In this counseling answer:
•Seek out a lawyer in Egypt.
• Leave your husband for the safety of your daughters and yourself.
• If you have a good relationship with your in-laws, possibly one of his sisters or his mother, that you seek their advice and their help to get out.
• Turn to Allah and get counseling.
As salam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns. I am so sorry to hear about how your husband treats you. As I understand, you have been married for 10 years and you reverted to Islam. You and your husband have two daughters who are about five and six years old. You do have a son that you gave birth to prior to marrying your husband. However, your husband put you in a situation that you had to choose between him and your son who was five at the time. As a result, your son lives with your mother.
Haram vs. Haram
First of all, sister, a good Muslim man is not going to ask you to give up your son. As our beloved Prophet (pbuh) illustrated time and time again, children are a blessing and children are to be treated with kindness mercy and love. Your husband was very wrong for making you give your son away. He further committed haram by forbidding you to give your son money or show your son any type of affection or love. Your husband feels that your son should not be part of your life because he comes from haram which is not true.
In Islam, if we commit a sin or a haram act, we repent to Allah sincerely and we are forgiven. In the case of a child, the child who was born from a haram relationship is not at fault. Allah created this child and the child is a blessing. Children are born innocent.
Sister, you state that you have “a good husband but he has issues”. I would state you do not have a good husband. Not only has he forced you to give away your child, he lied to you about Islam concerning your child. He is abusive, he fights with his family, he degrades you sexually, he commits haram by trying to have anal sex with you, he has put fear in your heart so you are afraid to speak to him and you always do what he wants otherwise he will hit you.
Additionally, your husband is always manipulating you, telling you that you are “expensive” because of your medication as you have an illness. He has no compassion or regard for your illness.
He’s also abusive to your five-year-old daughter. You stated that he hit her very hard with a belt in her face because he was angry. Sister, that is not a good husband. That is an abusive, cruel person who is not following Islam and does not fear Allah. He is vile and dangerous and is one without Allah in his heart.
Seeking Help & Keeping Safe
Sister, this is not a safe environment for you or your children. I would kindly suggest that you seek out a lawyer in Egypt. I am not familiar with the laws there nor if there is any consulate or help legally. But I highly advise you to check it out.
If you do decide to look into legal help, please make sure that he cannot trace what you are doing, especially if you’re online on a computer, or near him. Please, do not leave any traces of what you are doing. It will only cause further violence.
As his family appears to know how he is, as you stated his brother almost killed him, I would kindly suggest that if you have a good relationship with them, possibly one of his sisters or his mother, that you seek their advice and their help to get out. If this is not the case in addition to legal help, I would advise that you also talk with your family and prepare them for your coming home if that is possible.
Check out this counseling video:
According to Egypt Today, there are supposedly laws now in Egypt which seek to protect women from domestic violence. There is a law known as law 1 which allows women to file for divorce without the husband’s consent. There is also the right for women to apply for a passport and travel without the husband’s consent. Again, either a lawyer or your own good research on this topic would be beneficial.
If these laws are intact, you would be able to leave the country with your children without your husband’s consent. Leaving the country, of course, would take finances and planning and insha’Allah, your family or perhaps an organization can help with this.
Again, for your safety, you would have to do this without your husband knowing anything.
Women’s Struggles to be Safe
In the USA and Canada, there used to be what we call Underground/Routes-Houses for women who were victims of domestic violence. These networks were relatively secret and women would escape an abusive relationship with their children (if they had children), and they would go from a safe home to a safe home until they reached their destination. These homes were set up and run by members of the organization who were part of the network to help abused women. Many women did escape abusive relationships in this way.
I am not sure if something like this exists in Egypt, but it may be worth checking out. However, with the right to apply for a passport and travel without your husband’s consent would be a way out of the country for you and your children to go back home to safety.
Husband or Children?
Sister, I know you are scared right now and you feel like you’re in a very hard place, which you are given the laws there and lack of protection for women and children. However, there will be a way out for you insha’Allah, as well as your children.
You state that you don’t want to take the children out of the country away from their father because you don’t want to take them from him, despite him being abusive.
Do you really want your children, your daughters to grow up abused beaten and traumatized? We are accountable to Allah for the safety of our children. I know you have a lot on you right now, however, please do think about that one fact.
Connecting: Spiritually, Legally, Socially
I kindly suggest sister that you draw close to Allah and seek His mercy and His guidance for the situation. Allah does not want you to be abused or mistreated nor does he want your children to be abused. That is not Islam. That is not what Allah ordained for marriage or for children.
I would kindly suggest that you think about this very hard. Your husband is very abusive and controlling. It is a dangerous situation for both you and the girls.
Please, do seek out legal advice insha’Allah, as well as look into the option of staying at the domestic violence shelters that are near you if needed.
I also suggest insha’Allah that you do start attending the Masjid or women’s groups to form friendships. If you gain one or two close friends, the sisters could be close allies and supportive of your need to leave for your safety. We all need friends and our Muslim sisters can be the best in resources and comfort.
Sister, please do speak with your family as soon as possible. If you have any friends anywhere else, please do speak with them as well, and let them know what’s going on. Look into legal resources as well as the laws there. Be sure that you erase all traces of your activity so that your husband does not find out.
If there is counseling in your area, please do and get counseling as well. It may prove to be a valuable resource in terms of helping you cope with the trauma that you are going through.
Speak with your husband’s family only and only if they can be trusted. They may also be compassionate to your situation and at the very least, not want their grandchildren (nieces) to be abused by him. They may be a resource and a help to you and the children.
There is a center I believe is called the Center for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance. They also have a Facebook page, you may want to read about their services and get in contact with them to see if they can help you with your situation.
Allah Loves You
Sister, I understand this is very difficult not only because you’re alone and because of the laws in that country, but because you’ve been married to him for 10 years. However, Allah does not want you to be abused, nor your children. You are in a very dangerous situation and you do not deserve this. I kindly urge you to leave your husband for the safety of your daughters and yourself. I wish there was a domestic violence or child abuse hotline number that I could give you to call, but through my research online, I cannot find one. Maybe someone reading this in Egypt knows of a resource which they can post. We all need to protect each other as Muslims.
Please, do know that Allah loves you, there is relief in sight. Insha’Allah, draw closer to Allah. Pray and make duaa that Allah makes this easy for you. Seek Allah’s guidance mercy and protection. Know that a better life exists for you and your children sister and Allah does love you.
We wish you the best,
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.