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Ways to resolve conflicts in a family. Divorce in Islam

The fitra (innate nature) that is placed in every woman by Allah directs her to the conservation of the family. Therefore, a woman is the keeper of the home hearth, no matter how tritely it may sound.

Family life is not always romantic. There are also moments of frustration and reconsideration of values… Sharia requires a comprehension of intentions universally. We set our priorities even in worship. And family relationships are no exception. Appeal your priorities, what exactly is important to you? Being married no matter what? Maybe providing goods for your children? Or maybe strengthen your faith and increase your knowledge?

Your decision will depend on an honest answer. Remember, after Almighty Allah, the decision and, accordingly, the future life, depend only on you.

For example, if you are a wealthy woman and want to remain married, having this status, and your husband is a scientist or a seeker of knowledge but does not have enough funds to fully support the family. You want to study religion with him, strengthen your Iman, but you suspect or know that your husband may have other plans. Then you can offer him Sulh (reconciliation), giving up some of your rights, perhaps the right to provide food and housing. There will be no sin if you both agree to this. The basis for this is in the Quran:

“If a woman is afraid that her husband will dislike her or turn away from her, then there will be no sin on both of them if they make peace with each other, for a peaceful solution is better.”

“…For a peaceful solution is better.” Ibn Abbas said that choosing between divorce and cohabitation is, obviously, preferable to choosing cohabitation. The verse says that a contract for further cohabitation with the wife giving up some of her legal rights is better than a full divorce. So did the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), conserving his marriage with Sawda bint Zama in exchange for giving up the right to spend the night with her in favor of Aisha. He did not divorce her but left her among his wives… (see Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Is it necessary to endure when married life, despite all efforts, becomes unbearable? Should we sacrifice ourselves, does our religion require us to do so? Let’s try to figure it out.

In Sharia, there are three ways to free yourself from the bonds of marriage, and each of these has its reasons and conditions.


Talaq is performed according to certain rules, failure to comply with which may lead to the invalidity of the divorce. This is not today’s topic, so we will not remain on this issue in detail.


The language meaning of the word khul ‘ comes from the verb khala’a with the meaning to take off (clothes). Khaal’a s-sawba – he took off his clothes.

Allah Ta’ala called the spouses a garment for each other.

“They (your wives) – are a garment for you, and you (o, husbands) are a garment for them…”
(al – Baqara/187)

A woman who demands a khul’, takes off her garment.

The argument for the permissiveness of the khul’ is in the Quran (al-Baqara/229). Said Almighty Allah:

“…But if you fear that they will not keep the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah – it is those who are the wrongdoers.”

Another argument for the permissibility of khul’ — the hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam): “the wife of Thabit bin Quys came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) and said: “O, messenger of Allah, I do not see a lack in morality and religiosity of Thabit bin Quys, and I hate the kufr in Islam.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied: “Will you give him back his garden?”. She said, “Yes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said (to her husband): “Accept the garden and part with her.” (al-Bukhari)

In another version of this hadith, there is an addition: “… but I do not tolerate him.” (al-Bukhari) And in one another version came: “He ordered him to part with her.” (al-Bukhari) There is also this option: “Accept the garden and give her a divorce.” (al-Bukhari) Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaki give the name of Thabit’s wife: “that Jamila bint Salul came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said:”(…) I can’t stand him because I hate him(…)”, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered him to take the garden from her and not ask for more.”

Abu Dawood, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and Malik said that the history of the khul‘ happened to his wife Khabibah bint Sahl. Most likely, this was the same woman called Khabiba, who had an additional lakab (name); because of her beauty, she was also called Jamila. There are other opinions on this subject, but the Almighty knows better.

Abu Dawood mentioned the reason why Khabiba wanted a divorce from Thabit, it was that he hit her. For Ibn Majah and Abdur-Razzaq, the reason was that Thabit was not beautiful — that is, she was never able to love him.

