Refraining from paying deferred bridal gift after divorce
Fatwa No: 319639

  • Fatwa Date:5-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 26, 1437
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Question

Asalaamu alaykum Brother. I married a woman who reverted to islam recently. Immediately after marriage, her behavior started to change: a few weeks after marriage, I discovered that she is addicted to some drugs that affect her sleeping pattern, psychology, and behavior, one of the drugs she used was called an “antidepressant”, and there is also another drug that is also very addictive. I was surprised as she never told me about her condition and never told me about her drugs issue. Those drugs have huge side effects on the person who uses them, it affect their behavior and attitude, as I came to discover later on. When I asked my her why she hid this and lied to me about her medical and psychological condition, she told me it was her personal problem and that she will recover on her own. In the meantime, I felt like I was cheated by her when she did not tell me about this critical and hidden part of her personality, in short, if I had known that she had them, I would not have married her. After long arguments, one day, she firmly held my arm, looked me at the eye, and asked me to divorce her. I did not immediately divorce her, but she insisted and repeated that I must divorce her. At that point, and based on both her challenge and request, I pronounced the divorce with the intention to divorce her while my heart was burning. There was some money left of her mahr (bridal gift) that I did not pay to her from her agreed mahr. I feel that she cheated me in this marriage by not telling me about her secrets because of which, had I known about them, I would not have married her in the first place. My questions are: Do I have the right to ask for the mahr that I paid her before? Do I have the right to ask her to give me back my pre-wedding ring that I gave her before marriage as a wedding ring? Do I have the right to ask her to pay for the cost of the plane ticket that I paid for when she travelled back to her country after she asked for a divorce? Thank you,

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

The majority of the Muslim scholars have limited the defects that allow the annulment of marriage into certain types, which have been underlined in fataawa 90593 and 81422. The fact that this woman uses drugs that affect her conduct or that she suffers from depression does not oblige her to inform you of it ahead nor does it allow the annulment of the marriage unless her condition amounts to madness.

Hence, you are obliged to give her the due rights to which a woman is entitled in case of a divorce after the consummation of marriage such as the Mahr and other entitlements. If the marriage ring was part of the mahr, is considered to be part of it according to the social norms and common practice of your community, or was offered to her as a gift and she accepted it and took it into her possession, then it has become her own property. However, if you gave it to her as a loan to adorn herself with it, then she must give it back to you.

As for the plane ticket, you are not obliged to pay for it. Al-Kaasaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him underlined the Hajj expenses and whether going to Hajj waives the wife's right to maintenance and whether she, while in Hajj, is entitled to provision for residence or travel in his book Badaa'I’ As-Sanaa'I’. He said:

If the wife is entitled to maintenance according to the principles set by Abu Yoosuf, the judge grants her the right to provision for residence, not travel, because the husband is only obliged to provide for her in residence. As for the extra provision for travel such as rent and the like, she must bear these expenses and not him because she is traveling to carry out her obligatory Hajj and should bear the expenses for it. Similarly, if the wife fell sick in residence, she should bear the expenses of medication, and not the husband...” So if you did not pay for the plane ticket as a gift and intended to ask her to pay you back, then you are allowed to do so.

Allaah knows best.

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