Couple Moving to another Country

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: Our sister has been married for a number of years and has two kids. The couple were living out of South Africa (with in-law problems). Due to the adverse financial situation in that country, the couple moved to South Africa. My sister’s in laws have called him back to the other country to take over the family business (he is their only son). Without consulting his wife, the husband has gone back to the other country. His wife (our sister) is happy to live in South Africa and doesn’t want to go back to the old lifestyle (in law problems, etc). My sister is living alone in South Africa while her hiusband is in the other country. We fear the couple will drift apart and separate. What do you advise?

A: There are a few points to consider:
a) The Islamic ruling is that if the husband relocates and instructs the wife to go with him, she is obliged to move with him.
b) It was his moral obligation to consult with her regarding the relocation, but not compulsory.
c) Her husband is the only son of his parents and he also has an obligation towards them which Shari’ah has prescribed. He is under obligation to fulfil both the rights of his wife and parents.
d) It is not healthy for her to be residing alone in South Africa and the husband alone in the other country.

To keep this marriage intact, she has to move back to the other country.

You did not write whether she was staying with her in-laws or not.

What we can advise in this situation is that he must necessarily provide her with separate living quarters, independent of her in-laws.

Sometimes certain wishes in life have to be sacrificed for the greater good. In this case the greater good is keeping the marriage intact. These sacrifices are not ignored by Allah Ta’aala and He will reward the person with such bounties which cannot be imagined.

May Allah grant them understanding, harmony, love and sincerity, Aameen

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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