Parents Ordered Son to Divorce Pregnant Wife with Two Children
Fatwa No: 84056

Question

I am married since 1996 and I have two children and my wife is pregnant now and she live, in her father's house for 6 months because she had problem with my mother. My mother started that problem and treated my wife so badly, then my wife could not carry all that, so she responded by the same way to my mother. Then my mother gets mad at my wife. After that my mother and my father ordered me to get divorced from my wife and if I won't they won't talk to me and they do so. I do not know what to do now. Should I do, as they want although I do not have any problem with my wife, or what?

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.

Obedience to parents is one of the most important obligations that Allah, The Great and Almighty, has ordained.

Allah Says (what means): {And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents…} [Quran 17:23]

But, such an obedience is confined to what is permissible and reasonable (and all that is good). The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Obedience is but in what is permissible.

So, if a wife has an upright behavior and has begotten children from this husband and if the request of his father/mother or both to divorce her is just for something in themselves, then he is not obliged to divorce her.
In other words, he is not forced to obey them in such a case. This is the opinion of Imam Ahmad and others.
Moreover, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him while answering a person concerning his mother's request who hates his wife if it is permissible to divorce her, said: “It is unlawful to divorce her for his mother's request, although he has to be thankful to his mother, but such a request does not constitute a form of filial piety.

Thus, you have to be grateful to your mother as much as you can, keep your wife to yourself, and then try to make peace between them all.

For more benefit on the limits of obedience to parents, please refer to Fataawa 271255, 131695, and 123554.

Allah knows best.

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