Wife is asking for a divorce so that she can marry another man

Fatwa ID: 02180

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

If a wife begs her husband on 3 different occasions for a divorce because she loves n wants to marry some one else (the wife never did anything shameful however wants to marry a diff guy)? And the husband does not give a divorce…. isn’t it a duty of the husband to divorce her in this situation? What should any respectable Muslim do when such kind of situation arises? 

Answer:

Bismillah

It is totally impermissible and a serious crime in Islam for a woman to ask her husband for talaq without any lawful reason.

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, "If a woman asks her husband for a divorce, for no reason, then the smell of paradise is forbidden for her" (Sunan Tirmizi)

For a wife to ask to divorce her husband because she wants to marry another man is a total act of disrespect and ungratefulness to her husband.

A wife’s obedience to her husband is one of the things that may lead her to Paradise, as the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “If a woman prays her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), obeys her husband and guards her chastity, then it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise by whichever of its gates you wish.” (Musnad Ahmad & Tabraani) 

Saaidah Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Any woman who dies, and her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.” (Sunan Ibn Majah p.133 v.1)

Your wife will be considered sinful for her demand for a divorce, however, what should a Muslim man do in such a situation where his wife has made it clear that she does not want to stay with him anymore.

Divorce is the last thing a person should resort to and only after every other avenue has been exhausted should a person contemplate divorce. Before that stage the elders should be consulted as to who should arbitrate between the couple and try to reconcile the differences between them. Allah states in the Quran, “If you fear a breach of marriage between a man and his wife, appoint one arbiter from his family and another from hers; if they wish to reconcile, Allah will create a way of reconciliation between them. Allah is the knowledgeable, aware.” (Surah Nisa v.35)

If despite this the couple cannot live in harmony then Islam does permit that divorce is issued.

If the wife was committing adultery then from the following hadith we can derive that it will be advisable for the husband to divorce such a wife.

Saaiduna Ibn Abbas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that a man came to the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said that his wife “does not move anyone’s hand from her” (indicating to that whenever someone wants to commit adultery with her she commits it). The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “Divorce her.” Then the man said, “I love her”, upon which the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Then keep her”. (Mishkatul Masabeeh p.287 v.2)

The scholars of hadith have said that it is preferable to divorce an adulterous woman. However, if you love her and she has repented from her actions and is willing to change then you an keep her. (Mazahirul Haq p.179 v.4)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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