Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Need guidance on a failing marriage.

money and love

Assalam alikum

I hope to get guidance here from any of the learned Islamic men/women in the light of Shariah and Islamic Law..

I am Male,  from India and a Doctor by profession. I got married an year ago to a practising doctor from the same city. It was an arranged marriage fixed by parents on either sides.

My father-in-law told the following to me when the proposal was made and the alliance was made. These were the pre-marriage promises made if i would agree for the match:
1. His daughter would contribute all of her salary towards my household (as she is also working and earning a decent salary).
2. He would also give a small home as an additional gift after the marriage is solemnised but did not mention when that would be.

Before the marriage, I told my father-in-law that I am not interested in the home. However, since his daughter is now going to be my wife and a part of my home I asked a share of her salary (as promised by him earlier).

First few months of marriage were smooth but later on problems began to arise between me and my wife especially related to financial matters. My wife was unwilling to share her income. I always referred to the pre-nuptial promises her father made, but she refused to acknowledge them. Since she was very adamant about this, i decided to accommodate and decided not to use her income. I advised her to open a joint account where both of us would contribute equal sums of money every month and save for future. She disliked this idea too.

My wife also began abusing my parents despite my parents being very kind to her. She has always been ungrateful in her attitude towards me, refuses to have an emotional bonding with me and tells me that her professional life is more important to her than her personal life. She also avoids coming out with me to my relatives/friends weddings and other social gatherings. She also began neglecting her duties of taking care of the servants I had employed. After marriage, she began cutting her hair very short and I disliked that. But she argued back to accept her the way she is. Her father had promised before the wedding that she would grow her hair long.

Meanwhile, my wife frequently kept on quarrelling and always threatened me of ending the marriage by giving a divorce(Khula). I initially ignored it, but still she kept on repeating it many times. Seeing this, I asked her to leave my home as i could not bear the mental trauma anymore. If i ask her for the reason, she does not provide any answer and says that she is happy to live her life alone and does not care if the marriage breaks.

My wife left my home 2 months ago and has been living with her parents ever since. All efforts to reconcile with my wife and her family using relatives on either side have failed.

What i want to know is:
1. If the wife is repeatedly insisting on divorce and asking to Husband to marry somebody else, should the Husband stop herand try to reconcile?

2. I have given a written complaint to my mosque, asking the Imam to arrange for a Arbitration council, so that we can sort out the matter.  But my wife is adamant and does not want to attend the meetings.  She and her family refuse to turn up.
Should I let her go as per her wish and let her take Khula?

3. Have I done anything wrong as per Islamic Shariah? If my father-in-law had promised certain matters before the wedding,  should'nt he and his daughter stick to them?

Kindly advise



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16 Responses »

  1. salam brother

    Sorry for misunderstanding but i didnt quite get it if your muslim or another religion?
    I can see your in a difficult situation and your wife isn't obeying you at all. The way it seems, your wife seems to only care about her job and is in pride of her job. Is she muslim? if so then talk about that in our religion what she is doing is harem. I believe that if she's not obeying you and not listening to you then let her go. You deserve a better person than her. She thinks highly of herself due to her job and boasts which is a sin in Islam. Instead of thinking shes all that she should pray and spend her time with allah and please him. If your muslim i think you should pray and ask for Allah to help you, do istakhara and leave it in the hands of god. If she hasn't came to you in 2months and shes not contributing into fixing your marriage then i think she will never changed and she will never learn I think you should leave her.

    Insallah Allah is merciful and will guide you

    • Islamic Boy, thats very poor piece of analysis. I think someone like Wael or Maria should advice on this. Shariah is very specific about woman's income, but I feel in this case, its more than that. There is some control issue involved here.

      • Your right but i just wrote what i felt in the situation yes i knew about that Islam has rules about man and women income but i just but the advise i thought may help. I do believe that the editors should give advise as they have more knowledge than i do. Sorry if haven't gave good advise please correct me if I'm wrong

        • As salamu alaykum Islamic Boy,

          Everyone of us enrichens the other, what you see I may not see it and viceversa. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.


      • As salamu alaykum UmmSarah,

        Thank you very much for your appreciation, but always think I am a human being and everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt, insha´Allah.
        Just a thought, you should trust your intution, you have an inner vision of situations beyond many people understanding, trust your inner voice.
        Here, we are to help one to the other, everyone of us has something to offer to the others, thoughts, prayers, experience, emotions, feelings, .... intuition, guidance, common sense, ...I believe as much as people is in the world. Don´t feel scare of sharing your own thoughts, maybe right, maybe wrong, but for sure they will help to see the situation from a different angle.

        All my Unconditional Love and Respect,

        María Editor

  2. Assalamu'alaikum Ahmed,

    First off your marriage started off on the wrong foot. Your father-in-law does not have the right to offer any of her salary to you. You are the head of the house and it is you responsibility to take care of it. She is not required to give you anything. If she chooses to help you with the finances then she can but it is her choice.

    It appears that her father made promises to you without talking it over with his daughter. Brother Ahmed, your wife was not happy from the beginning. That is why you are having these issues.

    Why don't you try having a conversation with your wife? Ask her what you can do to make her happy. Find out if she was aware of the promises her father made to you and how does she feel about it?

    You may be able to resolve this problem but nothing is going to happen until the two of you have a conversation about what you are looking for in a marriage. What were the expectations going into it? Also talk about how much input each of you had in the decision making process.

    The most important thing for both of you to learn is what Islam says about marriage. Find out what is required of the husband and what is the responsibility of your wife. That is so important. Remember; don't get culture and Islam mixed up. The other thing you must remember is to have the conversation with just the two of you. You are adults. When you bring too many people into the mix it only makes things worse.

    Insha'Allah everything will work out for you and your wife. Remember to always put Islam first. You can't go wrong.

    Ask Allah for guidance in the matter.

    Your Brother in Islam

    Abdul Wali Editor

    • Abdul Wali, you and I wrote our answers at the same time, and I see we have almost identical thinking, ha ha. That does reassure me. Though yours is more objective and balanced ma-sha-Allah.

      Wael Editor

  3. Brother Ahmed, As-salamu alaykum,

    As far as your wife sharing her salary and the validity of the promises made by her father, I can't speak about that, for a few reasons:

    First, there is the question of whether your wife knew about these promises. Were they made with her consent? Or did her father make these promises without consulting her?

    Second, a woman has a right in Islam to her own money and property, while the man is assigned the role of maintainer of the household. Can she be required by contract to give up her salary? I do not know. You have to ask a qualified scholar or mufti about this.

    I am not saying your request is unreasonable. I realize that in these difficult economic times, it can be hard for the husband alone to support the family. Also, since your wife is a doctor and presumably earns a good salary, and you have no children, I see no reason why she should not contribute toward the household expenses. But can she be compelled to do so? I don't know, though I suspect the answer is no.

    You are a doctor, and you said you employ servants. Why do you need these servants? Why don't you cut down on the household expenses and live a simpler lifestyle, so that you will not need your wife's income?

    Now, moving on to the issue of commitment and respect in a marriage. A marriage can only work if both parties are committed. The marriage must fulfill the needs of both people, and make them happy. Otherwise, what's the point? I know that marriage is also designed to guard our chastity and create progeny. But if it does not make both people happy, then it will not succeed.

    Judging from your wife's behavior, it seems that she does not want this marriage or care about it. She shows a total unwillingness to compromise and a lack of respect for you as the husband. She has repeatedly asked for divorce. It seems that she is not emotionally invested in the marriage in any way and does not want it. I wonder if her father pushed her into it, and made promises on her behalf without her consent.

    I suggest that you discuss with your wife and try to find a compromise. What about if she keeps her salary, but you cut back on the household expenses and live a more simple lifestyle? You should also ask her, "Do you care about me and our marriage? Do you love me in any way? Do you want to work things out with me?" Give her a chance to explain her thinking. Maybe there is a compromise that can be reached, that will satisfy both of you.

    Now that I have given you some good, balanced advice, I will offer my personal opinion: My opinion is that this woman really does not want to be married to you. I just don't think that she's interested or that she cares. I think the best thing you can do is to grant her a divorce. Otherwise you're going to be facing a lifetime of disappointment with this woman. Give the divorce she wants, and start over with a woman who truly wants to be married, and who has more respect for the institution of marriage.

    Also, I suggest that you need to examine your own priorities. I know the doctor-doctor match is very common among Indians, but it never made sense to me. If both spouses have full and busy careers, who is going to raise the children? This lifestyle of marriage between doctors, with servants to fill the gaps, seems empty to me. You need a woman who is eager to be a wife, to have children, and to invest her time in raising the children and bringing up the next generation of strong Muslims. And you yourself must forget about image. Focus on creating something real, that makes you happy.

    And Allah knows best.

    Wael Editor

  4. As salamu alaykum, Ahmed,

    I agree with everyone above but I am going to offer other way of looking into this:

    She has studied hard, she is a doctor, intellectually and professionally speaking she is an equal to you, the way to approach to her has been through her father, the right thing to do being a muslim, but you have negotiate with her father the length of her hair, this must be a nonsense for a man, but for a woman that is in the situation your wife is, this goes beyond the insult to her, you have asked for her not to cut the hair after marriage to her father!!!, then I believe she is angry beyond limits with you, I believe you have no experience at all in the way to treat a woman, a woman that loves his spouse, will do almost anything for him. Once you have gained the love of your wife, she will want to be the woman of your dreams, for you not to look to other woman again.

    She cut her hair after marriage, she was telling you "We are in war", this was a red signal. Woman´s hair is a very important issue, (a way to "humilliate and punish" a woman is to cut her hair short against their will, long hair is a sign of feminity) and when a woman cut her hair short, normally means "Here I am" in a very masculine way, it is a way of reinforce her power as non dependant on males, as she has tried to demonstrate to you, she wants to divorce, she wants to fight, she is taking the iniciative, she is showing you how much respect she deserves from you, she is the strong one in the couple, she has got her objective, because she has felt non appreciated as the intelligent, professional, well prepared, independant woman that she is.

    I do believe she feels for you, much more that you can imagine, too much energy involved in too short space of time, with a woman like this, there is a way to bring her back, if you want to try, it will take a time and you have to work hard, you have to be a man, with this I mean, you are married to her, now you are the one that should go there and tell her what you didn´t tell ever, if you feel she is the one, forget about the money, acknowledge her values(she has been trained as a man to be a professional), talk to her from Heart but not showing weaknesses, just your respect towards her, she wants a man stronger than she is (and she is a strong woman) and fight for her as a man, straight, firm, loving, be clear, show your respect to her and don´t pressure her to come back, let her know you don´t give up so easily, you are the man, even when she fight with so much noise, what she wants is a man that she can respect and love, she wants to surrender, but you have to gain her, you have to break, little by little, all the boundaries she has created to live in a world of men, she wants you to know who you really are under pressure, if you deserve to be her husband.
    If you decide to try to gain her Heart, go slowly, smoothly, let her come after you, at the right poin she will give you the signs that she is ready, look at her eyes, see her Heart throgh her eyes.

    She has fought hard in a society where males are the kings with no question about it, and she had the same opportunities as a man (study and work), but, at the end, in an issue as important as finding the person she will be for the rest of her life, she was on a side, or at least, that seems with her attitude, she felt as an object.

    Being you I would fight for her, but I would let her doubt about her decision, about her judments about you, show her who you really are and what you really want. She is looking for the muslim man, the head of the family, the leader of the home, the iman she would follow the rest of her life, insha´Allah. Are you that man?

    Then as UmmSarah said, yes this is a question of power, a question of showing which is the most dominant.

    It is up to you if you want to gain her Heart or no, she is already your wife, you can give up on her or not, she has certainly gained your attention and show to you she is a powerful woman, it is up to you if you want to give a try, I am sure you will learn a lot in the process, insha´Allah.

    Her Heart is inside of that hard crust that she has created to survive as a woman in a world of men and believe me if you get to her Heart I believe you won´t ever repent of trying to recover the woman she lost in the way to become who she is now, insha´Allah.

    I am going to quote again the words of Concerned:

    """"...... in islam, a husband is suppose to be Imam of the family. He should lead his wife and children for a better life in this world and hereafter. This includes different aspects of life. A husband must know the difference between halal/haram 'rizq'. He should be knowledgeable enough so that he can help his wife and children to follow islam in a better way."

    "May be Allah(s.w.t.) brought her to your life so that she can find better path with your guidance. "

    Are you this man?

