Husband wishes to live separately from wife
Fatwa No: 350404

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Is there anything wrong if a married couple decide to stay in separate arrangements (either in separate houses within the city or the husband in a separate city)? The wife will be kept in a safe place. They will meet regularly (almost weekly) and will be in regular communication. The husband will bear all the financial costs of the wife. The husband chooses this arrangement because he thinks that he wants to have his own lifestyle independently, and he is not very comfortable spending everyday with his wife under the same roof. The husband thinks that this arrangement is suitable for him considering his nature and everyday activities. For example, he has a different sleep routine than that of his wife. Or is the husband obliged to spend every nights with his wife? Please advise.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Islam prescribed marriage for the sake of realizing great benefits and refined objectives, and the spouses should bear this in mind. Among these objectives and benefits are being a source of serenity and tranquility for one another, helping one another to be chaste, reproducing and having children who would be a source of content for both of them, and other benefits.

The Maaliki scholar An-Nafraawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

Marriage yields many benefits, the most important of which is warding off the evil of (unfulfilled) sexual lust. Secondly, it is a means to preserve two lives, the first is temporary, which is reproduction to increase the human population, and the second is permanent, which is keenness on attaining the abode of the Hereafter, as marriage alerts the person to the pleasures of the Hereafter when he tastes its pleasures, so he hastens to do the good deeds that lead him to attain the pleasures of the Hereafter, which are far greater, especially the pleasure of looking at the Face of Allah. Another benefit of marriage is realizing the objective that is decreed and loved by Allah, namely, preserving mankind unto the Day of Judgment and complying with the command of His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who said, ‘Get married and reproduce, for I shall boast of you in front of the nations on the Day of Resurrection.’ In addition, marriage preserves the person's mention through his offspring and elevates his rank on account of the supplication of his righteous child for him after his death, when his good deeds have come to an end." [Al-Fawaakih Ad-Dawaani]

When the spouses live separately as such, they fail to realize many of these benefits. Therefore, the Muslim should not even consider such a separation, let alone actually proceed with it.

What is mentioned in the question about the husband's routine can be changed and controlled. When the human soul is trained to do something, it becomes accustomed to it. It is true that this could be difficult at first and may require effort, but soon he would get used to it and it would become an acquired habit after having been non-existent or non-familiar. Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whoever seeks to be chaste, Allah will keep him chaste; and whoever seeks to be self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient; and whoever seeks to be patient, Allah will give him patience; and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Allah knows best.

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