Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can I avoid returning my Mahr after the Khula, as my husband owes me money?

Money roll, dollar bills, cash

"He owes me money..."

Assalamualiakum dear brothers & sisters,

I would be grateful if you could please help me with this query. I have posted here previously regarding marital problems. Basically my husband is not  providing for me and my kids, he is gambling all his earnings and taking drugs.  He has stopped praying and going to the mosque.  Does not speak to his parents or relatives or even his kids much.

I have got my my family and his relatives involved to reconcile the situation and to change his ways but to no avail! He has no intention of changing and he has made it clear to me that he will live his life the way he wants I have to accept it or leave him! I have tried everything with him but I cannot reason with him.

He has left now and said he will never come back after we had arguements regarding his unislamic behavoiur re drugs and gambling. To cut a long story short he does not want to live with me. I have explained to him if he doesnt then he needs to divorce me and allow me to continue with my life. But he does not want to divorce as if he does I will keep the mahr or dowry. So its up to me now to seek khula. Which means that I will have to give back  the mahr/dowry.

But the problem is that I have been married over 10 years and in this ten years I have paid all the household bills which is the husbands responsibilty and also I have lent him over 40,000 to open his business. He has never given me this money back or even paid for the household bills. I have asked him for the money back but he keeps saying he has not got any money and he can't pay it back which is a lie as he is earning but he chooses to gamble it away.

He is also saying that because the business made a loss he can't give the money back. But regardless of the business making a loss he borrowed money from me which i want back. I am not a greedy person, but I feel that i have lost 10 years of my wages to a man who does not care for me or my kids and on top of that I have been in debts trying to pay of the loans which I got out for him and made repayments on.

Now I am struggling with money which is the mess that he left me in. As he is refusing to pay me back can I keep the mahr/dowry. Bear in mind the dowry is only worth 15,000. Which is less then half of what he owes me! But I will accept this and forgive him for the rest.

As one of the brothers explained to me regarding a hadith that a woman came to the prophet saying that her husband IS A GOOD MAN BUT SHE DISLIKES him and so the prophet said that she should give back her mahr/dowry in exchange for khula.  However I am seeking khula because my husband is NOT a good man and is not fullfilling his islamic obligations. i.e. providing for the family praying etc.

He is not religous anymore. I do not have any choice as he has left me hanging niether staying with me or divorcing me.

Can you please give me the Islamic ruling regarding this situation. Can i keep the dowry money? Also he is denying to all the realtives that he owes me any money. He is lying saying that he has provided for me for the last 10 years and paid all the bills so does not need to pay the money back!. But I have the paperwork.

I would be most grateful for your advice. May Allah reward you.


- Sumaira

Tagged as: , , ,

7 Responses »

  1. Salamualaikum,

    Sister, this is a complicated issue. I'll mention what I know, but you better revert to the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah.

    In surah Nisa', Allah says in Aayah 4:

    And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr
    (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart, but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful).

    But then, there are other complications. Read this:

    If you need assistence on contacting the Scholars, please mention the language(s) you can speak, and insha Allah, I'll see if I can get you their contact numbers.

    Also mention to the scholar you contact, that he denies that he owes you any money.

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • Thank you brother for the info. I would be grateful if you could please give me their contact numver i would prefer english. Thank you

      • hi salaam sis,

        were you able to figure out your situation? i know what you are going i am in a very similar boat. it hurts.

    • hi salaam brother,

      i called the 703 number and it was some girls phone. Do you have another number for that shaikh? i am going thru the same situation, but some parts a little different. It is a very stressful thing, so I understand what she is going through. i need help.

  2. I do not have much idea about Scholars who can speak English.

    But I have the number of Shaikh Yusuf Estes, who is in the US:

    (703) 671-2477

    Though I haven't confirmed the number yet.

    You could even contact Abdur Raheem Green through iERA, UK. Insha Allah iERA will have
    his details as he has been the
    chairman of iERA (Islamic
    Education & Research
    Academy). Their email:

    I spoke to a scholar regarding your matter, who said that when you lent the money to your husband, you had no intention of Khula, so it is a different matter altogether and you can not join this with your Mahr.

    But yes, if he agrees to forego the Mahr because he owes you money, then it is possible that you avoid it. But if he doesn't, then you have to pay him the Mahr, and deal with what he owes you, separately, if you wish to recover that.

    I hope this has helped
    Muhammad Waseem Editor

  3. Dear All,

    Am father of one child ---my wife is not obeying my parents and me ---after some time i caught her red handed having telephonic relation with another guy. (Comment removed by editor; please log in and write your question as separate post)


    • Brother Janzeeb,
      Sorry to hear what you are going through. First, whatever your wife is doing is haram; she shouldn't be in contact with any non-Mahram male also, she is married to you not your parents meaning that she should obey you. Get elders from both sides and discuss this matter with her being present; bring any proof that you might have. Warn her and if she doesn't listen then you should go for temporary separation and if things don't improve you should divorce her. You don't want your children to grow with such mother. Please find similar posts in our archive or else log-in and write your question as separate post and we will answer it on it's turn iA.


Leave a Response