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How Should I Behave With My Husband Until I Start the Divorce Process?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have been praying for guidance about my 20-year marriage and have decided to divorce because he is abusive, even though not physically. Due to certain circumstances, I cannot divorce him immediately. He has changed and is actively trying to make up for it but it’s too late. His words have caused irreversible damage.

I’m trying to be good to him but I feel like I’m cheating. I cannot give him all my attention and love. I don’t know what to do.


Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you have a divorce ahead of you, I pray that Allah makes it easy and that your life is more fulfilling and pleasing to Allah afterward.

Current Treatment

If you are right at the end of your marriage with him, you should continue to be courteous to him, and fulfill your duties to him. It is not permissible to lack in fulfilling your duties because the divorce process has not begun yet. You are still his wife for now.

Don’t worry about your feelings for him, and how much love and attention you give him. Just go through the motions of being kind, and warm, and make each day pleasing to Allah while you are with him. No one wants to live in misery, especially when we have no guarantee of living another day.


If you do see at least a glimmer of hope for your marriage, I encourage you to catch hold of it and give it another fair chance. Try any other means of resolution that you haven’t tried yet, and remember that he is trying to change, which is a major ingredient in healing a marriage.

I pray that Allah gives you the best ending, and most importantly that you both become more conscious and devout Muslims from this experience, no matter what happens.

Please keep this hadith in mind in the meanwhile, while you are with him: “It was said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best?‘ He said, ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.’” [Ahmad]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

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This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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