Q: My parents have been together for over 20 years but have had marriage issues for a very long time. Constantly fighting and arguing. Most of the time they do not speak to each other at all and my father has left the house three times but has come back. My parents even did their nikaah a second time the last time my father came back, for fear that their nikaah had become void by their separation. Now my father has come back again, but my parents have not spoken to each other at all for nearly 2 years. They do not say salaam to each other or even look at each other, let alone speaking to each other. We have tried mending their relationship numerous times, getting the elders involved, etc, but in the end they continue to fight and argue and it never works. The only reason they are staying together is because of us. Three of us are older and understand all this, but my youngest sister is 6 and my parents don’t want to divorce for the sake of their children. However my mother is extremely worried that because of the way their marriage conditions are, their nikaah is not valid and it is haraam for them to live together. So taking into consideration all that I have said, and the fact my parents have not spoke to each other or had relations for nearly 2 years, is their nikaah now invalid and is it haraam for them to live together? My father has not actually divorced my mother by saying it verbally.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.