Husband being incarcerated justifies seeking divorce
Fatwa No: 266425

  • Fatwa Date:24-9-2014 - Thul-Qi'dah 30, 1435
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Question

My husband & I are both in our upper forties. He is also incarcerated for Life. We've been married for 5 yrs. I had no problem forfeiting my rights to marry him...he has now decided he wants to take another wife. I cant understand why under these conditions he would even consider such a move. He wants me to continue to live as his wife and I want to end the marriage not because of polygyny in and of itself but because of the circumstances therein. He refused to divorce me and refused to grant me a Khulla. Am I wrong for wanting to dissolve the marriage? Our life together is difficult enough, am I overreacting? He knew this woman from his past and I know they have been in contact over the past 3 months. He asked me a month ago if I wanted my rights back I answered him as I always do when he asks but he never mentioned his secret desire. Please advise...I really don't want to face the hell fire about this matter.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If a wife is harmed by the incarceration of her husband, then she has the right to ask for divorce as we have already clarified in Fatwa 86787. Also, for more benefit about the circumstances when a wife is entitled to ask for divorce, please refer to Fatwa 131953.

Based on what we have mentioned in these two Fataawa, you are not sinful if you ask for divorce in such circumstances, and you are not overreacting towards your husband. If he refuses to respond to your request, you may take your case to an individual or group that specializes in looking into the affairs of the Muslims, like the Islamic Centers.

As regards your husband's endeavor to marry a second wife, this is up to him and the woman he wishes to marry if she accepts to marry him while he is incarcerated.

Allaah Knows best.

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