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Dealing with a Troublesome Husband

  Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

A decisive verdict expounding upon how to deal with an unaffectionate and careless husband.


  However, this does not prevent you from speaking to your husband with such words, and behaving with him in such a manner, that will soften his heart and lead to him being pleased with you and fulfilling your rights of companionship.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

[Q.3]: Even though my husband - may Allāh forgive him - is a person of good character and fears Allāh, yet he does not treat me with kindness. He is always moody, frowning and troubled at heart - and he often says that I am the cause of this. However, Allāh knows - and all praise is for Allāh - that I do fulfill his rights and try to bring to him tranquility and peace of mind and I try to stay clear of all that which displeases him, whilst patiently bearing his excesses against me. Every time I ask him about something, or speak about a particular matter, he becomes angry and says that my speech is stupidity - even though I know that he is perfectly happy in the company of his friends and associates. However, when it concerns me, then he does not treat me in the same manner, nor with the same feeling. This causes me great hurt and anger and I have often considered leaving the house. I have - and all praise is for Allāh - been educated to a good level and fulfill that which Allāh has obligated me with. O noble Shaykh! If I leave the house with my children, try to educate them and live my own life, will I be sinful in doing so? Or should I continue to live in my present circumstance, abstain from speaking and continue patiently bearing these difficulties? Please advise me as to what I should do - and may Allāh reward you with goodness.

[A.3]: There is no doubt that it is obligatory for the husband and wife to live together in a kind and sociable manner. There should be good manners and treatment between them, along with affection and pleasant behaviour - as Allāh the Mighty and Majestic – says,

‘‘And live with them in honour and in kindness.’’
[Sūrah al-Nisāʾ 4:19]

And His - the Most Perfect – saying,

‘‘And the wives have rights over the husbands - similar to those of the husbands over them - in that which is reasonable. But men have a degree over them.’’
[Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:228]

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, ‘‘Righteousness is good character.’’ [1] And he (ʿalayhis-ṣalātu was-salām) then said, ‘‘Do not consider any good action as insignificant- even if it is meeting your brother with a cheerful face.’’ [2] And he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) also said, ‘‘The most perfect of Believers in īmān (faith) is the one with the best character. And the best of you are those that are best to their women-folk, and I am the best amongst you to my family.’’ [3] There are besides these many other aḥādīthwhich are a general proof for the encouragement of good character, cheerful meeting and good companionship between Muslims. If this is the general case between Muslims, then good treatment between husband and wife and relatives is even more important. You have done well in patiently persevering and bearing the ill-treatment and bad character from your husband. However, I advise you to have even greater patience and not to leave the house, and if Allāh - the Most High - wills, there will be a great deal of good in this and a praiseworthy end for you. Allāh - the Most Perfect – said,

‘‘Patiently persevere! Indeed Allāh is with those who patiently persevere.’’
[Sūrah al-Anfāl 6:46]

And His - the Mighty and Majestic – saying,

‘‘Indeed whosoever fears Allāh, obeys Him, turns away from disobedience and patiently perseveres, then Allāh does not cause the rewards of the doers of good to be lost.’’
[Sūrah Yūsuf 12:90]

And His - the Mighty and Majestic – saying,

‘‘Only those who patiently persevere shall receive their reward in full without reckoning.’’
[Sūrah al-Zumar 39:10]

And His - the Most Perfect - saying,

‘‘So patiently persevere! Indeed, the end will be good for those who are pious.’’
[Sūrah Hūd 11:49]

However, this does not prevent you from speaking to your husband with such words, and behaving with him in such a manner, that will soften his heart- and lead to him being pleased with you and fulfilling your rights of companionship. And as long as he is fulfilling the main and important obligations towards you, then try not to ask him for any worldly need, until his heart is opened and his chest is expanded in accepting your request and fulfilling your needs; in this way - if Allāh wills your ending will be a praiseworthy one. May Allāh grant you increase in all that is good, and that the condition of your husband improves, and that he is guided to good character, kindness in companionship and to fulfilling the rights that are due upon him. Indeed, Allāh is the best of those who are asked, and only He guides to the path that is straight. [4]


[1] Related by Muslim (4/1980) from al-Nawwās Ibn Samʿān (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu).

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Aḥmad (5/63) and it was authenticated by al-Albānī in al-Ṣaḥihah (no. 1352).

[3] Ḥasan: Related by al-Tirmidhī (1/217-218) who said, ‘‘The ḥadīth is Ḥasan Ṣaḥīḥ.’’

[4] al-Fatāwá (1/193-194)

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