Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My dilemma is an abusive but practicing Muslim husband

Can you recognise the cycle of abuse?

Can you recognize the cycle of abuse?

Assalamo alaykum,

I came across this website whilst looking for ways to deal with an abusive husband, and was very pleased to see some Muslim representation on this front. Great job! May Allah accept your efforts, ameen!

This is my second marriage [now been 4 years] and my husband’s third. His first wife left him after a few months and second stayed 10 years then died of cancer. He married me 5 months after that.

I had to leave my 2 children from first marriage with their father when I remarried, which was 8 months after my divorce [khula from court]. Also, I became pregnant right away and being separated from my kids caused me to go into a lot of depression. My husband didn’t help, in fact he made things worse as he did not understand my pain, and after just one week he started criticizing me,  in a month he was threatening me with taking another wife, after 3 months he divorced me once, and after a year he started hitting me too.

He says the cruelest things to me, like ‘I really hate you’, ‘Marrying you was a big mistake’, ‘Your ex was right to abuse you, you deserve it’, Ýou are the worst of my three wives’, ‎’You are ugly, you are fat, etc.’ He curses me day and night, in front of our  children. I had two sons with him, one after the other, Masha Allah, although from both wives before me he had no children. Yet, when I remind him of this benefit he got through me, he says you didn’t bring these boys in your dowry.

For 4 years he kept me under the impression that he had the best wife [2nd one] and I am the worst. He would praise her and insult me in the same sentence and I kept agonizing myself feeling useless and sub-standard, although I recently spoke to his late wife’s sister and found out that he was pretty much the same with her too. She was so sick of him that in her last few months she had told him that she will live in a separate house in her hometown with a maid and he can go marry whoever he wants to in another city, because he was bent on marrying again. Only he didn’t divorce her and, as far as the sister knew, the hitting and cursing was not as bad as it has been with me.

He has been beating me up much worse than my first husband. He slaps me on my face mostly, and would bruise me all over even when I was pregnant with his son, but he did not hit on my stomach. Once he slapped me on my ear so hard that my ear drum split, and I couldn’t hear for 10 days, after which it self-healed Alhumdulillah! He beats me and uses the filthiest swear words on me in front of our children. My boys 3 and 2 are now saying swear words and hitting me whenever I forbid them from something. This really cuts me because I was staying in this marriage till now because of the children and because of Allah. I have taken khula once and I felt I did not want to take divorce again as it’s the most hated thing in Allah’s eyes amongst halal. Looking at the bad influence my kids are getting, Im not sure if Im doing the right thing.

The sad part is this. He prays 5 times, tahajjud too. He reads quran daily , with translation. He gives zakat, has done hajj , and is very generous with the poor. He is always giving charity,big amounts. He stays far away from interest, gambling, drinking, womanizing [as far as I know] .  He is presently sitting in Aitekaaf!  Somehow, inspite of all this, he is unable to understand that in Islam women are loved and protected [from harm] by their husbands, not subjected to it by them.

He just cant control his anger. He says I make him angry, and hits me on little things like the baby fell off the bed while I was asleep, or I was 2 minutes late in opening the door for him, etc. His family and friends have tried to tell him not to hit me or abuse but it has not made any difference to him. They have even told him he needs to see a psychiatrist but he instead insists I am crazy. Although, when I was very depressed I asked him to take me to a psychologist but he only took me once or twice and then stopped, saying he doesn’t have the money for it. He keeps me isolated. For months on end he refuses to allow me to talk to my parents or siblings [all of whom live in different cities/countries]. He wont let me visit neighbours or get out of the house and wouldn’t take me either. He doesn’t let me use the internet and takes away my phone now and then too.

However, he is good with the children, gives them time, attention and love. Also, he supports me and children financially.

I am presently at my parents and thinking about what to do. My parents have left the decision on me now. I am educated so could support myself, if needed. Last year I had escaped without telling him and came to my parents. He came twice [another city] and begged forgiveness and promised to not hit me and abuse verbally again. But after a month or two he was back to the same.

I feel very confused. On one side I want to gain Allah’s pleasure by doing sabr and not asking for divorce, on the other side I'm thinking my children may suffer from this toxic environment and Allah may not be pleased either then as this body of mine and these boys are an amanah from Him.

