How to deal with an abusive husband
Fatwa No: 293731

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. My question is regarding my husband's behaviour. We got married 11 years ago. In these years, my husband never ever uttered a single word of love to me because he used to talk to me after our engagement. When I forbade him, tried to reserve myself and said that we are were non-mahram (permanently unmarriageable kin) at that point, he got angry. Then, this resentment started and, uptil now, I see the consequences of my thought by the neglecting behaviour of my husband towards me. I want to ask whether I was wrong in this respect? Secondly, he always prefers his family, especially his sisters, over me and gives them money to fulfil their needs, and when I ask for my share, he said that I am not his responsibility since he has given me a house, food, and so on, and that it is not his obligation to give me money. He resents my family and my dead mother and often abuses her while talking with out considering that she is no more alive and that these words hurt me(we are first cousins even)? Nobody in his house tried to forbid him, and I have also observed that he was harsh with his father whenever he tried to talk about these matters. Whenever I tried to talk to him, he just busied himself on the internet, and I know that I am just his need that he uses whenever he needs it, even he is not capable to fulfil my sexual desires because he, as he confesses, has a problem. I also know that he used to practise some haram acts like drinking beer, and he said that it was not haram while he was in America. During these 11 years, I feel that I have hatred in my heart because he does not love me. I live with him because I have two kids and am pregnant with the third one. What does islam say regarding this matter? I have been patient, but now I sometimes do not want to talk to him and I have not spoken for the last three days. How can I forget what has happened to me? Kindly advice me.

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.

You did well by forbidding your fiancé from expressing his love and affection for you then because you were still a non-mahram woman to him; please refer to fatwa 86143. In fact, such expressions of love and affection should be exchanged after concluding the marriage contract; it is odd that this man does not express his love and affection for his wife while it is permissible and was keen on doing so when it was prohibited! This husband is advised to strive in pleasing his wife so as to strengthen their marriage and foster mutual affection. Husbands should follow the example of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in this regard. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allaah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allaah often.} [Quran 33:21] Please refer to fataawa 86618 and 88304.

It is incumbent on the husband to provide for his wife's accommodation, food, and clothes; however, he should not settle for that as long as he can afford to do more. He should treat her kindly and provide her with a comfortable lifestyle for she is his wife and the mother of his children. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allaah has given him. Allaah does not charge a soul except (according to) what He has given it. Allaah will bring about, after hardship, ease.} [Quran 65:7]

As long as your husband provides you with your needs, then you should not mind him spending on his family as he is obliged to show kindness to them and this is a form of maintaining the ties of kinship. We remind you that when the wife encourages her husband to show kindness to his family, this may endear her to him and his family.

If the case is as you described and he resents your family and verbally abuses your dead mother, then this is a grave evil deed that may lead to breaking the ties of kinship. The Islamic sharee'ah forbids verbally abusing the dead. 'Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "Do not speak ill of the dead for they have already seen the result of their deeds." [Al-Bukhari] This also incurs a graver evil that is causing harm to the living; Ibn 'Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "Do not vilify the dead (and) by that harm the living." [Al-Haakim who graded it Saheeh (sound) and Ath-Thahabi agreed]

You bear no sin for harboring hatred towards him for his evil behavior; however, it is impermissible for you to not talk to him or deny him any of his rights. You are advised to be as patient as you can, to implore Allaah to rectify him, to kindly advise him or seek the help of someone whose advice he would likely listen to; to edify him on his wife’s rights over him, and to remind him of Allaah with regards to his harshness towards his father and the other prohibited acts that he is committing, such as drinking beer and the like. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 50623.

You are also advised to remember Allaah frequently for it helps you find a source of comfort to forget this abuse. Verily, the remembrance of Allaah strengthens the heart and fosters serenity and peace of mind. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allaah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allaah hearts are assured."} [Quran 13:28] Also, try to preoccupy yourself with what benefits you in the worldly life and the Hereafter and seek righteous companions to help you in all your affairs.

Allaah knows best.

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