muslim community in the place
where you are living, so that they
can call upon your husband to
divorce you, then if he refuses to
do that, they may issue a divorce in
his stead, and act in place of the
shar‘i qaadi in that regard.

The final statement of the second
conference of the Fiqh Council of
North America, which was held in
Copenhagen, Denmark, with the
Muslim World League, 4-7 Jumaada
al-Oola 1425 AH/22-25 June 2004
CE, stated that: a concession is
granted allowing one to refer to the
court that is based on the man-
made law of the land, when doing so
becomes a means of getting one’s
rights or warding off wrongdoing in
a land that is not ruled by
sharee‘ah, on condition that those
who have knowledge of sharee‘ah
be consulted to determine the shar‘i
ruling that is applicable to a given
case, and that the demand be
limited only to seeking what
sharee‘ah allows and trying to
implement it.

It also says:
Seventh clause: the extent to which
civil divorce done in lands outside
the Muslim world is valid:
The statement explains that if a
man divorces his wife in a shar‘i
manner (talaaq), there is nothing
wrong with documenting it in the
court that is based on the man-
made law of the land. But if there is
a dispute between the spouses
about the divorce and connected
issues, the Islamic centres may play
the role of the Muslim judge (qaadi)
where there is none, after doing all
legally required procedures.
Referring to the man-made judicial
system to end the marriage does
not on its own dictate the end of
the marriage from the shar‘i point
of view.

If the woman gets a civil divorce,
then she may go to the Islamic
centre and refer the matter to
people who are qualified to deal
with these matters and have
sufficient knowledge, to complete
the matter from the shar‘i point of
view.

One cannot make the excuse that
this is a matter of necessity
because Islamic centres are
available and easy to refer to in
various regions. End quote.
From this you may understand that
the actions of the civil court are not
sufficient to complete your divorce
from your husband, because the
ruling of a non-Muslim judge does
not carry any weight according to
scholarly consensus. It is also not
sufficient for you to refer to a
shaykh to arrange your divorce.
Rather the matter requires an
organisation that has qualified
seekers of knowledge who can
verify what you have mentioned
and take charge of arranging your
divorce. This is what is known as
Islamic centres in Western
countries.
And Allah knows best.

islamqa.info/en/answers/267869/her-husband-mistreats-her-and-forces-her-to-work-and-he-refuses-to-divorce-her-and-she-is-in-a-country-where-there-are-no-shareeah-courts

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