Please advise me.


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31 Responses »

  1. Assalamualaykum sister.. plz dont be sad.. Be patient, Allah test you, because Allah loves you..don't forget that..

    • Salaams,

      I hope you're not saying that the sister should endure this type of marriage. Astaghfirullah.

      -Amy Editor

    • brother you must be joking.. and to shame ...Our ALLAH swt WOULDNT test anyone with endless BEATINGS AND PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABUSE to test their patience..

      astagfirullah..this is the problem with our ummah,this

      Poster..please dont listen to this brother.turning a blind eye to abuse and saying to just IGNORE it is WRONG.

    • dont be sad??????? be patient??????????

      what do you mean bro?

      a muslim should not tolerate torture on another muslim let alone ask them to endure it!

      part of opression is not speaking against it.

  2. Salaams,

    Sister, I think the writing on the wall is crystal clear. If it isn't, the picture included in your post should help. You are entrenched in a classic abuse cycle. He has done it not only with you, but his two previous wives. He is already passing his sickness and sin to his son's, and if something isn't done NOW they will likely grow up to be abusive to their wives and/or others as well.

    Sister, if you're at home, stay at home. There is no evidence at this point that anything is going to change, and by you going back you will only be further endangering yourself and further letting your son's learn how to be violent. Like you said yourself, Allah has given you a trust with your body and your children, and if you neglect that trust by putting them in harm's way or letting them learn to be oppressors, this could be held to your account.

    Sabr is for things beyond your control- illness, death, job loss, etc. This situation is not beyond your control, you don't have to put up with this kind of life. Abusive men are oppressors, and there is plenty of evidence in Islam that Allah dislikes and will punish the oppressors.

    Divorce is not a sin, it's not haram. When it comes to serious situations like yours, it's entirely justified and encouraged. Divorce is usually the best remedy to a marriage where abuse such as yours is taking place. The best thing you can do is stay with your parents, get on your feet to support your kids, get into counseling to help with the damage that may have already been done (including counseling for the kids, as what they've observed has probably traumatized them) and get on with a better life than what he's been giving you. His first wife knew well enough to do that, and if you're open to the idea maybe you can contact her for moral support as you work out your future in shaa Allah.

    -Amy Editor

    • Assalamu'alaikum,

      I have a question over taking divorce.

      I know that in some situation a wife is able to ask for divorce.

      My question is,
      will the talak that spoken by Maraam will be counted even without the agreement of the husband?

      And for Maraam. I think it's better to ask somebody to accompany you when you are going to ask for it.

      • Aisyah, the wife cannot pronounce talaq. She can ask the husband to pronounce talaq, or she can seek khul'ah through the court (or local Islamic authority).

        Wael Editor

  3. Assalamualaykum,

    Just put this loser behind bars. A man who hits a women should not be regarded as men at all. Just trash him.

  4. salaam,

    He prays reads Koran still his character shows he isn't that good hypocrite.
    I had a husband like that also reading Koran and praying and cheating behind my back.

    If he puts you in danger you should go for divorce.

  5. Sister,

    i have never been abused but i have seen it with my own eyes.. Do not ever for one second think that this is normal and ok. You are a human being.. even ANIMALS are not to be treated like this. This man has a history of abuse..if we only knew of these things before marriage we could avoid these types of brothers..he is obviously used to this..we cannot change grown people..he is a man a coward that chooses to treat his life partner worse than cattle. Arent you worth more than that? Allah swt would never allow you to suffer broken eardrums, black eyes and endless suffering to test your faith and however says that to you is the problem within the ummah..this cycle of seeing "who suffers more and deals with it" is not a test of a good muslim. A good muslim has the faith to trust in Allah swt and step out in life and take matters within their own hands to leave the bad and trust that good will come from that.

    YOUR SONS..are they need to see mummy cry or mummy be happy? do they need their childhood memories of mum to be of beatings she endured and thus they get a bad sense of what a mum and dad should be or should they see an example of a strong woman that is their mum?