    Maybe the easiest is to throw the towel and just give up, you´ll see if she is for you or not, insha´Allah.

    Have you done Istikhara?

    All my Unconditional Respect,

    María Editor

  5. it is so sad to see muslim marriages falling apart the divorce rate in islam has risen may Allah put unconditional love in spouses hearts for each other....

  6. Assalam-Alekum,

    Brother this looks like pretty unjust from Islam. And sometimes its difficult for me to wrap my head around this point that a wife is allowed to do whatever she wants to do with her money and a husband must spend it on wife/children. Specially in times when men and women have same opportunities to pursue and get same type of education and same professions. Where is the justice in this? This looks like as if this part of Islam is written by some left wing,ultra liberal, women's rights activist 🙂 (reducing adjectives here)

    My understanding is that as men we are more concerned with financial woes then women. Yes in this harsh world money is something that can provide security for both men and women. And in this particular case both husband and wife have got this security MashaAllah. But I think marriage is much more than this, as men money is the first priority which we instinctively think as that is the prime source to provide for one's family and provide security to them in today's world. But I think for wives there is much more to life than money. Yes money is something which gives wife security, but there are other needs for love, security, 'confidingness' , support, someone to throw all their worries on etc. And I think a husband should really provide this to a wife apart from things which money can buy.

    So far so good, and yes this looks quite unfair to me. But once the child is born then its duty of muslim wife to carry and give birth to a child and bring him up with the help of his husband. I think this is the point where husband has the right to ask his wife to put children as first priority then the career. Now husband is required to do the normal job and the wife is required to stay at home and raise the children. And I sincerely think bringing up a good muslim child in today's world is much more tougher than going out on a job and bringing in money.

    Because this is the time in a child's life when a mother should bring him up while reciting him ayah's from Quran instead of putting today's senseless and shameless music coming from 'Cartoon Network' and other music channels. And when he grows up he should be told stories from ahadith/Quran from Prophets and he should be knowledgeable about lives of Sahabah and Prophets instead of knowing what is happening in the latest tv series. Similarly, instead of learning 'manners' from the TV or from maids or from child day care, the mother should be inculcating good manners and family values in the child.

    But regretfully, today's mother's are more worried about their 'careers' and financial security instead of their child's upbringing. Because his childhood is the time when he is going to learn about islam. When he reaches teens. He is already rebellious, when he reaches college he has undergraduate studies to complete and get good grades. when he graduates he has to find a good job and get married. Once he gets married he has job and wife to support. And when his child comes to this world, he has the knowledge of a person like me who knows nothing about his religion. Now how can I teach my children while juggling between job/family/friends etc. Ah yes I should put him to the childcare center. And islam goes down the drain and then as muslims we worry what is happening to our children.

    Brother I think wali's part is to help a daughter select a suitable partner before her marriage. After her marriage, things should be left on husband and wife to figure out. I think mashaAllah you both are
    well educated and well off, your wife is acting rebellious because she has established her own identity as a professional and she wants to be treated like an equal instead of someone handed down to you.

    I think, as a man and a husband you should take the high road here, her rebellion clearly shows that she needs attention from you to be treated as an equal partner. You should be a big person here, understand this and bring her back. As far as money is concerned, no problem, Allah gives it to us to spend it on our loved ones not to ruin our lives. So what if she is accumulating money in her bank account? Yes its difficult when your savings are small but as a big person in this relationship and as the one who is taking all the control you should let your money be spent on your family. Because for now it looks like you both are more concerned about your money then your marriage. But I think through your ACTIONS you both should put marriage first.
    But for start , as an Imam, you need to lead here by example and must not say anything about spending the money because in islam its your duty. Once she sees this that you are giving 100% to this relationship then inshaAllah she'll also mend her ways. Instead of sitting in a deadlock situation which might lead to divorce, you should be the leader here and be proactive here to mend this relationship.

    You should do all this with the SINCERE intention that you are doing it for the sake of Allah because his happiness is the most important thing. If at the end of the day your wife still does not come back or leaves you then no problem, your effort was not for her. It was for Allah(s.w.t.) and you did the best investment by spending it on your family.


    • As salamu alaykum concerned,

      You know what it is really important beyond the veils of this world.

      Thank you very much for sharing.

      All my Unconditional Respect,

      María Editor

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