Wife boycotts in-laws and refuses intimacy with husband
Fatwa No: 364732

  • Fatwa Date:19-11-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 1, 1439
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Assalaamu alaykum. I need to ask a question; maybe you have heard of this problem before. My wife and I are not in a stable relationship. I constantly ask Allah to help, but our problems have gotten severe at times. One minute we are happy, but the next we fight and hate each other. This is due to my wife hating my family, and it has been three years since she has had contact with them. Long story short, my sister-in-law hated my wife and caused problems when she was living at the family home for 6 months till I got my own place. Now all my brothers have their own place, and my wife hates my parents and my sisters who did not do anything to my wife. She invites her own family to our home, but when I ask for mine, she refuses and reminds me of what happened. God help us if we get kids, as she will never allow my parents to see them but is happy to allow all her members to visit. She angers me nearly every night now. I am frustrated, as I do not have sexual contact anymore, and I do not remember the last time I was relieved. She now refuses to even touch me, saying that it is dirty, as she has an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) problem. What can I even do now? I have been patient for two years; I live in the UK. It is a dilemma now, to the point that I say that I am not going to see her family as she refuses to even speak to my mother or father alone and wants them to apologise for my sister-in-law's actions. Please advise as the relationship is toxic.


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.

First of all, we ask Allah, the Almighty, to facilitate your affairs, relieve you of your distress, and reform your wife for you.

We advise you to continue seeking help from Allah, the Almighty, as He is the best to be asked and the best who answers supplications, and it is He Who answers the call of the distressed one and removes hardship.

Allah says (what means): {Is He [not best] Who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember.} [Quran 27:62]

Abu Bakrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "The supplication of the distressed is 'Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata 'ayn, wa aslih li sha'ni kullahu, laa ilaaha illa ant.' (O Allah, it is Your Mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You.) [Abu Daawood]

Problems occuring between the wife and her in-laws is an issue that is quite common, and the husband should be wise when dealing with them and endeavor to solve them with the help of rational and righteous people and those of whom it is expected that their intercession would be accepted.

In any case, your wife has no right to prevent you from inviting your family to your house, unless she owns the house, in which case she has the right to dispose of her property as she wills within the limits of Shariah, but she is forbidden from refraining to answer your call to bed, as we have already explained in fatwas 96046 and 88547.

If she insists on refusing to answer your call to bed, then she should be treated as a recalcitrant wife (Naashiz) in the manner clarified in fatwa 85402.

After that, if she becomes righteous, then praise be to Allah; otherwise, divorcing her may be better, especially given that you do not have children with her, as separation in this case is easier and its consequences are fewer.

The scholars stated that divorcing an ill-mannered wife is permissible without any dislike. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him when speaking about the categories of divorce, said, "The third [category] is permissible; which is when there is a need for it [divorce] due to the ill-conduct of the wife and her having bad marital relations with her husband and [the husband] being harmed by her and not getting the benefit expected from her [i.e. without fulfilling his need for sexual intercourse]…"

Abu Moosa  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "There are three (kinds of people) whose supplications are not answered: (among them is) a man who does not divorce his wife despite her bad manners..." [Al-Bayhaqi]

Al-Munaawi said, "If he supplicates Allah against her, his supplication is not answered, because he is torturing himself by continuing to live with her."

Nonetheless, we advise you to make every effort to reconcile between the two of you and not hasten to divorce and let divorce be the last solution.

Allah knows best.

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