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Her Husband Has Changed Completely And Treats Her Differently, And He Commits Haraam Deeds; What Should She Do?

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Rufai Oladimeji
, Nigeria.
Question

I am a woman who has been
married for ten years, and I have
two sons and a daughter. It was not
a love marriage, but I loved my
husband very much, because in the
beginning he respected me and used
to discuss all his affairs with me,
and he used to speak words of love
to me until I came to love him very
dearly. In fact, he used to pray in
the mosque and help me with
everything, with raising the children
and with housework. But after four
years of marriage he began to make
friends with some other guys, and
by accident I found out that he was
smoking shisha. I was very upset
when I found out about that, and
he promised me that he would
never do it again, but unfortunately
he still smokes shisha and he is so
addicted to it that he goes to the
cafe in the morning to smoke it.
When I tried to stop him, he
screamed in my face that I should
not interfere in his business. Please
note that he is not taking proper
care of me and his children, and he
has become very busy with his
friends, to the extent that when he
goes out in the morning, he does
not come back until late at night. I
tried to get his family to intervene
in this matter, but to no avail,
because he does not listen to
anyone. I am very confused about
my situation. He is very irritable
with me, but with his friends he
laughs and jokes. When I ask him to
let us go out together, he does not
agree, and if we do go out, he is
silent all the time and does not
speak, and he is busy with his
phone, either with messages or
returning calls, to the extent that
at first I thought that he was in a
relationship with another woman,
but from his behaviour I think that
he is only busy with his friends. I
love him dearly and want him with
all my heart. Please note that he
used to pray in the mosque, but
now the times for prayer come and
go without him praying. He hurts
my feelings a great deal and puts
me down; he screams in my face in
front of the children and in front of
other people, with no consideration
for my feelings. He often takes
trips with his friends, and is
addicted to shisha, and he spends
too much on his clothes and trying
to look smart, but he does not pay
any attention to what we need in
the house or what the children
need. He has a lot of debts and does
not own anything of any value.
Please note that I work and spend
on myself, and I pay the rent and
pay the servant’s wages, and pay
for many of the household
expenses, but he does not care.
How should I deal with him?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
Firstly:
Marital problems are very common.
If the problems stem from the
husband, then the wise woman
must look for the reasons why her
husband’s behaviour towards her
has changed, and the reasons why
he is causing trouble for her. She
may not be listening to him and
being stubborn in her dealings with
him, or she may be falling short in
obeying him, or she may be
neglectful regarding the house and
raising her children, and so on. It
cannot be imagined that a couple
would have a happy married life,
then things turn upside down
suddenly and the husband begins to
hate his wife and like to stay out at
night, smoking shisha and so on,
unless there are reasons that push
the husband to do such things,
although we know that in many
instances the wife has nothing to
do with that – rather it is a kind of
upheaval that a man goes through
after having been steadfast; we ask
Allah to keep us steadfast and guide
us – or it could be because of bad
company, until his friends lead him
astray from the straight path of his
Lord and distract him from taking
care of his best interests in this
world and the hereafter, as appears
to be the case here.
If it becomes clear to the wife that
she has nothing to do with the
changes in her husband, then this is
a test for her from Allah, so she
must choose between bearing with
patience what her husband is doing,
whilst continuing to advise him and
pray for him, or seeking divorce, if
she cannot put up with his
mistreatment, or if she fears for
herself or her religious commitment
or her children if she stays with
him, or if his sin reaches the level
of disbelief, Allah forbid.

