I married with my husband in 1983 when I was 18, I started very painful life with him, can’t go into details now. He left me for another woman in 1991, he lived with her for 8 years and then married his 2nd wife’s sister. After he left me for his other wife, he didnt give me my marital rights. His family took care of me and kids and supported me all possible morally. I was since ever a working woman and I managed to live my life. He supported my kids financially, but he neglected me to the fullest possible. Even for my demands he refused to give me any expenses for my personal needs or to give me marital rights. I didn’t take divorce, because my kids were my priority, I couldn’t decieve my kids and let go of him and marry another person. I have 3 boys, Alhamdolillah, they are successful and with best morale and education. Its been now 18 years when he left me and I accepted to be in his name just to be on the safe side with regards to the society and the morale of kids. I didn’t want their father not to enter my house when he has to check the kids therefore I didnt take divorce. I can not explain this in few words but its a long and painful story. I am a very modest person, my in laws and all the people love me and admire me then you can imagine how I could be a bad wife?! I was not a bad wife, but he gave me very hard time. Any how, now that my kids are grown up, they have their own engagements which made a big space in my life. I feel the absence of a man in my life now. I am thinking to take divorce and remarry. I do not have relations with any man, but I am sure if I took divorce – I might find a chance for this. My question with you is that my husband didnt touch me in these 18 years unless may be 4 – 5 times and its long long back. I remember being intimate with him in 1999 (one of those 4 – 5 times in 18 years), he didnt ask about my needs since then. In the light of above, I am sure I have the right to take divorce but yet do I still need to complete my eddat period for 3 months as indicated in Islam?! Mind you he didnt touch me for over 10 years.
Thank you for supporting all the muslims with your fatawa. Jazak Allah!
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
According to your explanation we understand that you are married to your husband. You remained in the marriage for the benefit of your children. In the subsistence of the marriage you and husband were intimate, the last being in 1999. Your husband did not divorce you. You wish to separate from him and remarry. In principle you will have to obtain a divorce from your husband. He should pronounce the word divorce to you. If he does issue a divorce, then well and good. Alternatively if all that fails, you could make an application for the annulment of your marriage to an Islamic court. For that seek the advice of your local ulama. If you are successful in obtaining a divorce or nullifying the marriage then too you still have to observe iddat. The waiting period after a divorce is three monthly cycles if you experience menses or three months if you do not experience menses.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Ishaq E. Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah