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How Should a Wife Deal With a Separation From Her Husband?

Answered by: Muftiyah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed


Salam, I am wanting some advice on my situation. I have separated from my husband due to backlash from his family which consisted of a lot of backbiting and rejection all of it pretty much behind my back- even though we had our own place it’s a small town and kept bumping into his ex and kids who hated me without even knowing me! Prior to marriage, he reassured me there wouldn’t be any drama even though his family didn’t accept me. Many times I explained to my husband about how they spoke badly of me with others behind my back and he was supportive initially but even he became fed up with it and said I need to ignore and be patient and no solution and I left and moved back to my home town around my family. This affected me a lot I was not expecting such a massive backlash!

I told him on many occasions how negative and toxic the environment was and this was making me so depressed and isolated I didn’t even know anyone in that town and was afraid to make friends due to his family/ ex knowing everyone I found my mental health and physical health deteriorated to the point I became very depressed I was very isolated. We had been married less than a year.

He was very angry and didn’t agree to separation saying my reasons are not valid- I disagree because I felt I need to preserve my sanity and health and was made to choose between him or myself. I tried and tried to the point I felt like I became a zombie.

My husband used to be good but towards the end, he got fed up and said he wasn’t going to relocate at all like it or lump it so I left.

Fast forward a few months we are trying to reconcile but so much anger and tension between him and myself.

He is angry I left and won’t accept my reasons and I stick by my guns. However, he is in agreement we need to work at it and find a solution We are going back and forth between the two places and meeting to try and reconcile. However, the issue is now I don’t know where I stand Islamically.

I provide for myself including my accommodation food etc because he said due to me leaving of my own will I am not entitled to any financial support from him which ok fair enough I don’t care and anything is better than going back. But he then claims he has every right to uphold his rights including intimacy and seeking his permission etc. we argued that I can withhold intimacy because he doesn’t maintain me and this is causing so much conflict. His reasoning is I left the marriage without a valid reason and he has no responsibility financially towards me until I move back to the marital home- I can’t do that because it’s the same old toxic routine again! And my reasons are valid! Preservation of myself if my health and mental health deteriorates it affects me and my deen which it did but he said he should come first and I need to be patient.

Why is it one rule for him and one rule for me? Am I being disobedient? He claims I am committing a big sin by refusing him and I have explained

I am drained from this breakup and struggling with my mental health and providing for myself which again is causing me to resent him. He won’t accept this and claims I am in the wrong and he is the victim whose wife left him! Any advice appreciated.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Allah, the Most Merciful, describes marriage as a source of tranquillity, love and mercy between husband and wife. However, during the course of married life, disagreements and difficulties will inevitably be encountered and can sometimes put a strain not only on the couple but also on their personal wellbeing and even relationships with others.

Carefully managing these difficulties and disagreements is essential for both parties in order to protect and possibly even strengthen the marriage. With this in mind, the following points need to be considered.

Backbiting is a grave sin. It is a shame that all of this stems from the evil of backbiting and gossiping, something so detested to Allah Ta’ala that He says, “O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” [49:12] People far better than us, like the Prophets and their wives, were gossiped about but they held strong resolve which is what you should strive to do. Do not allow third parties to come in between your bond with your husband when you have admitted that there was no fault with him. This is a ploy from shaitaan to severe the sacred bond of nikah.

Read regular azkaar to protect yourself and your spouse from internal and external harm.

Looking after each other’s personal health is important and unresolved anxiety or depression can seriously affect us and our relationships. You are evidently struggling and seeking early professional mental health support from a qualified doctor and/or therapist will in sha Allah improve resilience and help counter negative thoughts and feelings experienced from backbiting and other stressors. Please note, that a Muslim doctor/therapist would be best as most non-Muslim professionals are not culturally sensitive to Islamic principles.

Both husband and wife can help improve positive communication through arbitration and support from a qualified Muslim marriage counselling service. Involving arbitrators is recommended by the Qur’an itself- “If you [believers] fear that a couple may break up, appoint one arbiter from his family and one from hers. Then, if the couple wants to put things right, God will bring about a reconciliation between them: He is all knowing, all aware.” [4:35] Counsellors can help both spouses communicate better and reconcile through validation, empathy and learning how to compromise.

There are certain rights and responsibilities that are incumbent on both spouses and need extra care during marital difficulty. The husband is responsible for providing shelter and security for his wife and also his dependent children, even if they are from a previous marriage. It may be necessary for a husband to stay close to his children for the purposes of tarbiyyah or stay close to his parents due to advanced age or frailty. This is Islamically valid and his wife should fully support her husband to fulfil all of his responsibilities which he will be accountable for in front of Allah Ta’ala.

A husband is not obliged to maintain his wife financially who separates herself from the marital home as the right of support is linked to staying in his home which he has a responsibility to house separately to the family which he has done. Whilst you are his wife you have a duty to listen to what he says due to the hierarchy Allah Azzawajjal has placed in the family, and leaving the house like this without his permission is a sin in the eyes of Allah Ta’ala. Prolonged separation can be very detrimental to the marriage and rarely solves anything. During marital discord, both husband and wife are Islamically advised to stay in the marital home, to the extent that even after the divorce is given she is to stay in the same home during the iddah period as not only is the wife better supported but it greatly improves necessary communication, exchange of simple nonverbal gestures like smiling and increases the likelihood of reconciliation. It renews and encourages affection and helps reduce financial and mental stress for both parties.

Intimacy is also a right that both parties have as it is an important component of the nikah contract, to refuse without a valid reason is sinful. It is difficult to desire intimacy when there is a build-up of negativity in your mind therefore it is advised for you to open the doors of respectful and loving communication with your husband as this is more likely to be reciprocated, and go through the above steps. “And do not forget graciousness between you. Indeed Allah, of whatever you do, is Seeing.” [2:237]

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

عرفنا سابقاً أن النشوز يسقط النفقة؛ لأن احتباس الزوجة في بيت الزوجية واجب، فإذا خرجت الزوجة من بيت زوجها بغير مسوغ شرعي، سقطت نفقتها. والمسوغ الشرعي مثل عدم دفع المهر المعجل لها أوعدم تهيئة المسكن الشرعي الصالح عادة للسكنى.

وتكون ناشزة أيضاً إذا منعت زوجها من الدخول إلى بيتها، ولم تكن قد طلبت نقلها إلى بيت آخر. وقد أخذ القانون السوري بهذه الأحكام كما تقدم (كتاب الفقه الإسلامي وأدلته للزحيلي, جلد ١٠, صفحة ٧٣٧٨, نفقة الزوجة, المكتبة الشاملة الحديثة)

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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