The words of Thabit’s wife: “but I hate kufr in Islam” mean the following: I am afraid of being unfair to my husband; being ungrateful to him and not observing his rights is a small kufr, which, although does not lead a person out of Islam, still is a great sin.

Therefore, hatred for a husband, a feeling of disgust for him, can be the cause of khul’.

It is worth noting the merits of Thabit bin Quys (may Allah be pleased with him). This is a great associate of the al-Khazraj tribe, who were ansars from the citizens of the city of al-Madinah. He was the master of his tribe and was known for the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made him an orator. During his lifetime, he was promised Paradise by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Prophet himself praised him: “…what a good man Thabit bin Quys bin Shamam..”(At-Tirmidhi); read him the ruqya (Muslim conspiracy against diseases). Among its merits is mentioned that the ruler of the Muslims, Abou Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), executed his will, which Thabit asked to fulfill, coming in a dream to one of the Muslims, after his death on the battlefield during the battle of al-Yamam. (Tahdhib al-Asma’ wa al-Lughat, Imam Nawawi, al-Baghawi, Ibn al-Mundhir, At-Tabari, etc.).

Despite all his merits, his wife did not want to live with him.

This means that a woman should not suffer and endure, should not sacrifice herself. 

This does not contradict the hadith given by Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah: “If any woman asks her husband for a divorce without a reason, the smell of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” The keyword in this hadith is “without reason“. If a woman, living with her husband, is afraid to be unfair to him, to fall into sin every day because of non-compliance with his rights, because she doesn’t love him and can not live a normal married life with him, then this is an exculpatory reason for khul’.

How does the khul’ happen?

The wife pays off her husband by returning the mahr or other agreed amount of sum. After receiving it, the husband utters the word: I’m breaking up with you, or getting divorced, or giving you a khul’, or something similar from phrases indicating parting. The wife endures iddah – a period equal to one menstruation or one lunar month for those women who do not have menstruation. During the iddah period, the husband has no right to return his wife. Mukhtali’a (the one that asked ‘khul’) during the iddah does not dwell in the house of her husband as it is his ban. But if there are other family members in the house and privacy between the former spouses can be avoided, then she can stay in the husband’s house until her iddah ends. If mukhtali’a is pregnant, then her ‘iddah lasts till the birth’. In this case, the ex-husband is obliged to provide her with housing, food and clothing (full nafaka) until she gives birth, since she is carrying his child, which he is obliged to support.


There may be several reasons for al-faskh, the main ones are listed below.

  • Physical disabilities, chronic severe diseases, deformities of one of the spouses, which were not declared before marriage. These are the so-called al-Ayyub fi an-nikah. As such, al-Ayyub may be infertility or a physical feature that interferes with sexual intimacy and alike. A defrauded spouse can file for divorce in a Sharia court (in non-Muslim countries, this function is performed by Islamic organizations).

  • The husband’s inability or unwillingness to provide for his wife. It’s called ‘usr azzaouj. In this case, if the wife does not agree with this situation, she can file for divorce in the Sharia court or in the Islamic organizations that replace the Sharia court in non-Muslim countries. 

  • The marriage is terminated without fail if the husband and wife are close relatives (mahram) or if they have been established as milk relatives.

  • A marriage can be terminated if the spouse is a missing person or has been in custody for a long time.

  • If the husband does not respect the rights of his wife, she can file for divorce.

Note: in the case of al-faskh the decision of the judges (kada al-kadiy) is necessary. In Muslim countries, it is necessary to apply to the Sharia court. As for non-Muslim countries, this function is performed by local Muslim organizations.

In conclusion, I would like to advise sisters who are in a difficult situation: think about what you want, what you want to see your family life in the future by the will of Allah. Are you ready to sacrifice something, for the sake of what and why you are willing to do this? Is your sacrifice worth what you sacrifice for? Do you want to change something in your life?

Don’t despair! You should not blame yourself for the ongoing conflict and the current situation, it is better to look ahead and make a decision. Remember, by the will of Allah and with His help, only you agree or do not agree to the position you are in. And there is always a way out, Alhamdulillah!
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