In this counseling answer:
• No one should be forced (or chose) to live in a hostile, violent home; no one! Allah (swt) did not create you to be abused and hurt, sister. Please, do not go back to him.
• Initiate the divorce as soon as possible.
• Please continue to study Islam and get closer to Allah.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
I am so sorry to hear of all the abuse you went through and are still going through emotionally. The changes in your husband’s behavior are not Islamic. Strange, as he is now praying and going to the masjid. These acts should bring him closer to Allah (swt) and to Islam, not further away from the straight and righteous path. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) sternly advised his followers:
“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Ibn Majah)
By saying this, he (saw) reminded the ummah (Muslim community) to emulate his behavior when dealing with their own families.
Also, “Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
“Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the gravest lie in talk and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy upon one another and do not feel envy with the other, and nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah (swt).” (Muslim)
This hadith shows us how strongly the Prophet Mohammad (saw) valued treating family members good, especially one’s wife.
One factor which could be responsible for his behavior is confusing cultural practices with Islam. He may be studying Islam from men who live Islam culturally rather than Islamically. In some countries, men horrendously and mistakenly think it is okay to abuse women, to order women around, treat them with malice and suspicion, and track their every move. This is not Islam; these are traditions and beliefs that some cultures pollute Islam with. I pray he finds the true Islam as this is not it.
As far as the physical abuse, sister, it is a heinous sin on his part. He sounds dangerous and I am relieved to hear you are at your mother’s home. Please, take this time to get some counseling as abuse can leave lasting emotional scars.
I implore you to NOT go back to him. If you go back, you are putting yourself and your children in dire danger. The children will not, in sha’ Allah, take revenge on you if you leave their father. In fact, if you stay, they could become bitter and emotionally scarred as well from witnessing the violence and abuse.
Allah (swt) will not punish you for leaving him. In fact, if you do not leave him given the circumstances, you can be held accountable to Allah (swt) for the safety of your children.
When we have children, sister, Allah (swt) entrusts us with their care, and keeping our children in a violent, dangerous situation is not “caring”. We are responsible for their lives. And no, he is not a good father. He is abusive and violent towards his children’s mother; how can that be good? Besides loving Allah (swt) and following Allah’s (swt) commandments, the next best thing a man can do is treating his wife, his children’s mother, with tenderness, love, and respect. He is a horrid example of a man and a Muslim.
Check out this counseling video:
No one should be forced (or chose) to live in a hostile, violent home; no one! Allah (swt) did not create you to be abused and hurt, sister. Please, do not go back to him.
I admire your strength to leave and go to your mom’s. I can imagine it must be really hard on you right now and confusing, as Islam is a religion of love and peacefulness, but, in sha’ Allah, once everything is done and over, you can move on with your life and enjoy the many blessings that lie ahead.
Please continue to study Islam and get closer to Allah (swt). You will find peace in this. You will receive many blessings, in sha’ Allah, for not being deterred by the evilness your husband has shown you. Oftentimes, when one studies Islam and gets closer to Allah (swt), Satan tries everything possible to prevent you from discovering the truth and beautiful gifts of life that Islam brings, as well as the abundant blessings Allah (swt) bestows upon you. Nothing makes Satan happier than seeing you withdraw from Allah (swt).
I would suggest, first of all, getting some counseling on a regular basis for the abuse you have been going through. The children may also need counseling, depending on their ages.
Additionally, join a support group for Survivors of Domestic Violence. You will find much support among the women in these groups who share their experiences. You will also learn new coping skills and begin to heal from the trauma. You are not alone.
Also, try to surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive and who you can do enjoyable things with from time to time. Nurture yourself right now because taking care of yourself is very important.
I would kindly suggest that you initiate the divorce as soon as possible. There is no use in dragging it on as it only serves as a reminder of something painful, and you would want to cut off any legalities with him as soon as possible. Use the court systems for Orders of Protection, if necessary, and get a lawyer to settle matters with your home and visitation with the children. You may want to consider supervised visitations as he is violent and may use the children as pawns. If he is from another country, he may even try to take them to his homeland. I suggest this to be expedited not only for your mental health but also in preparation for you moving forward with your life.
Stay strong, dear sister, seek out true Muslim sisters to learn Islam from as you will find love and strength amongst the true believers. Be careful to avoid “cultural Islam” and try to seek out those who truly follow the Qur’an and the ways of Prophet Muhammad (saw), in sha’ Allah. Stay close to Allah (swt), make du’aa’, do dhikr, read Qur’an, for these are all nourishing for the heart and soul. In sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) makes this easy for you and blesses you and your children abundantly in the future.
You are in our prayers, dear sister. Please let us know how things turn out.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.