    Sister..i have lost 3 friends from domestic violence.. One friend of my mother died after enduring 24 years of abuse from her husband, she frequently ran to our house for a safehaven with her two kids until one day..we got the phone call...he BLEW her head off in front of her children for trying to defend herself from his beatings.. another friend of mine the family well she was beaten to death and another was severely disfigured by an acid burn..

    sister a man that will hit and beat his wife will eventually if not kill you break you down to the point to were you THINK you deserve it. Dont listen to muslims that okay this behavior..we should be patient but not allowing of ill treatment. You have suffered enough. If you are in the london/birmingham area their are loads of resources.. get out!

    i will be praying for you sister..

  6. Salam sister,

    I feel really sad reading your story. Especially that it is your second marriage which you had so much hope for. I do not know why you have left your own children for this man? ?

    Its shocking but their are men out there who seem so religous, i.e pray go mosque pay zakat etc etc but are absolute demons to their wife! Its just unbelievable.

    I cant imagine how painful it must be for you to endure this phisical and emotional abuse. I am seperated, my ex did everything exept for hitting me. Now I am too scared to marry again, I cant trust men. If I were you I would not hang around to be killed or allow my children to grow up like this. I don't understand why you did not call 911 and report him to the police!!!??? These men need to learn their lesson! not to hit women. A coward picks on someone weaker then them. This would have stopped him from hitting you again as he would have been scared that he will be in jail! In UK domestic voilence is dealt with very seriously.

    But if you still want to try to change your husband and see if any good comes out of it. Then maybe you can stay at your parents and get both families involved and demand that he goes to anger management classes if he wants you back. Allow him to visit you and kids in your parents house and also file a police report regarding his voilence and make it crystal clear that if he ever lays a hand on you he will be behind bars!! You will not spare him! You need to make agreements that he cannot raise his voice and curse you or say anything filthy, he has to speak like a civilised person at al times.

    You need to get the ball in your court. You need to take complete control of the situation. You need to make him suffer now and make him work hard if he wants your consideration. He has to do everything by your terms. Do not make him bring you down by saying your a bad wife. He must have said that to all his wives!

    Your husband needs to endure hardship now to realise what he has lost and that he will have to turn over a complete new leaf in order to win your trust back.

    But if all that fails, then there is no point in hanging around!

    I pray Allah bring you and your family peace.

  7. Assalamo alaykum all,
    Jazakallahu kheran for your kind responses and advices. They are giving me more perspective in deciding what to do from here.
    In reply to your questions Sumaira, I am not in the UK. Although he is british by passport, he did 'hijra' from UK a few years before he married me. I''m now in one of our 'third world countries'in which almost all of the society seems to think 'Oh men do hit their wives now and then, shouldnt be so bad...but think of your children!'
    I have never been to the UK, and I didnt go to the police here till now because I just felt it would humiliate him and I guess I loved him a lot. Finally after four years of pain, I am letting go of him in my own heart. Your advices were good, especially Amy and Sumaira. May Allah reward you all.
    Yes Amy, the chart attached to my post made me think that this is exactly how he is.
    I didnt exactly leave my own children for this man Sumaira. I had wanted to bring my first 2 kids into this marriage and my husband had agreed, but once we got married, my ex refused to let me keep the kids, and since both Islam and the sharia law of the country I was in at that time supported him in this, I let it be. Secondly, my husband wanted to emigrate to another country and we moved after just one month of our marriage, so I did not get a chance to go to court for the kids' custody or even think about it clearly. Being a new marriage , I had decided to be patient and follow my new husband where he was going, but this has caused me so much more heartache, coz I havent even been able to meet my children a lot during these 4 years.
    What you say about men is so true. When I married my husband, I looked at all these things...salat,zakat, active in masjid,charity, long beard, etc etc and thought that a person who is so good at giving rights of Allah would be equally good in giving rights of his wife. was not so in my case. I so totally agree with you in that I have lost faith in men too.

    • he got you in an arab country because more than likely abuse is not penalized in those countries..i lived in saudi for a few years and no one cares..if a woman reports abuse she is just sent are not jailed for it.

      some women have so much love and caring..i have 2 big 6'5 brothers..if mine saw me in this position he would NEVER have the courage to lay one hand on me.

      Per sharia in saudi if a woman was married with kids for her to remarry it is preferred the man to take the kids..

      sister get CHANCES lives too many dead.

      if he wants to have a punching bag he needs to go to the gym. I have five kids under five and if my husband EVER hit me i would be out the door and divorce him.

  8. AsSalaamu Alaikum Sister

    I wanted to say there is no good in him at all, but again I can't conclude my thoughts due to what you said about his closeness to Allah. And I doubt such a person will ever abuse his wife if he is not sick. I am beginning to think that he is really sick in the mind and that he needs some help (he really needs to visit a Psychiatric). If you really can't help him in anyway, then please don't waste your time with him at all, just leave his life alone. Islamically, you have the right to seek for a divorce in your situation, and he has NO right to resist.

  9. Someone please answer my question since I don't know how to post my own please thank you. I just want to know why the men's that pray/ fast/ read the Quran are the worse once that cheat/ go to the mosque every Friday and beat there wives are the worse husbands ever I mean does Allah love husband likes this or dose there fastin/prayer count? Answer my quelled ruin if they fear Allah they shouldn't do none of these things am I wrong to feel this way thank

    • Muslimgirl, you are making a generalization that is untrue and unfair. No doubt there are some men who do as you say. Allah will judge them and punish them accordingly. However, most of the religious men I know are very humble and very gentle with their families. You can't paint all men with the same brush.

      Wael Editor

    • Dear muslim girl,

      I understand your question as, how possible/why a man who is pray, fast, read qur'an, can abuse his wife.
      Does Allah likes this kind of husband.

      When you read the conversation between Evil/Sataan/Iblees and Muhammad saw (p.b.u.h), there is a question:
      Rasullullah asked "Hey Satan! What is the first time you circumvention of man? "

      Satan answered: "First time I change the intentions, faith to unbelievers and also his actions, words, behavior or his heart. If that does not work, I will drag him by reducing the reward. Over time they will fall to follow my will ".

      So, the only thing I can say:
      There is a possibility that his attitude is caused by Evil/Sataan/Iblees who doesn't like to see him worshipping Allah.

      (Ofcourse, Allah knows better)

      If you ask, does Allah likes this kind of husband and worshipper?
      You will find in many hadeeth and ayat for men to respect and good care his wife and women.

      Even, I see that a moslem women are lucky, because to Islam women is like a princess and diamond who have to be good served and cared by men.

  10. Sorry if I sound harsh my English isn't good enough to explain I meant to say must men's and honestly I do wish must guys were like you wael you give great advice even though I don't know you but thank you for your answer.

  11. Assalamo alaykum all,
    Jazakallah kher for all your comments and advices.

    Ayatbinthamz, I was sorry and shocked to hear that you know three women who died of domestic violence, but I am witness to the fact that it consistently increases with time. Initially he used to hit me less hard and even apologized sometimes. Now he hits me harder and says you deserved it.

    Yes, according to Islam and sharia law, when a woman remarries, the custody of the children goes to the father, unless he allows for the mother to still keep them with her. There is a hadith about this.

    Issah, I think you have a point when you say that he must have a psychiatric problem, because if he really cared about pleasing Allah, he would not be beating me and isolating me so much. I have often heard his brothers say that he should show a psychiatrist, but they dont have enough influence /power over him to make him do it against his will. When he doesnt realize that he has a problem, no one can help him?

    Aisyah, your explanation may be correct too, if you look at it islamically. My husband is the only one in his family who has come to the correct aqeedah. His bros and sisters are not religious, nor with correct aqeedah, so Shaitan will obviously try to render his acts useless by making him do something that will anger Allah. As Allah may forgive us when we transgress against Him but when we harm His servants, we need the forgiveness of those harmed in order to succeed in the hereafter.