Secondly:
The wife must do her utmost to
advise her husband and remind him,
in the way that is best. She should
not speak harshly to him or frown
at him; rather she should speak
gently to him and treat him kindly.
She should also speak to her family
so that they can find a good person
who is close to him and can advise
him, remind him and point him in
the right direction. At the same
time, she should be keen to offer
supplication when prostrating and
at the end of the night, asking her
Lord to guide him.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah
preserve him) said:
It is not permissible for the husband
to mistreat his wife, because Allah,
may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Treat them [women] with
kindness” [an-Nisaa’ 4:19] . And the
Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) said: “Your wife
has rights over you.” Narrated by
al-Bukhaari from the hadith of
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas. If he
mistreats her, then she should
respond with patience and do her
duty towards him, so that she will
have the reward for that, and in the
hope that Allah may guide him.
Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And not equal are the good deed
and the bad. Repel [evil] by that
[deed] which is better; and
thereupon the one whom between
you and him is enmity [will become]
as though he was a devoted
friend” [Fussilat 41:34] .
Al-Muntaqa min Fataawa ash-
Shaykh al-Fawzaan (4/177).
Although there may be some sins
that he is committing, and his wife
may be able to put up with that, his
forsaking prayer does not come
under that heading, because
forsaking prayer constitutes
disbelief (kufr) and apostasy, so she
should not allow him to be intimate
with her unless he starts to pray
again.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih
al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked:
There is a woman who is married to
a man who commits some sins,
including major sins, such as taking
drugs and the like, and she is
suffering because of this man. She
is a righteous and believing woman
– we think she is like that, but Allah
knows best. What should this
woman do, given that she has tried
to advise and guide him to give up
this haraam deed and to turn back
to Allah, may He be glorified and
exalted, but to no avail? What do
you think? Should she go to her
family or should she continue to put
up with it in the hope that Allah
might guide him? He also prevents
his children from praying.
Answer: This man who does haraam
deeds – does he pray or not?
Questioner: He prays but is not very
serious about it. Sometimes he
prays at home, sometimes he prays
at work, and sometimes he delays
the prayer.
Answer: I think that if she has tried
to advise him without success, then
she has the right to seek an
annulment of the marriage, but in a
situation like that there may be
other issues that make it not
possible to ask for annulment,
because she has children and
annulment of the marriage may
lead to further troubles. So if his sin
does not reach the level of disbelief
(kufr), there is no blame on her if
she stays with him, for fear of
further problems. But if his sin does
reach the level of disbelief, such as
if he does not pray at all, then she
should not stay with him a minute
longer.
Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh (13/
question no. 18).

Thirdly:
Husbands should fear Allah, may He
be exalted, with regard to their
wives, and they should realise that
Allah, may He be exalted, has
commanded them to treat their
wives with kindness and has
instructed them to keep them in an
acceptable manner. He has told
them that a man may dislike his
wife, yet Allah has instilled much
good in her. Likewise, the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) stated that if the
husband dislikes one characteristic
in his wife, he may be pleased with
what she has of other, good
characteristics.
Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“Treat them with kindness even if
you dislike them; it is quite possible
that you dislike something in which
Allah has placed much good” [an-
Nisaa’ 4:19] .
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah
said: The Messenger of Allah
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) said: “No believing man
should hate a believing woman. If
he dislikes one of her
characteristics, he may be pleased
with another.” Narrated by Muslim
(1469).
These husbands should realise that
their example is the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) and he was the best
husband to his wives.
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy
on him) said:
The words “Treat them [women]
with kindness” [an-Nisaa’ 4:19]
mean: speak nicely to them, treat
them kindly, make yourself look
good for them as much as you can,
just as you would like them to do
for you. So treat (your wife) as you
would like to be treated. Allah, may
He be exalted, says (interpretation
of the meaning): “And due to the
wives is similar to what is expected
of them, according to what is
reasonable” [al-Baqarah 2:228] . The
Messenger of Allah (blessings and
peace of Allah 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
and classed as saheeh by at-
Tirmidhi (3892). It was in his
character (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) to be kind to
people; he was always cheerful; he
would joke with his wives, treat
them kindly, spend generously on
them and laugh with them. He even
raced with ‘Aa’ishah the Mother of
the Believers, as an act of kindness
and affection towards her. She said:
The Messenger of Allah (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him)
raced with me and I beat him, but
that was before I put on weight.
Then when I had put on weight, I
raced with him again and he beat
me, and said: “This is in return for
that.” Narrated by Abu Daawood
(2578); classed as saheeh by al-
Albaani in Saheeh Abi Daawood . His
wives would gather every night in
the house of the one with whom
the Messenger of Allah (sa)
(blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) was going to spend that
night, and sometimes he would eat
supper with them, then each of
them would go back to her own
house. He used to sleep with his
wife under one blanket, taking off
his upper garment and sleeping in
his lower garment. When he had
prayed ‘Ishaa’, he would stay up for
a while with his wives, before going
to sleep, thus comforting them and
putting them at ease. Allah, may He
be exalted, says (interpretation of
the meaning): “There has certainly
been for you in the Messenger of
Allah an excellent pattern
(example)” [al-Ahzaab 33:21] .
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (2/242)
Perhaps a large part of the remedy
is trying to keep him away from the
bad friends who have distracted him
from his home, his family and his
religion. If you can seek help with
that from righteous people in his
family, so that he will have no need
of the bad friends who caused him
to change, then that is good.
You must also seek the help of
Allah, so that your husband will find
compensation for those bad
companions in the comfort, love and
mercy that you create at home, in
the hope that Allah will grant you
and your husband relief and a way
out from this test.
We ask Allah to guide your husband
and enable him to seek His
pleasure, and to bring about
reconciliation between you.
See also the answers to questions
no. 45600 and 9463.
And Allah is the source of strength.

islamqa.info/en/answers/9497/her-husband-has-changed-completely-and-treats-her-differently-and-he-commits-haraam-deeds-what-should-she-do

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