Muslim man living away from his wife for one year
Fatwa No: 82147

Question

How does Islam support the living of a man away from his wife for one year; these rules are applied in the K.S.A?.

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, is His slave and Messenger.

The rules of the Sharee’ah are based on promoting well-being and warding off harm. Allaah The Almighty, has given both parties from the married couple the right to enjoy one another and to live honourably with one another. Allaah Says (what means): {And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similarly to (those of their husbands) over them)}[Quran 2:227] He also Says (what means): {And live with them honourably.}[Quran 4:18]

On the basis of what has been explained, if the husband stays away from his wife for more or less a year, then there should really be a sound and legally valid reason for this, such as study, work, or the like. Also, this stay should not be a cause of a greater problem such as committing Zinaa (adultery or fornication) or the like. If the above conditions are satisfied and if the wife accepts this, there is no harm in doing that. But if the wife does not accept or can't stand your staying away from her, or if it might cause any harm to her, then you should try to find a way to live with her, either by bringing her with you, or by transferring to a country where you both could live together. If you cannot do any of the above, you should not stay away from her more than four months. The Caliph ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him ruled that warriors were not to stay away from their wives for four months. He asked one of the women about how long a woman could stand staying without her husband and he was told that she could not stand more than four months. He then gave his orders that no warrior should be away from his wife more than four months. This story is a well-known one and it is narrated in many Islamic books.

However, if the husband does not comply with this, the woman has the right between two options:

1- To accept this and be patient till Allaah dispels her worries.

2 - To bring a legal action into the Islamic court and comply with the decision of the court.

Allaah Knows best.

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