Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, October 9, 2000


Dear Bilqis,

Assalamu Aleikom. I have a problem with my husband. I have eight little children and I am thirty years old. We have been married for ten years and he is always complaining at me and saying that everything I do is not good and that it's all wrong. I do the best I can but now I am very tired. Does he have the the right to do this?

He always says that he won't stay with me for much longer and that if we divorce he will take half of the children. I will never do that because I will not divorce them. Also we are both practising Muslims. I converted five years ago. Sometimes he is ok and nice but often he is angry. Please answer me and give me some advice. I don't want to divorce because of my little children.

- Marriage Problems


Dear "Marriage Problems",

Your situation sounds very distressing. There are a number of things that need to be considered by both you and your husband. It is important not only for yourselves but also for the eight young children who dwell in your home also and who experience the bad atmosphere that such a situation can create. This can have a very bad effect on them both now and in their future lives. What they experience at home is setting the tone for the type of adults they will become.

Much of a Muslim marriage should be based on mutual consultation. It is important that both husband and wife understand this principle and are willing to not just give "lipservice" to it but in fact practice it in their family affairs. The husband has been given the final say in such matters but the wise and prudent Muslim husband is mindful of the Prophet's (pbuh) concern for kind and considerate treatment of women. A husband can become a tyrant and oppressor in his own home if he mistreats his wife and children either mentally, physcially or otherwise. Likewise, a wife can become a cause of unhappiness to her husband and children if she does not strive to fulfill her responsibilities as wife and mother.

A situation in which there are a large number of children demands much patience and cooperation on the part of husband and wife. The amount of leisure time that perhaps a smaller family or a couple with no children has will not be the same as for a larger family. Such a situation requires more planning, discipline and overall effort on every family member's part.

It is important that a husband and father of a large family understand the need to be more helpful around the house and more self sufficient because the wife has much to do for many children as well as her husband. If the husband assists his wife with the household situation in a manner that they can hopefully agree upon, this would allow the wife more time to spend time with and for her husband. By the same token, if the wife is not tired from the efforts of attending to the needs of a large family, it is easier for her to beautify herself, perhaps fix a special meal and she and the husband can spend time together for themselves which every married couple needs to do on a regular basis. If you both can look forward to a night out or any kind of special time for yourselves perhaps everyone would feel better. An outing for the entire family is also a good idea from time to time,such as a picnic or a trip to a nearby park, etc. But husband and wife should make time for each other to strengthen and maintain mutual affection and love for one another.

The most successful marriages have been those in which the wife runs the household in an organized manner as (agreed upon with the husband), i.e. the children have a set bedtime, they help with houshold chores as specified by their mother and/or father, they are encouraged to be obedient and admonished (or punished) when they are disobedient to houshold rules and the husband is understanding, supportive and helpful. If the parents can mutually agree to work together in some of the ways I have mentioned here, with the grace and mercy of Allah (swt), many problems can be overcome and both spouses can work toward building a strong marriage and a strong family life. I hope that you and your husband can resolve your problems for Allah's sake and the love of your children.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials