Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can I divorce my husband due to his absence and neglect?

I married my huband five years back, the first two yrs of my marriage were marital bliss then just after my first son was born, my husband was offered a job in UAE and he left. It has been more than 2.5 years now he has not called me there. Initially my husband had work problems then suddenly he left his job and wanted to do his own business.

Every time I ask him to call me he says he has business issues and not yet settled. I then had my second child, he visits me occasionally sometimes once in 3 or 4 months for 2-3 days.

Every time I ask him to call me he says he will soon but soon never comes. The problem is it has been almost 3 years and I am tired of being a single mother of 2 sons. My elder one is now almost 3 and he has no concept of a father.

I need to know what Islam has to say about long distance relationships. My husband sends me money but still is neglecting his responsibilities as  a husband and as a father? Can I seek divorce on these grounds?

~ depressed one.

Tagged as: , , , ,

21 Responses »

  1. Dear Depressed Sister,

    I think you may have good grounds for a divorce should your husband not return, but the decision would need to be made by a judge in an Islamic court. As a woman and his wife, you are entitled to intimacy which is nearly impossible due to the amount of time he is in the UAE. Rather than seek divorce, ask your husband to come home and find work where you and the children are. If he does not want to for whatever reason, tell him how you feel about the distance between you and how your rights as a wife are being neglected. Surely as a man, he must understand your needs? What about the children? What about their needs? They don't even spend time with their father...that is terrible. If you have not opened up and discussed these feelings you are having with your need to. This situation is neither fair to you or the children.


  2. Assalam oalykum , adding to what sister said

    The husband is not to stay away from his wife or keep his wife in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a protracted period of time except with her consent. Allah said: "Turn not away (from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful" (4:129). Protracted separation (6 months or more in the Shafi`i school) without prior or subsequent arrangement with the wife, whether the husband is away willingly or unwillingly (for example due to war, imprisonment, or illness) is sufficient grounds for her to obtain divorce from the judge.(JUDGE HERE MEANS A QAZI ,)


    May allah give us all wisdom and protect from all sorts of vice ameeen.and give all our unmarried brothers and sisters a pious mates who understands each others rites.

  3. Assalamu'alaikum,

    Sister, I have seen worser situations where the husband stays in a foreign country for one whole year or even two. In Saudi Arabia, there are men from Bangladesh who stay away from home for as long as 8 continuous years. Just imagine their situations, the situations of their families. Your husband at least visits you every 3 months. See what the Ulama say about a similar situation:

    The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce with no reason, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.”

    Hence, I advise you to wait until he comes next time, then tell him gently that it is now becoming difficult as the kids require their father and you can not take the responsibility.

    Something what the 'Ulama say regarding your situation:

    It says in Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (5/193): If the husband travels and leaves her because of an excuse or need, then her right to a share of his time and intimacy is waived, even if his journey is lengthy, because there is an excuse. … If the traveller does not have an excuse that prevents him from returning and he is absent for more than six months, if she asks him to return then he must do that, because of the report narrated by Abu Hafs with his isnaad from Yazeed ibn Aslam who said:

    Whilst ‘Umar was patrolling Madeenah, he passed by a woman who was saying:

    “This night is getting very long and very dark because I do not have my partner to play with.

    By Allaah, were it not for the fear of Allaah and for modesty, then this bed would shake under me.”

    He asked about her and was told that she was So and so whose husband was absent (in jihad) for the sake of Allaah. He sent a woman to stay with her, and he sent for her husband to come back. Then he entered upon Hafsah and said: O my daughter, how long can a woman bear to be away from her husband? She said: Subhaan Allaah, would one such as you ask one such as me about that? He said: Were it not that I want to make a decision concerning the Muslims I would not have asked you. She said: Five months or six months. So he set a time limit for the people on their campaigns of six months: they would march for a month, then stay there for four months, then take another month for the journey back.

    Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: I am a young man living abroad and I am married, praise be to Allaah, but the country in which I am working only allows a few employees to bring their wives. What is the Islamic ruling on that, as the job is only for a year or fourteen months to be precise?

    He replied: Some of the Sahaabah set a limit for a husband’s absence at four months, and others set it at half a year, but that applies when a wife has asked her husband to come back. If he has been away for half a year and she asks him to come back and he is able to, then he must come back. If he refuses then she has the right to refer the matter to the qaadi (judge) and have the marriage annulled. But if she allows her husband to stay, even if it is for a long time, and more than one or two years, then there is nothing wrong with that because it is her right that she has waived, so she cannot demand an annulment so long as she has agreed to his being away and so long as her provision, clothing and other needs are assured. And Allaah is the Source of strength. End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah (3/212).

    Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man who was married and had children from his wife. He says: I travelled from my homeland to improve my situation and I was absent for nearly three years. Please note that I never stopped sending money and was in constant touch with my wife. Does she have any rights in sharee’ah and what are they? Is there any sin on me for that?

    He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: I say that the wife’s right over her husband is that he may enjoy intimacy with her and she with him, as is usually the case. If he stays away from her to seek a living with her consent, and she is in a safe place where there is no fear that anything will happen to her, then there is nothing wrong with that, because the right is hers but if she agrees to waive it and she is completely safe and secure, then there is nothing wrong with his being away for three years or more or less. But if she asks him to come back then the matter should be referred to the judges to rule as they see fit in accordance with the laws of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb.

