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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Islam Question and Answer - His wife reviles him and insults him. What should he do?

His wife reviles him and insults him. What should he do?
There is a very ill mannered wife who slanders and insults her husband. He has warned her more than once, but she insists on insulting him. He cannot tolerate this but he has a daughter, and he fears for his daughter if he divorces his wife. What should he do?.


Praise be to Allaah.

If the wife insults and reviles her husband, then he must
advise her and warn her, and explain to her that her bad talk incurs sin,
especially since the husband is the most deserving of people of her respect
and good treatment, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone, I would
have told women to prostrate to their husbands, because of the rights that
Allaah has given them over them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2140) and
al-Tirmidhi (1159); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

You should follow with her the method that Allaah has
mentioned in His Book, of admonishing, forsaking in bed and hitting in a way
that does not cause injury. If none of that is successful, then you should
seek help in advising her from a righteous person in her family, so as to
preserve the family and take care of the rights of the children, if there
are any. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because
Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to
support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly
obedient (to Allaah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s
absence what Allaah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity and their
husband’s property). As to those women on whose part you see ill‑conduct,
admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat
them (lightly, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not
against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most

[al-Nisa’ 4:34] 

Among the admonishment that you may use with her is telling
her of the sin that she is committing by disobeying her husband, and the
great reward that she will attain if she obeys him. 

You should also explain to her the harm that will be suffered
by her, her husband and her daughter in the event of a divorce or if she
continues to behave in this manner. 

If the wife responds and is affected by this admonition, and
she gives up this bad behaviour, then this is what is wanted. If she
persists in her evil ways and foolishness, then there is no blame on the
husband if he divorces her. 

The scholars have stated that divorce may be permissible if
it is needed because of the wife’s bad attitude and bad conduct, and if he
is harmed by that and the purpose of marriage is not being achieved.  

Al-Mughni (10/324). 

What you have mentioned about being afraid for your daughter
if you separate is something that should be taken into account. If you are
afraid that you will not be able to bring her up, or that the girl will be
harmed because of this divorce, then you should weigh up the two evils, that
of staying with a woman whose attitude is bad and who is mistreating you,
and that of what might happen to your daughter after a divorce. One of the
basic principles of sharee’ah is doing the lesser of two evils in order to
ward off the greater. 

You should pray istikhaarah, asking Allaah for guidance,
before making your decision, and you should strive for reconciliation if
possible. If that is not possible then strive to protect your daughter and
get custody of her, and do not leave her for this woman to raise her with
her attitude. 

We advise you to pray to Allaah and always fear Him, for
Allaah has promised provision and a way out to the pious who always fear
Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He
will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).

3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could
imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him.
Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure
for all things”

[al-Talaaq 65:2-3] 

We also advise you to repent to Allaah from all sins, for the
wife’s bad attitude may be a punishment for sins that one has committed, as
it was narrated that al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said: I disobey Allaah then I see that in the attitude of my mount or my

We ask Allaah to set our affairs and the affairs of the
Muslims straight. 

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A


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