    Muslimgirl, I am sorry you felt that most muslims who are practising are cruel to their wives etc. I really love Islam and it grieves me that telling my story here made someone think that it was Islam that made men unjust and inhumane. May Allah forgive me for saying that I have lost faith in men. It was wrong of me to say so, I guess I was feeling very disappointed in that one moment. How can I say that when there are men like my father? like my uncle? My brothers have not done much to support me in my problems, but still at-least they are not wife-beaters themselves. How can I lose faith in men when there were men like Umar (ra), about whom there is the following narration [I write from memory]: Once a man came to him to complain to him about his wife who would fight/argue with him a lot. When he reached Umar's house, he heard Umar's wife talking back to him in a loud voice. Upon hearing this, he turned and headed back. Meanwhile, Umar (ra) felt he heard someone at the door so he came running to see who it was. When he saw the man, he asked him why he had come. He told him that he had come to complain about his wife's behaviour but when he heard that Umar's wife was arguing in the same way, he turned to leave. Umar (ra) ,may Allah be pleased with him [ how TRULY manly he was! ] said: '' She cooks for me, cleans the house, washes my clothes, etc. She fulfils my needs , then if she talks back a little, so what, let her..''
    And this was UMAR (ra), the man who is famous for his strictness, his aggressive and upright personality, especially with regards to matters of the religion. Subhanallah!
    May Allah give us the tawfiq to raise men like him, and may Allah give all muslim men the tawfiq to be Truly manly and courageous, merciful to the weak and strong against the oppressors, ameen!

  12. Salam alkoum brother and sister can you please help me

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

  13. Assalamu'alaikum Maraam,

    When the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi Wasallam going to send one of his companions, Mu'adh bin Jabal RA to Yemen, he left a message, include, "Tell them that God requires for those zakat taken from among those capable of them and which is distributed to the faqir of them. If they obey you in that, then do not you take a treasure-trove of their choice. And fear the prayers of the oppressed, because between him and God there is no veil (barrier that hinders). "(Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

    Make dua for your husband because it's a big possibility that your dua is easily heard by Allah (and comes true - in His will).

    Sabr, because Allah test human with sickness or wealth or husband or children.

    Beside try to remind him to follow The Lord command in loving and caring woman.
    (This is your duty to remind him the thruth).
    You can show him some hadeeth and/or ayah that showing this (for examp).

    Or maybe you can ask somebody who he idol with, to remind him that caring and loving women also one of worship form.

    Well, you know better what is the best way to deal with him. What is the best way to show him that abusing women is not an attitude that appreciated by Allah.

    When all the efforts you've done and he not gonna be change, the choice is in your hand. You may choose to stay you may choose to leave.

    And, don't forget. You (and your children) may need also to go to psychiatric. Because abuse often causing wound that would be hard to heal, physical, emotional, and/or mental.

    Last, Iam feel very sorry for you - may Allah turn your husband heart to a warm heart who will always loving and caring women (especially you - his wife), 'aamiin.

  14. AS Sister what a disheartening story to read. Shame on your husband! His third wife and this idiot cannot appreciate a woman yet! There is a hadith in Bukhari that explicitly states that Prophet never hit his wives or anyone outside of battle!

  15. I think you should take advantage of this holy month (Ramadan) to pray for your husband a lot, perhaps he will be cured or wil realize the need to visit a psychiatrist. May Allah assist him!!!

  16. Ameen, Issah. Jazakallah kher all of you, for your advices. May Allah guide my husband to the true reality of Islam and the love and respect Islam gives to women, and expects from all mankind . Ameen.

  17. The prophet (s.a.w.) once said: "the best among you is he who is best to his wives..."

    His acts of salat, zakat, hajj, studying quran, etc.. while honorable speak less of his character than how he treats you. If your sons are starting to imitate his behavior, then in no way is he good for them, but rather teaching them a practice that will work against them on the day they must answer to allah (s.w.t.). I am far from an expert on islamic rulings, but the way i see it, by being around, you only provide both your husband and your sons an opportunity to increase bad deeds. in that situation, a separation is the most beneficial for the entire family.

  18. He is abusive. You need to get support from domestic violence support workers. He will never change unless you leave and unfortunately he may not change even then. He probably uses a distortion of Islam to justify his treatment of his wife.

  19. He should know, that there' s Huquq Ul Ibad. He should fear God...

    May Allah help you

  20. Please divorce this man and take your children somewhere safe we're they don't have to see this happen to you i read this and I just feel like crying for you going through may Allah bring peace into your life inshallah I will make duas for you

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