    To sum up: If the husband is away from his wife for more than six months, if his wife agrees to that and he has left her in a safe place, there is no problem. If she did not agree to that then she may refer her case to the sharee’ah judges to determine whether her husband has a sound excuse or he has to return or the marriage may be annulled.

    The husband should understand the effect that his absence will have on his wife and children, and he should put their interests and care before acquiring wealth, if he can find sufficient income in his own country, for nothing can compensate for the calamity of losing one's religious commitment; no wealth or luxury can make up for that. How many families have seen their young men and girls become corrupted because of their father’s absence. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.


    The period your husband lives away is less than the mentioned limit of 6 months. I advise you to speak to your husband when he comes next time as I mentioned above, and then if you still think it won't work then approach a Qaadhi who will decide whather your marriage can be annulled or divorce is required

    I pray to Allah that He keeps you both together
    Muhammad Waseem

    • is legit

      • islamqa team consists of Shaikh Salih al Munajjid, who happens to be a student of Shaikh bin Baaz Rahimahullah. But some scholars have declared him a Qutubi. Hence I had stopped quoting from there. But on being asked, all the 'Ulama were of the opinion that quotations from the site are allwowed, as all or most of the answers are based on the undertanding of the major (Kibaar) 'Ulama and also contain the quotations from them. Since then, I began quoting them again.

  4. I agree with brother waseem

  5. i have face a great problem with our relasionship.we have married since 4 years ago.before our marrige we have 3 years relationship.but now he always misbehave with me and beat me.So it is so difficult to me to main tin a relatoionship with him.He is a chain smoker but i don't like smoking but he is dumcare about my will.i love him very much but tell me how can i do.plz give me

  6. i have been married over 10 years and we have a son we both love very much.

    (Remainder of comment has been deleted. Please log in and write your question as a separate post, thank you. - Editor).

  7. my husband is absent from almost 18 months and above and has no contact with me at all Now what should I do May I wait for him or not? If wait than how much time? As I have searched him and his parents also don't know anything about him.

    • Mrs. Shabana, Assalamualaikum,

      I am sorry to hear that. The period of waiting that I have read is 6 months, and Allah Knows Best. Approach a scholar possessing knowledge of Quran and the Sunnah and mention your case to him. He may judge and even annul your marriage if required.

      If you need further advise, please login and submit your question separately.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  8. Hello,

    I got married in Dubai 2 years ago and i had a baby with this man, my baby was very sick and i traveld outside UAE to make the procedures the baby need it. Unfortunetly the baby died after a surgery ( she had a hearth issue)
    My husbon abond me since the moment i left , never help me
    With money or nothing i took care of all the expenses pf the baby and my self, he even still all my personal belongins and run away. I dont know where he is and i dont have any contact with him.
    The only thing i want now is to divorce him, how can i do that? I cant go back to dubai because he open a case on me . Thats what he told my lawyer last time we call to tell ji the baby passed.
    Can someone help me and give me an advice of what can i do?
    After all this tragedy the only thing i want is to move on and try to be happy.

    • Salaams,

      I can't say for sure, but it seems to me that if you no longer live in Dubai you shouldn't need a divorce through the Dubai courts. Wherever you have been living permanently the last year or since you've lived in Dubai should be able to help you get a divorce. Have you consulted with an attorney where you live now? If not, that's where I would start if I were you.

      -Amy Editor

  9. Salam.

    I need help ...

    • Durre, I deleted your comment as you need to register and submit your question as a separate post. Your situation is difficult and needs attention and thought. So please submit your post and we will publish it in turn Insha'Allah.

      Wael Editor

  10. I've been married for 2 1/2 yrs to a muslim man, and since i couldnt find job here in abu dhabi but need to renew my license first in my own country and sinced we dont have baby for i dont know what possible reason is i need to come back in my country and stayed there for a year. But then my husband told me he will marry as soon i left the country and will keep me hanging and will not like to divorced me.. Since its not my will and since he maltreated, abusive and not being fair with me since im not muslim and forcing me to become muslim is this could be a ground for divorce if ever i will come back in abu dhabi later and if ever he has wife again that time??

    Hope to recieve answer because i dont know what possible things to do.. I just want to move on and be happy... Thank you...

  11. My question Is that my husband lives in forign country .. it's been one year he did not apply for my spouse visa and on messages he insult me and my parents almost every day.. he told me to leave your family forever and write an affidvit that you will not contact your family when you will come here .. And he didn't came to meet me as well .. What should I do .. ?

    • Divorce him. Why would you want to share your life with such a miserable man? It will only get worse after you leave your family and move in with him.

      Wael Editor

      • Good day! We are filipino. My father is an islam and my mother is a christian. I am now 29yrs old, we are 4 siblings. My father left/abandoned us since I was 5yrs old because he married to his 2nd wife. 8yrs ago my father and his 2nd wife got separated and now he is living in with his 3rd wife but just this week when my mother is having a vacation here since she is working in the other country, my father harassed my mother and us his children. My father wants my mother back at him but my mother is no longer attached to him since its already almost 3 decades since he left and abandoned us and our mother was the one who raised us alone.

        My mother now wants to file an annulment. I would like to ask if she can file an annulment in shareeah court for my father here in philippines?

Leave a Response