Husband became chronic paralytic
Fatwa No: 323050

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. A Muslim husband had an accident and became a paralytic and has been bedridden for the last eight months. The doctors treating him are hopeless of his recovery. The wife did istikhaarah (prayer of consultation) regarding doing a khulʻ (divorce at the instance of the wife in return of compensation payable by her) and getting married again or continuing with this husband because she has two daughters and there is no one to help her out. She did it for seven days but could not perceive any concrete answer or result. She could not reach any decision, even after seven days! Does this mean dat she has to continue with this husband? What is the way out for her in such a situation? Should she continue with this husband or should she leave him? The wife is 36 years old.

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.

We implore Allaah to bless this man with a perfect recovery from his ailment. Frequent supplication should be made for him; perhaps one sincere supplication would be the reason for his recovery. Verily, nothing is difficult or impossible with Allaah; He is Able to do all things, and nothing is beyond His Power. He commanded us to call upon Him and promised to answer our supplications. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell (rendered) contemptible.} [Quran 40:60]

If the man's health condition does not improve and the wife is harmed by retaining her marriage to him given his inability to fulfill her due rights, such as supporting her financially, over him, then she is entitled to ask for a divorce or a khulʻ. Scholars stated that plain harm incurred by the wife permits her to request a divorce or khulʻ. Please refer to fataawa 131953 and 89039.

The istikhaarah prayer is legislated for all lawful matters. It is not necessarily followed by a vision (dream) or the like. Rather, the person should simply proceed with doing what he performed the istikhaarah prayer for, and whatever he finds facilitated for him to do shall be good for him, Allaah willing. Please refer to fatwa 81434 about the manner of performing the istikhaarah prayer and the indicators for its results. There is no harm in performing the istikhaarah prayer more than once, as has been advised by the scholars.

Along with istikhaarah, we advise seeking consultation regarding which is more beneficial in this case, divorce or retaining the marriage. The wife is not obliged to retain her marriage given the circumstances. However, divorce does not always serve the best interests of the wife, especially if she has two daughters with her husband.

Allaah knows best.

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