Obeying parents in divorcing your wife?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The jurists have said that it is mustuhub (recommended) for one to obey his parents in their order to divorce the wife where there is genuine concerns that the son or parents might be harmed or the wife is extremely disrespectful or immoral to the husband or to his parents. They (parents) should not order their son to divorce his wife out of selfishness or trivial matters.
Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhu narrates that “I was married with a woman whom I loved by my father disliked her and ordered me to divorce her, but I refused. Then I mentioned this to the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalm who said: O’ Abdullah Ibn Umar! Divorce your wife.”
(Sunan Tirmizi p.226 v.1)
The aforementioned ruling to obey one’s parents applies where it does not cause harm to oneself like unable to bear the consequences of divorce, or one fears falling into adultery or fornication etc… in such a situation one should not divorce his wife in obedience to ones parents.
Mullah Ali Qari (RA) has written:
“It is not necessary for one to divorce one’s wife when ordered by ones parents even if they (parents) are extremely harmed in case of not divorcing her. The reason being is that the son himself may be harmed, hence he will not be forced to bear harm because of them being harmed…”
(Mirqaat P132 V.1)
Hazarat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA) has also given a similar fatwa. (See Imdadul Fatwa p.484 v.4)
Therefore, the conclusion is that if the wife is causing problems to the husband or family then it is only mustuhub for the son to divorce his wife on the command of the parents. If the parents order him to divorce his wife without any reasons or the husband fears that divorcing his wife will harm him, it will not be necessary to divorce her.
Only Allah Knows Best.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham