Families of married couple forcing them to divorce before consummating marriage
Fatwa No: 351724

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I am from Kolkata, India. I have been married to my wife for the last five months, but the marriage has not been consummated. After marriage, things have not been good; both her family and mine were not happy (they did not show this openly) with this marriage, but they accepted the marriage in the end. Now, all of a sudden, due to my bad temper, things got messy with her family as I was trying to protect her from as certain incident which was misunderstood. Now our families do not want us to stay together. I asked for forgiveness from her family, but things did not not change. Their huge family ego has come in between. My wife does not want to give me a divorce, nor do I want to give her one. But our families are forcing us to get a divorce on a court paper. So if I do not say or give a divorce from my mind and heart and beg Allaah for mercy, will this marriage still be null and void? We do not want to end this marriage, and we want to continue this relation. Just for our families, we have to separate for the time being. I really understand my flaws, and I am working on them so that I do not repeat them. My wife showed me the way towards Allaah; she taught me the importance of the prayer and of reading Quran. I love her because she brought me close to Allaah. I really do not know what to do and how to protect our marriage. I just cannot give her a divorce from my heart and mind. We are just being forced. So my question is: can we count our marriage as broken if we are forced to do so and do not want to end our marriage?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Marital life is a long journey, so it should be established on foundations that will enable it to be stable and enduring, and one should avoid anything that exposes it to destruction or destabilization and makes it lose its spirit, which is love and compassion.

It is a pity that the problems which you mentioned happened at the beginning of this marital life, and the same goes for the bad relationship between you and your family and the family of your wife and the fact that there is a call for separation at the beginning of this short period of time after the marriage contract already.

Hence, we recommend that the rational and righteous people should intervene to bring the views closer and solve the problem.

If this is achieved, then praise be to Allah, but if the matter continues as it is, then you may consider to divorce.

Divorce may be better sometimes, especially given that you did not yet consummate the marriage. So divorce before the consummation of the marriage is easier than after its consummation and having children. This is as far as advice is concerned.

As regards the Islamic ruling regarding divorce, then first of all, you do not have to obey your parents if they order you to divorce her without a sound reason. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 84808 and 84056.

The same thing applies to your wife if her parents order her to ask for a divorce. She is not obliged to obey them unless there is a sound Islamic reason. For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 85701 and 222562.

Secondly, if you have issued a divorce, then it is effective. Coercion does not prevent divorce from being effective if it did not reach the extent that is Islamically considered.

The jurists stated a solution for the divorce not taking place in such a situation; which is that you should have two witnesses to bear witness that if you divorce, you are obliged to do so [and that it is not with your own will], in which case divorce does not take place.

However, this method may not always be feasible. So take it easy and consult trustworthy people; and if there is no solution except divorce, then let it happen; hoping that Allah will facilitate a spouse for each one of you, and with whom each one of you will be happy.

Allah says (what means): {But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.} [Quran 2:216]

Allah also says (what means): {But if they separate [by divorce], Allah will enrich each [of them] from His abundance. And ever is Allah Encompassing and Wise.} [Quran 4:130]

Al-Qurtubi said, “Even if they do not reconcile and they separate, they should both have good expectations from Allah; Allah may bless the man with a wife who will be a comfort to his eyes and bless the woman with a man who would abundantly spend on her.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 241252.

Allah knows best.

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